AFDM vs OTFS: A comparative study of promising waveforms for ISAC in doubly-dispersive channels

Rou, Hyeon Seok; Freitas de Abreu, Giuseppe Thadeu; Choi, Junil; Gonzalez G., David; Gonsa, Osvaldo; Guan, Yong Lian; Kountouris, Marios
Signal Processing Magazine, Special Issue on ”Signal Processing for the Integrated Sensing and Communications Revolution”, Submitted to ArXiV, 10 September 2023

This white paper aims to briefly describe a proposed article that will provide a thorough comparative study of waveforms designed to exploit the features of doubly-dispersive channels arising in heterogeneous high-mobility scenarios as expected in the beyond fifth generation (B5G) and sixth generation (6G), in relation to their suitability to integrated sensing and communications (ISAC) systems. In particular, the full article will compare the well-established delay-Doppler domain-based orthognal time frequency space (OTFS) and the recently proposed chirp domain-based affine frequency division multiplexing (AFDM) waveforms. Both these waveforms are designed based on a full delayDoppler representation of the time variant (TV) multipath channel, yielding not only robustness and orthogonality of information symbols in high-mobility scenarios, but also a beneficial implication for environment target detection through the inherent capability of estimating the path delay and Doppler shifts, which are standard radar parameters. These modulation schemes are distinct candidates for ISAC in B5G/6G systems, such that a thorough study of their advantages, shortcomings, implications to signal processing, and performance of communication and sensing functions are well in order. In light of the above, a sample of the intended contribution (Special Issue paper) is provided below.

Communication systems
Eurecom Ref:
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