Robust transceivers to combat impulsive noise in powerline communications



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Future smart grid systems will intelligently monitor and control energy flows in order to improve the efficiency and reliability of power delivery. This monitoring and control requires low-power, low-cost and highly reliable two-way communications between customers and utilities. To enable these two-way communication links, powerline communication (PLC) systems are attractive because they can be deployed over existing outdoor and indoor power lines. Power lines, however, have traditionally been designed for one-directional power delivery and remain hostile environments for communication signal propagation. In particular, non-Gaussian noise that is dominated by asynchronous impulsive noise and periodic impulsive noise, is one of the primary factors that limit the communication performance of PLC systems. For my PhD dissertation, I propose transmitter and receiver methods to mitigate the impact of asynchronous impulsive noise and periodic impulsive noise, respectively, on PLC systems. The methods exploit sparsity and/or cyclostationarity of the noise in both time and frequency domains, and require no or minor training overhead prior to data transmission. Compared to conventional PLC systems, the proposed transceivers achieve dramatic improvement (up to 1000x) in coded bit error rates in simulations, while maintaining similar throughput.