The Aerospace Corporation has developed an end-to-end testbed to demonstrate a wide range of modern modulation and coding alternatives for future broadcast by the GOES-R Global Rebroadcast (GRB) system. In particular, this paper describes the development of a compact, low cost, flexible GRB digital receiver that was designed, implemented, fabricated, and tested as part of the development. This receiver demonstrates a 10-fold increase in data rate compared to the rate achievable by the current GOES generation, without a major impact on either cost or size. The digital receiver is integrated on a single PCI card with an FPGA device, and analog-to-digital converters. It supports a wide range of modulations (including 8-PSK and 16-QAM) and turbo coding. With appropriate FPGA firmware and software changes, it can also be configured to receive the current (legacy) GOES signals. The receiver has been validated by sending large image files over a high-fidelity satellite channel emulator, including a space-qualified power amplifier and a white noise source. The receiver is a key component of a future GOES-R weather receiver system (also called user terminal) that includes the antenna, low-noise amplifier, downconverter, filters, digital receiver, and receiver system software. This work describes this receiver proof of concept and its application to providing a very credible estimate of the impact of using modern modulation and coding techniques in the future GOES-R system.
Errors due to wireless transmission can have an arbitrarily large impact on a compressed file. A single bit error appearing in the compressed file can propagate during a decompression procedure and destroy the entire granule. Such a loss is unacceptable since this data is critical for a range of applications, including weather prediction and emergency response planning. The impact of a bit error in the compressed granule is very sensitive to the error's location in the file. There is a natural hierarchy of compressed data in terms of impact on the final retrieval products. For the considered compression scheme, errors in some parts of the data yield no noticeable degradation in the final products. We formulate a priority scheme for the compressed data and present an error correction approach based on minimizing impact on the retrieval products. Forward error correction codes (e.g., turbo, LDPC) allow the tradeoff between error correction strength and file inflation (bandwidth expansion). We propose segmenting the compressed data based on its priority and applying different-strength FEC codes to different segments. In this paper we demonstrate that this approach can achieve negligible product degradation while maintaining an overall 3-to-1 compression ratio on the final file. We apply this to AIRS sounder data to demonstrate viability for the sounder on the next-generation GOES-R platform.
This paper presents results obtained from an end-to-end, proof-of-concept system for a GOES-R series satellite communication system, that integrates a multilevel modulator, turbo coding, and a nonlinear traveling wave tube amplifier (TWTA). Multilevel modulation schemes allow high-speed data communications in a limited amount of spectrum, enabling higher data rates for GOES-R user downlink, as compared to the GOES user downlinks within the existing L-band allocation. Bandwidth-efficient modulations, such as 8-PSK and 16-QAM allow transmission of 3 or 4 times more data in the same amount of bandwidth than a standard BPSK modulation. This improvement, however, comes at the price of increased linearity requirements for the end-to-end link. This constraint is especially important for the power amplifier, which is typically a nonlinear device. TWTAs are frequently used on satellites for transmitter power amplification. These high-power devices operate at highest efficiency when in saturation mode. However, their transfer function is highly nonlinear in this mode, causing significant degradation in the link bit error rate (BER).
Applying forward error correction based on turbo codes improves the BER by providing an additional noise margin of up to 5 dB. This paper presents measured BER curves for different Turbo codes, taken at different power levels relative to saturation. The results demonstrate that very low BER (below 10<sup>-10</sup>)can be achieved when using 8-PSK even when operating within 1 dB of saturation. This research and study was done by the Aerospace corporation in support of NOAA, and its future GOES-R series satellites.