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In this paper, a method is proposed to construct spectral-efficient unitary space-time codes for high-rate differential communications over multiple-antenna channels. Unlike most of the known methods which are designed to maximize the diversity product (the minimum determinant distance), the authors' objective is to increase the spectral efficiency. The simulation results indicate that for high spectral efficiency and for more than one receive antenna, the new method significantly outperforms the existing alternatives. In the special case of two transmit antennas, which is the main focus of this paper, the relation between the proposed code and the Alamouti scheme helps them to provide an efficient Maximum Likelihood (ML) decoding algorithm.
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