Proc. IEEE International Conference on Communications, June 8-12, 2015, London, England.

Robust Transceiver to Combat Periodic Impulsive Noise in Narrowband Powerline Communications

Jing Lin (1) Tarkesh Pande (2), Il-Han Kim (2), Anuj Batra (2) and Brian L. Evans (1)

(1) Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Wireless Networking and Communications Group, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712 USA -

(2) Texas Instruments, Dallas, TX USA.

Paper Draft - Presentation Slides

Smart Grid Communications Research at UT Austin


Non-Gaussian noise/interference severely limits communication performance of narrowband powerline communication (PLC) systems. Such noise/interference is dominated by periodic impulsive noise whose statistics varies with the AC cycle. The periodic impulsive noise statistics deviate significantly from that of additive white Gaussian noise, thereby causing dramatic performance degradation in conventional narrowband PLC systems. In this paper, we propose a robust transmission scheme and corresponding receiver methods to combat periodic impulsive noise in OFDM-based narrowband PLC. Towards that end, we propose
  1. a time-frequency modulation diversity scheme at the transmitter and a diversity demodulator at the receiver to improve communication reliability without decreasing data rates; and
  2. a semi-online algorithm that exploits the sparsity of the noise in the frequency domain to estimate the noise power spectrum for reliable decoding at the diversity demodulator.
In the simulations, compared with a narrowband PLC system using Reed-Solomon and convolutional coding, whole-packet interleaving and DBPSK/BPSK modulation, our proposed transceiver methods achieve up to 8 dB gains in Eb/N0 with convolutional coding and a smaller-sized interleaver/deinterleaver.

Questions & Answers

Question: Which techniques in the talk are applicable for existing narrowband OFDM powerline communications solutions?

Answer: The noise variance estimation technique is a receiver-only technique and thus can be applied in existing receivers whereas the TFDM requires changes to the transmitter and receiver.

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Last Updated 06/25/15.