A parallel-processing algorithm and a hardware architecture to implement the algorithm have been devised for timeslot synchronization in the reception of pulse-position-modulated (PPM) optical or radio signals. As in the cases of some prior algorithms and architectures for parallel, discrete-time, digital processing of signals other than PPM, an incoming broadband signal is divided into multiple parallel narrower-band signals by means of sub-sampling and filtering. The number of parallel streams is chosen so that the frequency content of the narrower-band signals is low enough to enable processing by relatively-low-speed complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) electronic circuitry.
The algorithm and architecture are intended to satisfy requirements for time-varying time-slot synchronization and post-detection filtering, with correction of timing errors independent of estimation of timing errors. They are also intended to afford flexibility for dynamic reconfiguration and upgrading. The architecture is implemented in a reconfigurable CMOS processor in the form of a field-programmable gate array. The algorithm and its hardware implementation incorporate three separate time-varying filter banks for three distinct functions: correction of sub-sample timing errors, post-detection filtering, and post-detection estimation of timing errors. The design of the filter bank for correction of timing errors, the method of estimating timing errors, and the design of a feedback-loop filter are governed by a host of parameters, the most critical one, with regard to processing very broadband signals with CMOS hardware, being the number of parallel streams (equivalently, the rate-reduction parameter).
This work was done by Andrew Gray, Edward Kang, Norman Lay, Victor Vilnrotter, Meera Srinivasan, and Clement Lee of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
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