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In IEEE 802.11 Wlan, at the receiver side, we first use packets detection algorithm to detect the start of the packets, and then uses fine symbol timing estimation algorithm to find the start of the data symbol. However, if we can detect the start of the packets, we should be able to find the start of the data symbol since the length of the preamble is known at the receiver, so why would we use still employ the symbol timing estimation algorithm to find the start of the data symbol. The packet structure: Packet structure of 802.11

I guess it because the multipath fading or symbol time offset, but I can't figure out why, could any body explain this? I will really appreciate that, thanks in advance.

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However, if we can detect the start of the packets, we should be able to find the start of the data symbol since the length of the preamble is known at the receiver, so why would we use still employ the symbol timing estimation algorithm to find the start of the data symbol.

The start of packet detection isn't accurate enough. When you look into the properties of OFDM symbol timing recovery methods. you'll notice that they use mathematical tricks to achieve higher timing accuracy.

The main function of the packet detection is to know that you need to synchronize, not to synchronize. (and of course, to avoid collisions)

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