RFI-SIM simulates the RFI environment to estimate the interference from terrestrial emitters into spacecraft, or vice versa. A high-fidelity simulation of the RFI environment has been developed by employing all antenna-related and radar systemrelated parameters of multiple emitters, as well as that of the desired spacecraft.

In the simulation, the real-time analysis of the interference and its effects on error budgets of a desired radar system is taken into account. This provides a reliable tool for radar system design to deal with RFI issues and to evaluate the sensitivity of various parts of a radar system including antenna pattern, RF front-end and digital processing to RFI signals.

The simulator is capable of a highfidelity, complex, and real-time simulation of RFI environment. It is flexible enough to be employed for various scenarios and for several NASA missions. RFI-SIM can perform the following in support of radar system design and performance analyses:

  • Error budget analyses due to RFI on a space-borne radar system;
  • Sensitivity analysis of the various radar parameters, as well as hardware specs, in the presence of RFI;
  • Verification of the radar system design at several stages of RF and digital components in order to evaluate their robustness against RFI;
  • Assistance in algorithm development for RFI detection and removal approach;
  • Based on the available database, the RFI environment over North America at L-band has been reliably and successfully simulated and validated so it can be used for L-band space-borne radars in the RFI environment; and
  • Estimation of the interference from space-borne radars into terrestrial FAA radars regarding FAA compatibility issues.

This work was done by Hirad Ghaemi and Curtis W. Chen of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Daniel Broderick of the California Institute of Technology at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. NPO-48565

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
RFI-SIM: RFI Simulation Package

(reference NPO-48565) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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This article first appeared in the January, 2013 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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