This paper investigates the joint maximum likelihood (ML) estimation of the carrier frequency offset, timing error, and carrier phase in burst-mode satellite transmissions over an AWGN channel. The synchronization process is assisted by a training sequence appended in front of each burst and composed of alternating binary symbols. The use of this particular pilot pattern results into an estimation algorithm of affordable complexity that operates in a decoupled fashion. In particular, the frequency offset is measured first and independently of the other parameters. Timing and phase estimates are subsequently computed through simple closed-form expressions. The performance of the proposed scheme is investigated by computer simulation and compared with Cramer-Rao bounds. It turns out that the estimation accuracy is very close to the theoretical limits up to relatively low signal-tonoise ratios. This makes the algorithm well suited for turbo-coded transmissions operating near the Shannon limit.
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