Title of Presentation: Autonomous Receiver Configuration

Primary (Corresponding) Author: Jon Hamkins (presented by Sam Dolinar)

Organization of Primary Author: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


Abstract: To meet its aggressive Mars exploration objectives, NASA is designing next-generation software transceiver architectures featuring increased levels of programmability and onboard processing capability.  To take maximum advantage of programmability, configuration autonomy can be built into the radio receivers.  Autonomous configuration reduces operation cost and configuration error, and enables recovery from anomalous events such as an unexpected Doppler profile resulting from an unsuccessful trajectory maneuver.

We present an autonomous radio receiver architecture.  The autonomously radio analyzes an incoming signal and identifies attributes such as the modulation type, data rate, pulse shape, presence or absence of a residual carrier, presence or absence of a subcarrier, and error correcting code.  Initial estimates of these attributes are used to configure a receiver, and the estimates are refined through iterative coupling with the receiver functions of signal-to-noise ratio estimation, carrier phase recovery, and symbol timing recovery.

For Deep Space Network ground receivers, the autonomous radio technology reduces the user burden of reconfiguring receivers as the ground complex transitions from tracking one spacecraft to another.  For in situ receivers, the autonomous radio technology means that little help from Earth is needed to switch between configurations, thus enabling relays from multiple space assets efficiently and cheaply.