Cooperative diversity provides a new paradigm in robust wireless re- lay networks that leverages Space-Time (ST) processing techniques to combat the effects of fading. Distributing the encoding over multiple relays that potentially observe uncorrelated channels to a destination terminal has demonstrated promising results in extending range, data- rates and transmit power utilization. Specifically, Space Time Block Codes (STBCs) based on orthogonal designs have proven extremely popular at exploiting spatial diversity through simple distributed pro- cessing without channel knowledge at the relaying terminals. This thesis aims at extending further the extensive design and analysis in relay networks based on orthogonal designs in the context of Quasi- Orthogonal Space Time Block Codes (QOSTBCs).
The characterization of Quasi-Orthogonal MIMO channels for cooper- ative networks is performed under Ergodic and Non-Ergodic channel conditions. Specific to cooperative diversity, the sub-channels are as- sumed to observe different shadowing conditions as opposed to the traditional co-located communication system. Under Ergodic chan- nel assumptions novel closed-form solutions for cooperative channel capacity under the constraint of distributed-QOSTBC processing are presented. This analysis is extended to yield closed-form approx- imate expressions and their utility is verified through simulations. The effective use of partial feedback to orthogonalize the QOSTBC is examined and significant gains under specific channel conditions are demonstrated.
Distributed systems cooperating over the network introduce chal- lenges in synchronization. Without extensive network management
it is difficult to synchronize all the nodes participating in the relaying between source and destination terminals. Based on QOSTBC tech- niques simple encoding strategies are introduced that provide compa- rable throughput to schemes under synchronous conditions with neg- ligible overhead in processing throughout the protocol. Both mutli- carrier and single-carrier schemes are developed to enable the flexi- bility to limit Peak-to-Average-Power-Ratio (PAPR) and reduce the Radio Frequency (RF) requirements of the relaying terminals.
The insights gained in asynchronous design in flat-fading cooperative channels are then extended to broadband networks over frequency- selective channels where the novel application of QOSTBCs are used in distributed-Space-Time-Frequency (STF) coding. Specifically, cod- ing schemes are presented that extract both spatial and mutli-path diversity offered by the cooperative Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) channel. To provide maximum flexibility the proposed schemes are adapted to facilitate both Decode-and-Forward (DF) and Amplify- and-Forward (AF) relaying. In-depth Pairwise-Error-Probability (PEP) analysis provides distinct design specifications which tailor the distributed- STF code to maximize the diversity and coding gain offered under the
DF and AF protocols.
Numerical simulation are used extensively to confirm the validity of the proposed cooperative schemes. The analytical and numerical re- sults demonstrate the effective use of QOSTBC over orthogonal tech- niques in a wide range of channel conditions.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.