We study the outage performance of orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing dual-hop opportunistic amplify-and-forward relaying in the presence of I/Q imbalance (IQI) in all nodes. We derive a closed-form expression for the end-to-end outage probability for the general case where each node suffers from a different IQI level and assuming that the distance between source and relay is not the same for all relays. Furthermore, we consider the more general case where there is a direct link between the source and the destination and we derive a closed-form expression for the end-to-end outage probability for both maximum-ratio and selection combining at the destination. To gain more insights, we analyze a special case where all relays lie on the perpendicular line midway between source and destination and all nodes experience the same IQI level. Our simulations show excellent match to the analytical results and both demonstrate that uncompensated IQI can be detrimental but it can also be effectively mitigated using a few opportunistic relays. In summary, the main contributions of this paper are analyzing the effect of IQI on the outage probability of an opportunistic relaying system and determining the number of relays needed to effectively mitigate uncompensated IQI.
I/Q imbalance, amplify-and-forward, maximum ratio combining, selection combining, opportunistic relaying, OFDM.