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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

A Frame Synchronization and Frequency Offset Estimation Algorithm for OFDM System and its Analysis

EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking20062006:057018

Received: 13 July 2005

Accepted: 19 January 2006

Published: 14 March 2006


Orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) is a parallel transmission scheme for transmitting data at very high rates over time dispersive radio channels. In an OFDM system, frame synchronization and frequency offset estimation are extremely important for maintaining orthogonality among the subcarriers. In this paper, for a preamble having two identical halves in time, a timing metric is proposed for OFDM frame synchronization. The timing metric is analyzed and its mean values at the preamble boundary and in its neighborhood are evaluated, for AWGN and for frequency selective channels with specified mean power profile of the channel taps, and the variance expression is derived for AWGN case. Since the derivation of the variance expression for frequency selective channel case is tedious, we used simulations to estimate the same. Based on the theoretical value of the mean and estimate of the variance, we suggest a threshold for detection of the preamble boundary and evaluating the probability of false and correct detections. We also suggest a method for a threshold selection and the preamble boundary detection in practical applications. A simple and computationally efficient method for estimating fractional and integer frequency offset, using the same preamble, is also described. Simulations are used to corroborate the results of the analysis. The proposed method of frame synchronization and frequency offset estimation is applied to the downlink synchronization in OFDM mode of wireless metropolitan area network (WMAN) standard IEEE 802.16-2004, and its performance is studied through simulations.


  • Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex
  • Variance Expression
  • Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex System
  • Boundary Detection
  • Frequency Offset


Authors’ Affiliations

Hellosoft India Pvt Ltd, Hyderabad, India
IIIT, Hyderabad, India


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© Ch. N. Kishore and V. U. Reddy 2006

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.