Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering - (Ph.D.)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Alexander Haimovich

Second Advisor

Ali Abdi

Third Advisor

Yeheskel Bar-Ness

Fourth Advisor

Larry J. Greenstein

Fifth Advisor

Roy R. You


This dissertation investigates the potential promises and proposes possible solutions to the challenges of designing transceivers and optimizing system parameters in ultra-wideband (UWB) systems. The goal is to provide guidelines for UWB transceiver implementations under constraints by regulation, existing interference, and channel estimation.

New UWB pulse shapes are invented that satisfy the Federal Communications Commission spectral mask. Parameters are designed to possibly implement the proposed pulses. A link budget is quantified based on an accurate frequency-dependent path loss calculation to account for variations across the ultra-wide bandwidth of the signal.

Achievable information rates are quantified as a function of transmission distance over additive white Gaussian noise and multipath channels under specific UWB constraints: limited power spectral density, specific modulation formats, and a highly dispersive channel. The effect of self-interference (SI) and inter-symbol interference (ISI) on channel capacity is determined, and modulation formats that mitigate against this effect is identified. Spreading gains of familiar UWB signaling formats are evaluated, and UWB signals are proved to be spread spectrum. Conditions are formulated for trading coding gain with spreading gain with only a small impact on performance. Numerical results are examined to demonstrate that over a frequency-selective channel, the spreading gain may be beneficial in reducing the SI and ISI resulting in higher information rates.

A reduced-rank adaptive filtering technique is applied to the problem of interference suppression and optimum combining in UWB communications. The reduced-rank combining method, in particular the eigencanceler, is proposed and compared with a minimum mean square error Rake receiver. Simulation results are evaluated to show that the performance of the proposed method is superior to the minimum mean square error when the correlation matrix is estimated from limited data.

Impact of channel estimation on UWB system performance is investigated when path delays and path amplitudes are jointly estimated. Cramér-Rao bound (CRB) expressions for the variance of path delay and amplitude estimates are formulated using maximum likelihood estimation. Using the errors obtained from the CRB, the effective signal-to-noise ratio for UWB Rake receivers employing maximum ratio combining (MRC) is devised in the presence of channel path delay and amplitude errors. An exact expression of the bit error rate (BER) for UWB Rake receivers with MRC is derived with imperfect estimates of channel path delays and amplitudes.

Further, this analysis is applied to design optimal transceiver parameters. The BER is used as part of a binary symmetric channel and the achievable information rates are evaluated. The optimum power allocation and number of symbols allocated to the pilot are developed with respect to maximizing the information rate. The optimal signal bandwidth to be used for UWB communications is determined in the presence of imperfect channel state information. The number of multipath components to be collected by Rake receivers is designed to optimize performance with non-ideal channel estimation.