Pulsed-OFDM modulation for ultrawideband communications

Ebrahim Saberinia, Jun Tang, Ahmed H. Tewfik, Keshab K. Parhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


In this paper, we describe a novel approach for reducing the power consumption and complexity of a multiband orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (MB-OFDM) ultrawideband (UWB) system by applying ideas from pulsed UWB systems. The approach is quite general and applicable to many other systems. Unlike the MB-OFDM system, the enhancement that we propose uses pulses with duty cycles of less than 1 as the amplitude shaping pulse of orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) modulation. Pulsating OFDM symbols spread the spectrum of the modulated signals in the frequency domain, leading to a spreading gain that is equal to the inverse of the duty cycle of the pulsed subcarriers. We study the spectral characteristics of pulsed OFDM and the added degrees of diversity that it provides. We show that pulsed-OFDM signals can easily be generated by either upsampling an equivalent OFDM baseband signal with a reduced number of carriers or by replacing the digital-to-analog converter (DAC) of a normal MB-OFDM transmitter with a low-duty-cycle DAC. We establish that a pulsed-OFDM receiver can fully exploit the added diversity without using Rake receivers. It is shown that, while pulsed OFDM has superior or comparable performance to MB-OFDM in multipath fading channels, it also has intrinsic low-complexity and power consumption advantages compared with MB-OFDM. To establish this fact, we describe an example design for the IEEE 802.15.3a Standard and present full simulation results for the UWB indoor propagation channels provided by the IEEE 802.15.3a Standard activity committee.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)720-726
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009


  • Multiband orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (MB-OFDM)
  • Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM)
  • Pulsed OFDM
  • Ultrawideband (UWB)


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