Noncoherent ultra-wideband (de)modulation

Liuqing Yang, Georgios B. Giannakis, Ananthram Swami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Ultra-wideband (UWB) radios have received increasing attention recently for their potential to overlay legacy systems, their low-power consumption and low-complexity implementation. Because of the pulsed or duty-cycled nature of the ultra-short transmitted waveforms, timing synchronization and channel estimation pose major, and often conflicting, challenges and requirements. In order to address (or in fact bypass) both tasks, we design and test noncoherent UWB (de)modulation schemes, which remain operational even without timing and channel information. Relying on integrate-and-dump operations of what we term "dirty templates,"we first derive a maximum likelihood (ML) optimal noncoherent UWB demodulator. We further establish a conditional ML demodulator with lower complexity. Analysis and simulations show that both can also be applied after (possibly imperfect) timing acquisition. Under the assumption of perfect timing, our noncoherent UWB scheme reduces to a differential UWB system. Our approach can also be adapted to a transmitted reference (TR) UWB system. We show that the resultant robust-to-timing TR (RTTR) approach considerably improves performance of the original TR system in the presence of timing offsets or residual timing acquisition errors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)810-819
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Paper approved by A. F. Naguib, the Editor for Wireless Communication of the IEEE Communications Society. Manuscript received December 13, 2004; revised March 22, 2006. This work was supported in part by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory through the Communications and Networks Consortium under the Collaborative Technology Alliance Program, Cooperative Agreement DAAD19-01-2-0011, in part by the NSF ITR under Grant EIA-0324864, and in part by the NSF MRI under Grant CNS-0420836. This paper was presented in part at the MILCOM Conference, Monterey, CA, October/November 2004. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon.


  • Channel estimation
  • Differential modulation
  • Noncoherent detection
  • Timing synchronization
  • Transmitted reference (TR)
  • Ultra-wideband (UWB)


Dive into the research topics of 'Noncoherent ultra-wideband (de)modulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this