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In an OFDM system using pilots for channel estimation, time interpolation among pilots of different OFDM symbols is commonly used to improve the estimate. The estimated channel impulse response may be also windowed to further reduce noise and disturbances. However, for a transmission over a time-varying channel, suboptimal time interpolation, implemented with a filter having only a few taps not matched to the maximum Doppler frequency, degrades channel estimation. In this paper we provide an analysis of the effects of pilot time interpolation over time-varying channels. We show in particular that suboptimal time interpolation yields aliases in the estimated channel impulse response and we derive a closed-form expression of the aliasesÂ¿ variance. As aliases can lead to an erroneous estimate of channel length and consequent errors in windowing, we propose a technique to detect aliases and correct the channel length estimate. Parameters of the detection techniques are optimized by an analysis that provides closed-form expressions of the false alarm and miss detection probabilities. Numerical results show the merits of the proposed techniques in a mobile transmission of the terrestrial digital video broadcasting standard (DVB-T).
Date of Publication: May 2010