Skip to Main Content
Orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) is a technique that will prevail in the next generation wireless communication. Channel estimation is one of the key challenges in an OFDM system. In this paper, we formulate OFDM channel estimation as a compressive sensing problem, which takes advantage of the sparsity of the channel impulse response and reduces the number of probing measurements, which in turn reduces the ADC speed needed for channel estimation. Specifically, we propose sending out pilots with random phases in order to ``spread out" the sparse taps in the impulse response over the uniformly downsampled measurements at the low speed receiver ADC, so that the impulse response can still be recovered by sparse optimization. This contribution leads to high resolution channel estimation with low speed ADCs, distinguishing this paper from the existing attempts of OFDM channel estimation. We also propose a novel estimator that performs better than the commonly used ℓ1 minimization. Specifically, it significantly reduces estimation error by combing ℓ1 minimization with iterative support detection and limited-support least-squares. While letting the receiver ADC running at a speed as low as 1/16 of the speed of the transmitter DAC, we simulated various numbers of multipaths and different measurement SNRs. The proposed system has channel estimation resolution as high as the system equipped with the high speed ADCs, and the proposed algorithm provides additional 6 dB gain for signal to noise ratio.
Date of Conference: 5-9 June 2011