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Abstract: Power line communication (PLC) has seen a lot of interest in the past few years due to the

almost omnipresent nature of the power line grid. One of the potential applications of power line communication is automatic reading of electric, gas and water meters. Even though automatic meter reading (AMR) is a low data rate application, it demands both high reliability and low computational complexity. Moreover, the power line channel proves unfavorable to reliable communication due to its multipath nature, frequency selective effects, narrowband interference and presence of strong impulse and colored background noises. In this work, we propose an OFDM based modem design for using power lines as a communication medium for AMR to completely meet the reliability and the low complexity demands of AMR. Further, the power line channel manifests a very long impulse response. Hence, to maintain the orthogonality between subcarriers in OFDM and hence be able to effectively use this technology for PLC, the cyclic prefix is constrained to be longer than the long channel impulse response. A novel channel shortening algorithm is presented to reduce the effective length of any channel, which could be used in PLC. The frequency range of interest for AMR applications comprises of CENELEC frequency bands A and B (9 KHz 125 KHz). In this frequency range, the power lines mainly suffer from multipath due to signal reflections, impulse noise and colored background noise. OFDM proves a good solution in this case, due to its inherent capability to mitigate frequency selectivity, multipath etc. and produce impulse peak energy reduction. Hence, the proposed system for using PLC for AMR is designed with IFDM technology. In order to achieve the design requirements/ constraints of AMR, we propose simple diversity schemes in conjunction with OFDM, keeping in mind the impairments witnessed in the notorious power lines. The proposed system is shown to perform better in the power line scenario than the coded OFDM (COFDM) systems, which are otherwise widely used in many wireless applications. We model the various sources of noise encountered in power lines. The multipath effects of the channel are still under investigation. To track the rapidly varying power line channel characteristics, a novel channel estimation scheme is also introduced in the OFDM system with a dynamic distribution of pilots. Though the long impulse response of the PLC channel was overcome in the proposed length of the channel was readily seen as a potential field of research to avoid the resulting reduction in data throughput. Hence, a novel algorithm for designing channel shortening filters is propose, which uses frequency domain adaptation, to shorten the channel impulse response to any predetermined length (usually less than the cyclic prefix length). Since a reliable channel model for power lines was unavailable, the proposed algorithm was evaluated for the well-established DSL channel, which has

similar long impulse response. Its performance in terms of the data throughput and computational complexity is shown to be better that the existing MMSE based channel shortening solutions for DSL. It also matches the shortened channel response more closely to the original channel response without any additional nulls and provides faster and better convergence. Application of this algorithm for PLC is under investigation.