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Modeling and Digital Mitigation of Transmitter Imperfections in Radio Communication Systems

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisCollection of Articles


Original languageEnglish
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Number of pages97
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-15-3616-8
ISBN (Print)978-952-15-3598-7
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2015
Publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Publication series

NameTampere University of Technology. Publication
PublisherTampere University of Technology
ISSN (Print)1459-2045


To satisfy the continuously growing demands for higher data rates, modern radio communication systems employ larger bandwidths and more complex waveforms. Furthermore, radio devices are expected to support a rich mixture of standards such as cellular networks, wireless local-area networks, wireless personal area networks, positioning and navigation systems, etc. In general, a "smart'' device should be flexible to support all these requirements while being portable, cheap, and energy efficient. These seemingly conflicting expectations impose stringent radio frequency (RF) design challenges which, in turn, call for their proper understanding as well as developing cost-effective solutions to address them. The direct-conversion transceiver architecture is an appealing analog front-end for flexible and multi-standard radio systems. However, it is sensitive to various circuit impairments, and modern communication systems based on multi-carrier waveforms such as Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) and Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) are particularly vulnerable to RF front-end non-idealities.

This thesis addresses the modeling and digital mitigation of selected transmitter (TX) RF impairments in radio communication devices. The contributions can be divided into two areas. First, new modeling and digital mitigation techniques are proposed for two essential front-end impairments in direct-conversion architecture-based OFDM and OFDMA systems, namely inphase and quadrature phase (I/Q) imbalance and carrier frequency offset (CFO). Both joint and de-coupled estimation and compensation schemes for frequency-selective TX I/Q imbalance and channel distortions are proposed for OFDM systems, to be adopted on the receiver side. Then, in the context of uplink OFDMA and Single Carrier FDMA (SC-FDMA), which are the air interface technologies of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Long Term Evolution (LTE) and LTE-Advanced systems, joint estimation and equalization techniques of RF impairments and channel distortions are proposed. Here, the challenging multi-user uplink scenario with unequal received power levels is investigated where I/Q imbalance causes inter-user interference. A joint mirror subcarrier processing-based minimum mean-square error (MMSE) equalizer with an arbitrary number of receiver antennas is formulated to effectively handle the mirror sub-band users of different power levels. Furthermore, the joint channel and impairments filter responses are efficiently approximated with polynomial-based basis function models, and the parameters of basis functions are estimated with the reference signals conforming to the LTE uplink sub-frame structure. The resulting receiver concept adopting the proposed techniques enables improved link performance without modifying the design of RF transceivers.

Second, digital baseband mitigation solutions are developed for the TX leakage signal-induced self-interference in frequency division duplex (FDD) transceivers. In FDD transceivers, a duplexer is used to connect the TX and receiver (RX) chains to a common antenna while also providing isolation to the receiver chain against the powerful transmit signal. In general, the continuous miniaturization of hardware and adoption of larger bandwidths through carrier aggregation type noncontiguous allocations complicates achieving sufficient TX-RX isolation. Here, two different effects of the transmitter leakage signal are investigated. The first is TX out-of-band (OOB) emissions and TX spurious emissions at own receiver band, due to the transmitter nonlinearity, and the second is nonlinearity of down-converter in the RX that generates second-order intermodulation distortion (IMD2) due to the TX in-band leakage signal. This work shows that the transmitter leakage signal-induced interference depends on an equivalent leakage channel that models the TX path non-idealities, duplexer filter responses, and the RX path non-idealities. The work proposes algorithms that operate in the digital baseband of the transceiver to estimate the TX-RX non-idealities and the duplexer filter responses, and subsequently regenerating and canceling the self-interference, thereby potentially relaxing the TX-RX isolation requirements as well as increasing the transceiver flexibility.

Overall, this thesis provides useful signal models to understand the implications of different RF non-idealities and proposes compensation solutions to cope with certain RF impairments. This is complemented with extensive computer simulations and practical RF measurements to validate their application in real-world radio transceivers.

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