Differential orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) is practically attractive for underwater acoustic communications since it has the potential to obviate channel estimation. However, similar to coherent OFDM, it may suffer from severe inter-carrier interference over time-varying channels. To alleviate the induced performance degradation, we adopt the newly-emerging partial FFT demodulation technique in this paper and propose an eigendecomposition-based algorithm to compute the combining weights. Compared to existing adaptive methods, the new algorithm can avoid error propagation and eliminate the need for parameter tuning. Moreover, it guarantees global optimality under the narrowband Doppler assumption, with the optimal weight vector of partial FFT demodulation achieved by the eigenvector associated with the smallest eigenvalue of the pilot detection error matrix. Finally, the algorithm can also be extended straightforwardly to perform subband-wise computation to counteract wideband Doppler effects.
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- Differential OFDM
- partial FFT demodulation
- time-varying channels
- underwater acoustic communications