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Optimum Combining for Rapidly Fading Channels in Ad Hoc Networks

Keywords: Fading , Multipath , Antenna arrays , Optimum combining , Ad hoc networks , spatial diversity

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Research and technology in wireless communication systems such as radar and cellular networks have successfully implemented alternative design approaches that utilize antenna array techniques such as optimum combining, to mitigate the degradation effects of multipath in rapid fading channels. In ad hoc networks, these methods have not yet been exploited primarily due to the complexity inherent in the network's architecture. With the high demand for improved signal link quality, devices configured with omnidirectional antennas can no longer meet the growing need for link quality and spectrum efficiency. This study takes an empirical approach to determine an optimum combining antenna array based on 3 variants of interelement spacing. For rapid fading channels, the simulation results show that the performance in the network of devices retrofitted with our antenna arrays consistently exceeded those with an omnidirectional antenna. Further, with the optimum combiner, the performance increased by over 60% compared to that of an omnidirectional antenna in a rapid fading channel.


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