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Communications Research Group

21 November 2023

UC's Communications Research Group (UCCRG) is one of the largest research groups at UC and in our Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. We're engaged in an active programme of research, primarily in wireless communications. Learn more about the Communications Research Group.


Projects under way include work on advanced coding and modulation, adaptive receivers and equalisers, space-time channel models, space-time and MIMO processing and coding, smart antenna systems, radio frequency filtering structures, cooperative and relay communications and cognitive radio.

In addition to the theoretical projects undertaken, the communications research group works closely with the Wireless Research Centre on a number of applied projects.

What the Communications Research Group?

The Communications Research Group (UCCRG) is one of the largest research group in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as well as in the university.

The group is engaged in an active programme of research primarily in wireless communications. Projects under way include work on advanced coding and modulation, adaptive receivers and equalisers, space-time processing and coding, cooperative communications, smart antenna systems and macro-diversity systems. Both theoretical and practical projects are available or can be developed depending on the interests of staff and students.

The group is actively collaborating with several New Zealand companies including Tait Communications and MIMO Max, and with Callaghan Innovation, a government research agency, on a number of projects. We collaborate closely with the Wireless Research Centre (WRC) in NZi3 on campus

To find out about the research projects being offered see the postgraduate study page. ME and PhD research projects are being offered by Philippa Martin

The Group is active in research in many facets of communications, the primary areas of interest include

  • Algebraic Coding Theory
  • Coded Modulation Systems
  • Optimum and Sub-Optimum Reduced Complexity Receiver Design
  • Digital Signal Processing (DSP) Algorithms and Systems Implementation
  • Smart Antenna Systems
  • Space-Time Processing
  • Space-Time Coding
  • Blind Adaptation
  • High Speed Networks
  • Cognitive Radio
  • Cooperative / distributed communications
  • Multiuser Systems

There is the possibility of Fellowships being developed with local industry in conjunction with WRC. In addition, a very limited number of summer internships may be available for top students in any given year. Our summer is November - February. Finally, internships at other times of the year must be for longer periods and should be self supporting. The University of Canterbury offers various scholarships. Information is available on the scholarships website.

  • Tahir Malik and Des Taylor: The development of a new approach to ultra wideband radio based on carrier-less amplitude phase modulation embedded in pulse position modulation. This approach can provide a means of transmitting a wideband pilot to perform channel estimation and synchronization with no additional overhead requirement.
  • Uzma Afsheen, Philippa Martin and Peter Smith: We have designed space time state trellis codes (STSTCs) using reconfigurable antennas. They achieve full rate, full diversity and high coding gain. They outperform existing SOSTTCs.
  • Sarhad Basharati and Des Taylor: The use of multiple amplitude minimum shift keying (MAMSK) has been investigated in the context of MIMO and relaying. It provides a natural use of superposition modulation for relaying.
  • Khawaja Tauseef Tasneem, Philippa Martin and Des Taylor: Ant colony optimization can be used to achieve ML detection performance with significantly reduced complexity even under overloaded conditions.
  • Len Cimini (Univ of Delaware), Katie Wilson (Univ of California), Gubong Lim (Uiv of Delaware) Des Taylor: A recently published result shows that rather than use the commonly employed technique of bit loading to optimize the throughput of OFDM signalling, it is better to use a high level modulation such as 64-QAM coupled with error control coding and to lower the sub-channel code rate as channel conditions deteriorate.
  • Philippa Martin, Peter Smith and Ross Murch (HKUST): Reconfigurable antennas can be used to periodically change the channel experienced by signals. This can be used to mimic much faster fading environments when using error control coding.
  • Bill Tranter (Virginia Tech) and Des Taylor: To simulate Rayleigh fading, any nth-order Butterworth filter with n > 2 and with appropriately chosen 3-dB cutoff frequency can replace the Doppler filter resulting in a Rayleigh fading process with identical average fading statistics and very similar fade duration statistics.
  • Tri Pham, Philippa Martin, Des Taylor and Clive Horn (Tait Communications): We have found that using multiple lookup tables, optimized to different parameter combinations, we can improve receiver performance for practical CPM receivers. A SOVA based iterative receiver has also been developed.

Academic Staff

Adjunct Staff

Postgraduate Students

  • Tri Minh Pham
  • Uzma Afsheen
  • Effariza Hanafi
  • Tahir Malik
  • Ghassem Narimani
  • Zahid Rauf
  • Khawaja Tauseef Tasneem
  • Wan Amirul Wan Mohd Mohiyiddin
  • Khawla Alnajjar

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