Feasibility of a Direct Sampling Dual-Frequency SDR Galileo Receiver for Civil Aviation

Antoine Blais 1
1 SIGNAV - ENAC Equipe TELECOM-SIGNAV
TELECOM - ENAC - Laboratoire de Télécommunications
Abstract : This thesis studies the relevance of DS (Direct Sampling) SDR (Software-Defined Radio) architectures applied to Galileo receivers in the specific context of Civil Aviation, characterized in particular by strict requirements of robustness to interference, in particular, interference caused by DME (Distance Measuring Equipment) or CW (Carrier Wave) signals. The Software Defined Radio concept renders the major tendency, inside the receiver, to move the demodulation part from an analog technology to digital signal processing, that is software. The choice of this kind of design is nearly generalized in new receiver architectures so it was considered the case in this work. The Direct Sampling method consists in digitizing the signal as close as possible to the antenna, typically after the LNA (Low-Noise Amplifier) and the associated RF (Radio Frequency) bandpass filter. So this technique does not use any conversion to an intermediate frequency, using as much as possible the bandpass sampling principle in order to minimize the sampling frequency and consequently the downstream computational costs. What is more, this thesis aiming at the greatest simplification of the analog part of the receiver, the decision was made to suppress the analog AGC (Automatic Gain Control) which equips the receivers of classical architecture. Only fixed gained amplifiers should precede the ADC (Analog to Digital Converter). This document exposes the work done to determine if these choices can apply to a multifrequency (E5a and E1 signals) Galileo receiver intended for a Civil Aviation use. The structure of the document reflects the approach used during this thesis. It progresses step by step from the antenna down to the digital signal, to be processed then by the SDR part. After an introduction detailing the problem to study and its context, the second chapter investigates the Civil Aviation requirements of robustness to interference a satellite navigation receiver must comply with. It is the basis which completely conditions the design process. The third chapter is devoted to the determination of the sampling frequency. Two sampling architectures are proposed: the first implements coherent sampling of the two E5a and E1 bands while the second uses separate sampling. In both cases the necessity to use extra RF filters is shown. The minimum attenuation to be provided by these filters is also specified. These requirements are strong enough to justify a feasibility investigation. It is the subject of chapter four where an experimental study, based on a SAW (Surface Acoustic Wave) filter chip available on the shelf, is related. The issue of the sampling clock jitter, of concern with the Direct Sampling technique because of the high frequency of the signal to digitize, is investigated in chapter five. Some simulation results are presented and a dimensioning of the quality of the sampling clock is proposed. In chapter six, quantization, a byproduct of digitization, is detailed. Precisely it is the calculation of the number of bits the ADC must have to digitally represent the whole dynamic of, not only the useful signal, but also of the potential interference. Considering the high binary throughput highlighted in chapters three and six, chapter seven evaluates the possibility to reduce the coding dynamic of the digital signal at the output of the ADC by means of compression functions. The last chapter is focused on the digital separation of the two E5a and E1 bands in the coherent sampling architecture presented in chapter two. Here also specifications of minimum attenuation are given. Lastly the conclusions synthesize the contributions of this thesis and proposes ideas for future work to enrich them and more generally the subject of DS-SDR Galileo receivers for Civil Aviation.
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Antoine Blais. Feasibility of a Direct Sampling Dual-Frequency SDR Galileo Receiver for Civil Aviation. Signal and Image processing. INP DE TOULOUSE, 2014. English. ⟨tel-01198950⟩

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