In mobile communication channels information symbols are transmitted through a communication channel that is prone to fading and multipath propagation. At the receiver, the effect of multipath propagation is reduced by a process called channel equalization. Channel equalization relies on an accurate estimate of the channel state information (CSI). This estimate is obtained using a channel estimation algorithm. Mobile WiMAX is a recently released technology that makes use of an orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) based physical layer to transmit information over a wireless communication channel. In this dissertation, frequency and time domain channel estimation methods typically used in classical OFDM systems, using block and comb type pilot insertion schemes, were analyzed and adopted for mobile WiMAX. Least squares (LS) and linear minimum mean square error (LMMSE) channel estimation methods were considered in the case of block type pilot insertion. In the case of comb type pilot insertion, piecewise constant, linear, spline cubic as well as discrete Wiener interpolation methods were considered. A mobile WiMAX simulation platform was developed as part of the dissertation to evaluate and compare the performance of these different channel estimation methods. It was found that the performance of the channel estimation methods, applied to a real world mobile WiMAX simulation platform, conforms to the expected performance of the corresponding classical OFDM channel estimation methods found in literature.
Dissertation (MEng)--University of Pretoria, 2009.