Wireless designers constantly seek to improve the spectrum efficiency/capacity, coverage of wireless networks, and link reliability. Space-time wireless technology that uses multiple antennas along with appropriate signalling and receiver techniques offers a powerful tool for improving wireless performance. Some aspects of this technology have already been incorporated into various wireless network and cellular mobile standards. More advanced MIMO techniques are planned for future mobile networks, wireless local area network (LANs) and wide area network (WANs). Multiple antennas when used with appropriate space-time coding (STC) techniques can achieve huge performance gains in multipath fading wireless links. The fundamentals of space-time coding were established in the context of space-time Trellis coding by Tarokh, Seshadri and Calderbank. Alamouti then proposed a simple transmit diversity coding scheme and based on this scheme, general space-time block codes were further introduced by Tarokh, Jafarkhani and Calderbank. Since then space-time coding has soon evolved into a most vibrant research area in wireless communications. Recently, space-time block coding has been adopted in the third generation mobile communication standard which aims to deliver true multimedia capability. Space-time block codes have a most attractive feature of the linear decoding/detection algorithms and thus become the most popular among different STC techniques. The decoding of space-time block codes, however, requires knowledge of channels at the receiver and in most publications, channel parameters are assumed known, which is not practical due to the changing channel conditions in real communication systems.
This thesis is mainly concerned with space-time block codes and their performances. The focus is on signal detection and channel estimation for wireless communication systems using space-time block codes. We first present the required background materials, discuss different implementations of space-time block codes using different numbers of transmit and receive antennas, and evaluate the performances of space-time block codes using binary phase-shift keying (BPSK), quadrature phase-shift keying (QPSK), and quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM). Then, we investigate Tarokh’s joint detection scheme with no channel state information thoroughly, and also propose a new general joint channel estimation and data detection scheme that works with QPSK and 16-QAM and different numbers of antennas. Next, we further study Yang’s channel estimation scheme, and expand this channel estimation scheme to work with 16-QAM modulation. After dealing with complex signal constellations, we subsequently develop the equations and algorithms of both channel estimation schemes to further test their performances when real signals are used (BPSK modulation). Then, we simulate and compare the performances of the two new channel estimation schemes when employing different number of transmit and receive antennas and when employing different modulation methods. Finally, conclusions are drawn and further research areas are discussed.||en