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Multiple Uplinks Per Antenna (MUPA) Signal Acquisition Schemes

Show simple item record Morabito, David D. Abraham, Douglas S. 2020-05-04T16:39:44Z 2020-05-04T16:39:44Z 2018-05-28
dc.identifier.citation The 15th International Conference on Space Operations (SpaceOps), Marseille, France, May 28 - June 1, 2018 en_US
dc.identifier.clearanceno 18-2057
dc.description.abstract The Deep Space Network (DSN) currently makes use of the technique of Multiple Spacecraft per Antenna (MSPA) where a single antenna is used to track multiple spacecraft downlinks within its beam, such as in the case of multiple spacecraft orbiting Mars at 8.4 GHz (X-band). It is desired to extend this technique to the uplink where a single station is used to send a signal to multiple spacecraft in order to make more efficient use of ground resources. This would be applicable to numerous smallsat constellations being considered for future missions or to future spacecraft at Venus, Mars, or more distant destinations that are all within the half-power beamwidth of a single 34-m diameter antenna. In one scheme, each spacecraft’s command sequences would be time multiplexed onto a single uplink frequency. Each spacecraft would lock onto the uplink signal and would accept only commands intended for it via special identifier codes. Each spacecraft would also emit a downlink signal to the ground that is coherent with the uplink signal but would have its own allocated frequency channel and identifier information. A couple of key challenges associated with using this technique need to be addressed. Because of the single uplink frequency, coherent turnaround for two-way Doppler and ranging would not conform to established ratios, thus the radios employed by the spacecraft would need to be capable of variable turnaround ratios. In addition, because of the different orbits or spacecraft trajectories, the relative Doppler shifts and rates can be large with respect to the common uplink signal whose frequency would lie at the centroid of the frequencies of the expected received signals of the constellation. This would be problematic with standard analog spacecraft radios whose acquisition bandwidths are relatively small (~1.7 kHz) relative to the large frequency offsets (~100 kHz) expected using the single frequency uplink technique. With the advent of software defined radios (SDRs), signal frequency search algorithms can be utilized within the flight software and/or programmable hardware (e.g., FPGAs) that can easily acquire and track signals with large frequency offsets and varying dynamics. Such techniques could include FFT search algorithms, step-and-sweep search algorithms, or onboard frequency steering making use of trajectory vectors uplinked to each member spacecraft. Other challenges include mitigation of potential interference between received signals. We have identified several software defined radios that are in different stages of development and whose key parameters have been tabulated. We have examined each radio’s capabilities with respect to acquiring and tracking signals with large frequency offsets. Such analyses made use of previous studies supplemented with specially designed tests using both simulation tools and/or existing testbeds. We have compared signal acquisition times computed from provided algorithms along with measured values derived from tests using existing hardware and simulation tools for the purpose of conducting tradeoff studies between the various radio designs and software/firmware programming approaches. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship NASA/JPL en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Pasadena, CA: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2018 en_US
dc.title Multiple Uplinks Per Antenna (MUPA) Signal Acquisition Schemes en_US
dc.type Preprint en_US

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