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Here, the authors propose two adaptive detection schemes based on single-carrier frequency-domain equalisation (SC-FDE) for multiuser direct-sequence ultra-wideband systems, which are termed structured channel estimation (SCE) and direct adaptation (DA). Both schemes use the minimum mean square error (MMSE) linear detection strategy and employ a cyclic prefix. In the SCE scheme, adaptive channel estimation is performed in the frequency domain and the despreading is implemented in the time domain after the FDE. In this scheme, the MMSE detection requires the knowledge of the number of users and the noise variance. For this purpose, simple algorithms are proposed for estimating these parameters. In the DA scheme, the interference suppression task is fulfilled with only one adaptive filter in the frequency domain and a new signal expression is adopted to simplify the design of such a filter. Least mean squares, recursive least squares and conjugate gradient adaptive algorithms are then developed for both schemes. A complexity analysis compares the computational complexity of the proposed algorithms and schemes, and simulation results for the downlink illustrate their performance.