Antenna diversity improves communications in fading channels but carries the expense of extra antennas at each terminal. An alternative, currently being investigated in the literature, is cooperative communication, where single antennas at each terminal are shared for deploying diversity within a network. The associated expense is the extra spectral resource required for the cooperation. To determine the potential performance of cooperative communications, new analyses are required. In this thesis, decode-and-forward relaying is analyzed for the uncoded error performance over different fading channels. The channels are Rayleigh, Rician, Nakagami-m, and Nakagami-q, and these are referred to as generalized fading. Under major assumptions within the transmission system modeling, new error rate expressions are derived, and transmit power allocation schemes are formulated for the relay nodes. The analysis is verified by statistical simulation. Setting aside the extra spectral requirements, the modeled cooperative communications system is demonstrated to work well.
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