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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

OFDM pilot allocation for sparse channel estimation

Pooria Pakrooh1*, Arash Amini2 and Farokh Marvasti2

Author Affiliations

1 Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

2 Advanced Communication Research Institute (ACRI), Electrical Engineering Department, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

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EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing 2012, 2012:59  doi:10.1186/1687-6180-2012-59

Published: 8 March 2012


In communication systems, efficient use of the spectrum is an indispensable concern. Recently the use of compressed sensing for the purpose of estimating orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) sparse multipath channels has been proposed to decrease the transmitted overhead in form of the pilot subcarriers which are essential for channel estimation. In this article, we investigate the problem of deterministic pilot allocation in OFDM systems. The method is based on minimizing the coherence of the submatrix of the unitary discrete fourier transform (DFT) matrix associated with the pilot subcarriers. Unlike the usual case of equidistant pilot subcarriers, we show that non-uniform patterns based on cyclic difference sets are optimal. In cases where there are no difference sets, we perform a greedy method for finding a suboptimal solution. We also investigate the performance of the recovery methods such as orthogonal matching pursuit (OMP) and iterative method with adaptive thresholding (IMAT) for estimation of the channel taps.