Ambient backscatter communication (AmBC) is considered as a promising future emerging technology. Several works on AmBC have been proposed thanks to its convenience and low cost property. This paper focuses on finding the optimal energy detector at the receiver side and estimating the corresponding bit error rate for the communication system utilizing the AmBC. Through theoretical and numerical analyses, we present two important results. First, we improve the existing energy detector by calculating the optimal averaging power orders. Second, we take advantage of the early work on orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM), where the repeating structure of ambient OFDM signals is exploited to cancel out the direct-link interference by using a cyclic prefix, then provide a test statistic in which optimal detection threshold and optimal power order are derived accordingly. The study reveals the inherent limitation of AmBC energy detectors and provides a guidance for achieving optimal power order for a given significance level.
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