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Time−Synchronization and Ranging for OFDM Systems Using Time−Reversal

T. E. Abrudan‚ A. Haghparast and V. Koivunen


In this paper, we propose a new two-way time synchronization (TS) method for orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM)-based wireless systems. It relies on the time-reversal (TR) technique to remove the effect of the channel phase after the signal round-trip. Thus, the method is named TR-TS. TR technique yields a linear phase rotation across subcarriers, regardless whether the channel is minimum, maximum, or mixed phase. This phase is proportional to the difference of the OFDM symbol-timing synchronization errors at the two receivers. Thus, the clock-offset between the radios is determined using the local reception times and the estimated linear phase resulting from the TR technique. A reliable low-complexity algorithm called fast Fourier transform-weighted least-squares is proposed to estimate the linear phase slope, and its meansquare error is compared with the Cramér-Rao Lower Bound (CRLB). The results show that the proposed algorithm attains the CRLB at low SNR, even when a single OFDM symbol is used. The OFDM packets are time-stamped at the medium access control layer, which allows eliminating errors caused by different and varying delays in the internal lower level processing of the data. Hence, an accurate estimate of the clock-offset is obtained. The impact of various nonidealities on the proposed algorithm is also studied. In addition, we propose a ranging method that employs the novel TS method and a first-path delay estimation technique. The performance of the proposed methods is studied in simulations, as well as using real-world measured channels. The results show that the proposed methods can be successfully applied in low to moderate mobility scenarios such as indoors despite harsh multipath, since they rely on channel reciprocity.

IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement
OFDM modulation;channel estimation;delay estimation;fast Fourier transforms;least mean squares methods;phase estimation;radio reception;synchronisation;telecommunication network reliability;wireless channels;CRLB;Cramér−Rao lower bound;OFDM symbol−timing synchronization error;OFDM−based wireless system;SNR;TR technique;TS method;channel reciprocity;fast Fourier transform−weighted least−square algorithm;first−path delay estimation technique;linear phase rotation;linear phase slope estimation;low−complexity reliability;mean− square error;medium access control layer;orthogonal frequency division multiplexing−based wireless system;signal round−trip channel phase;time−reversal technique;two−way time synchronization method;Clocks;Distance measurement;OFDM;Radio communication;Synchronization;Wireless communication;Clocks;distance measurement;orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM);radio communication;synchronization