Previously, noncoherent sequence detection schemes for coded linear and continuous phase modulations have been proposed, which deliver hard decisions by means of a Viterbi algorithm. The current trend in digital transmission systems toward iterative decoding algorithms motivates an extension of these schemes. In this paper, we propose two noncoherent soft-output decoding algorithms. The first solution has a structure similar to that of the well-known algorithm by Bahl et al. (1974), whereas the second is based on noncoherent sequence detection and a reduced-state soft-output Viterbi algorithm. Applications to the combined detection and decoding of differential or convolutional codes are considered. Further applications to noncoherent iterative decoding of turbo codes and serially concatenated interleaved codes are also considered. The proposed noncoherent detection schemes exhibit moderate performance loss with respect to corresponding coherent schemes and are very robust to phase and frequency instabilities.
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