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International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology,

Vol. 4, No.2, 2012


Performance analysis of VBLAST MIMO-OFDM system
for intelligent transportation system


Samarendra Nath Sur
1
and Rabindranath Bera
2
1
Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology, Majitar, Rangpo, East Sikkim-737136, India
samar.sur@gmail.com

2
Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology, Majitar, Rangpo, East Sikkim-737136, India
rbera50@gmail.com


Abstract

Development of robust and reliable communication link, for the vehicle to vehicle (V2V) or
vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) to provide safety and security to diver, is emerged as frontline
research topic. This paper deals with the propagation channel aspect and mitigation of severe
channel phenomenon like multipath effect and Doppler sift etc using Vertical-Bell Laboratories
Layered Space-Time (VBLAST) multiple input and multiple output (MIMO) - Orthogonal
frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) system. In this paper we have simulated 2x2 VBLAST
MIMO-OFDM system and evaluate its performance in consequent to the vehicular channel
environment.

Keywords: Vehicular channel, Multipath, Doppler, Bit error rate (BER). Signal to noise ratio (SNR)

1. Introduction

Intelligent transportation system (ITS) brings significant improvement in transportation system
performance, including reduced congestion and increased safety and traveler convenience [1]. ITS
involves communication links between vehicles (V2V) and between vehicles and the
infrastructure (V2I). Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks (VANETs) have been identied as a promising
Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) technology to improve traffic safety and efficiency while
providing Internet access on the move [2, 3]. Those requirement leads to the development of a robust
physical layer system to encounter the rapidly changing vehicular channels. In wireless channel the
transmitted signal gets distorted by the phenomenon like fading, shadowing etc. and resulting in a
received signal that is reflected, scattered, dispersed and arriving at the receiver along multi paths
components [4]. This physical phenomenon leads to reception of erroneous data that puts limitations
on the performance of the system. Therefore, several protocols of wireless communications for ITS
applications have been proposed.
From the perspective of the future wireless communication system design, the enhancement of
network performance, in terms of capacity and coverage relies on the choice of the advanced wireless
technology and the waveform diversity . Multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) systems achieve a
higher spectral efficiency [5, 6, 7] compared to traditional single-input single-output (SISO) systems,
by means of using multiple antennas in the transmitter and receiver sides [8]. On the other hand,
OFDM has been adapted in many practical communication systems such as IEEE 802.11a, g, n , IEEE
802.16, DAB, HDTV, LTE and 4G etc [9]. The urge of using the OFDM technology in communication
systems have been experienced from the need for high speed data communication and its robustness
against multipath fading [10].
Thereby to encounter such problem MIMO-OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing)
technology is emerge as a possible best solution. When MIMO techniques are used with OFDM, the
benets of employing multiple antennas are extended to multipath environments [11].


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International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology,
Vol. 4, No.2, 2012

2. V2V channel background

Lots of research works have been carried out over many decades to study and modeling of the
wireless channels. From the perspective of the ITS, V2V channel modeling and characterization [1, 4,
12] has gained significant importance. In case of V2V communication the transmitted waveform
severely affected by phenomenon called multipath propagation due to the presence of the buildings,
trees, other cars etc. The effects of multipath introduce constructive and destructive interference, and
phase shifting of the signal. This distortion in the received signals caused by multipath is known as
fading.
Fading statistics are used to describe the fluctuation in the received signal power which
characterized the fading effect. There are two types of the fading effect: large-scale and small-scale
fading. The rapid fluctuation in the signal level, called small-scale fading, reduce the reliability and
performance of the communication system performances [1]. The most common model for small-scale
fading is Rayleigh fading. Other common statistical channel models are the Rician, Nakagami, log-
normal, and Weibull distributions [13]. In large-scale fading, or shadowing, the received signal power
varies gradually due to objects obstructing propagation paths. Depending on the specific application
over different wireless scenario, one can divide the channel model into different classes. For the
cellular channel, the rural, suburban, and urban classes are commonly used. Some models can be
explicitly categorized based on the presence of an LOS component, and divide into LOS and non-LOS
(NLOS) cases [1].
This multipath scenario can be observed on the channel impulse response (CIR) of the channel as
shown in the figure below.


Figure 1. Channel Impulse Response (CIR)

The channel impulse response consists of a Line of sight (LOS) path but sometime there are multiple
reflected paths. This multipath effect leads to dispersion effect. If the multipath delay spread (t) is
greater than sample time (Ts), then the channel is non-frequency selective and the system to be
narrowband. But for t<Ts, the channel is considered to be frequency selective and the system to be
wideband. From the frequency domain analysis, the fading effect is characterized by the channel
coherence bandwidth (BW
c
) and it is related to the root mean square (RMS) value of the delay spread
(T
rms
) by the equation given below
(BW
c
)0.2/ T
rms
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Figure 2. Conceptual diagram of time-varying CIR [4]

And also in V2V channel condition, Doppler spread puts limitation on the wireless communication
system performance. In Doppler frequency domain, the channel can be characterized by using
scattering function, which can be extracted by tacking the Fourier transformation of the CIR [14]. The
Doppler spectrum describe the widening of the spectrum due to the Doppler frequency sift in different
multipath components. The Doppler spread measures the amount by which the channel spreads a
transmitted tone in frequency.

3. MIMO-OFDM system:


Figure 3. MIMO-OFDM system model

The above model shows a MIMO-OFDM system. It is consist of 2 transmitter and 2 receiver
antennas. The OFDM signal for each antenna is obtained by applying the inverse Fast Fourier
transform (IFFT) on the transmitter side and can be detected using Fast Fourier transform (FFT)
at the receiver side. Here pilot sequence is used for channel estimation. Also, a cyclic prefix (CP) is
inserted in front of the OFDM symbol at the final step of OFDM modulation block. Cyclic prefix is
used to reduce the inter symbol interference (ISI). There are several MIMO coding techniques, such as
STBC, STTC, VBLAST and DBLAST etc. These codes have their own advantages and disadvantages.
The MIMO spatial diversity (STBC, STTC) has the advantage of producing low BER values but has
poor spectral efficiency. But spatial multiplexing (BLAST) techniques have the advantage of
producing high spectral efficient communication system but with poor BER values. Thereby a
combination of MIMO-BLAST encoder with OFDM technique will be one of the best solutions to
encounter the severe fading channel.
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4. Rician fading:

Rician fading distribution is applied in the case, when there is a Line of Sight (LOS) component
between the transmitter and the receiver along with multipath components.
The Rician distribution is given by, [15],

<
> >
o o
+
o
=
) 0 r ( 0
) 0 r , 0 A ( )
2
Ar
(
0
I
2
2
)
2
A
2
r (
exp
2
r
) r ( P
------------- (1)

The A is the amplitude of the dominant component i.e. direct path or line of sight (LOS) component,
o is the RMS value of voltage in a received signal,
2
o is the time-average power of the received
signal and (.)
0
I is the modified Bessel function of the first kind with zero-order. The parameter K in
Rician fading factor, and can be defined as the ratio between the power of the LOS component and the
disperse component (NLOS),

dB
2
2
A
log 10 ) dB ( K
o
=

Now, with the variation fading factor one can realize different fading distribution. Such as, Rayleigh
distribution is one kind of Rician distribution for K tends to 0 and for K >> 1 the Rician distribution
can be approximated by a Gaussian distribution, [15]. The probability distribution function (PDF) and
the Cumulative distribution function (CDF) of the Rician distribution with the variation of the fading
parameter are shown in figures 5 and 6 respectively.


Figure 4. Rician channel model


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Figure 5. Probability distribution Figure 6. Cumulative distribution
function (PDF) function (CDF)

5. BER calculation

The probability density function (PDF) [16] of instantaneous signal to noise ratio (SNR) under
Rician fading given by The SNR PDF of a Rician fading channel is given by

, 0 ),
s
) K 1 ( k
2 (
0
I ]
s
) K 1 (
K exp[
s
) K 1 (
) ( f >

+
=

----- (2)

0
N
S
E
) (
S
=
is the average SNR.
Where K= is the Rician factor, I
0
(.) is the zero-order modied Bessel function of the 1
st
kind. The
Rician factor K can define as the ratio of the LOS component energy to the diffuse (multipath)
component energy. If K=0 we get the Rayleigh distribution, whereas the channel approaches the no
fading case (AWGN channel) as K increases.
The error probability can be calculated by averaging the conditional probability of error over the PDF
of , i.e.


}

c = c d ) ( f
0
) | ( P ) P(
-------------------- (3)
Now, the conditional error probability for the coherent MPSK is given by

u
}
t
t
u
t

t
= c d
M /
2
0
}
2
sec )
M
(
2
sin exp{
1

) | ( P
---------- (4)
The probability of error [17] for coherent MPSK over Rician fading channel can be calculated, by
substituting ) | ( P c and ) ( f

as in equation (4) and (2) respectively into equation (3), as given


below.

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Vol. 4, No.2, 2012

}
t
t
u
t
+

+
|
|
|
|
|
.
|

\
|
u
t
+

+
u
t

|
|
.
|

\
|

+
t
= c d
M /
2
0
2
sec )
M
(
2
sin
s
K 1
2
sec )
M
(
2
sin
s
K 1
2
sec )
M
(
2
sin K
exp
s
K 1 1

) P( --------- (5)
The probability of symbol error for QAM over a Gaussian channel is given as [18, 19]

M
2
log .
) 1 M (
5 . 1
exp . 2 . 0 ) | ( P
(

= c
------- (6)

Similarly, the probability of error for coherent MQAM over Rician fading channel can be calculated,
by substituting ) | ( P c and ) ( f

as in equation (6) and (2) respectively into equation (3), as given


below [18].

(

+ +

+ +
+
= c
s
. 5 . 1 ) 1 M ).( K 1 (
s
K . 5 . 1
exp .
s
. 5 . 1 ) 1 M ).( K 1 (
) 1 M ).( K 1 (
. M
2
log 2 . 0 ) P( ----- (7)

6. Simulated results:


Figure 7. BER vs. SNR curves for 2x2 V-BLAST MIMO- OFDM systems with different modulation
schemes in Rayleigh fading channel

The above figure shows BER Vs SNR curves for 2x2 VBLAST MIMO- OFDM systems with different
modulation schemes. As in figure we find that with the increase in the modulation order the BER
values increases consequently.

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Figure 8. BER vs. SNR curves for 2x2 V-BLAST MIMO- OFDM systems with different values of
Rician factor (k)

Above figure shows the BER performance of the 2x2 V-BLAST MIMO OFDM system in Rician
channel with the variation of the Rician fading factor. Here we have taken 16 QAM as the digital
modulation/ demodulation technique. As we know that for k<1, the Rician PDF tends to Rayleigh PDF
and with k tends to infinity Rician PDF tends to the Gaussian one. Therefore, as in figure 8 with the
increase in the Rician fading factor the BER performance of the system gets improve.


Figure 9. Performance comparison of 1x1 OFDM and 2x2 V-BLAST MIMO- OFDM systems with
different values of Rician factor (k)

Figure 9 depicts the comparative study on the performance of the 1x1 OFDM system and 2x2
VBLAST MIMO- OFDM in Rician channel condition with the variation of the fading factor (k). Here
also with the increase in k values the system performance improves significantly. Also from the above
figure, we have that with the increase in the diversity order the BER performance of the system gets
better. Therefore OFDM system with multiple antenna system provides significant improvement and
resistance in severe channel condition.

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Vol. 4, No.2, 2012


Figure 10. BER of a 2x2 VBLAST MIMO OFDM system with different Doppler shift

Figure 10 shows the performance of the 2x2 VBLAST MIMO OFDM with respect to Doppler shift.
From the above figure, we find that with the increase in the Doppler frequency the system performance
is degraded. And also it is clear that with the increase in the signal SNR level the Doppler sift become
less effective where as for the lower value of SNR it is much more destructive.

7. Conclusion

From above simulated results, we find that VBLAST-MIMO OFDM is one of the best solutions for
establishing wireless communication link in vehicular channel condition. As it is very much evident
that in V2V or V2I communication, there wills severe multipath effect, Doppler spread and signal
attenuation etc, therefore a combination of MIMO with OFDM will provide a reliable and robust
communication link. And we find that this combination provides significant amount of the resistance
against sever fading and reasonable Doppler shift.

8. References

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Boston, London: Artech House, 1995.
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performance of VANET communication protocols, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
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of Rural and Highway Vehicle-to-Vehicle Channels at 5.9 GHz, IEEE ,GLOBECOM, 2008
[4]. David W. Matolak, Channel Modeling for Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications, IEEE
Communications Magazine, May 2008, pp-76-83.
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MIMO space-time coded wireless systems. IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications,
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[8]. Andrea Goldsmith. Wireless Communications. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY,
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Vol. 4, No.2, 2012


[10]. Massaki Harada, Performance analysis of coded MIMO OFDM in multipath fading
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Authors Profile


Samarendra Nath Sur: Received his M.Sc. (Electronics Science) from Jadavpur
University in the year 2007 and pursuing M.Tech from Sikkim Manipal University.
Currently working as an assistant professor in Electronics & Communication
Engineering Department of Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology, India.
Broadband Wireless Communication and Remote Sensing are the area of
specializations.








Prof.(Dr.) Rabindranath Bera: Born in 1958 at Kolaghat , West Bengal, INDIA.
Received his B. Tech, M. Tech & Ph.D degree from the Institute of Radiophysics &
Electronics, The University of Calcutta, in the year 1982,1985 & 1997 respectively.
Currently working as Professor and Head of the Department, Electronics &
Communication Engineering. Sikkim Manipal University, Sikkim. . His major
research Interests in the area of Digital Radar, RCS Imaging, Wireless 4G
Communication, Radiometric remote sensing. He has published large number of
papers in different national and international Conference and journals.







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