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Node Synchronization for the Viterbi Decoder

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3 Author(s)
Lorden, G. ; Calif. Inst. of Tech. Pasedena, CA, USA ; McEliece, R.J. ; Swanson, L.

Motivated by the needs of NASA's Voyager 2 mission, in this paper we describe an algorithm which detects and corrects losses of node synchronization in convolutionally encoded data. This algorithm, which would be implemented as a hardware device external to a Viterbi decoder, makes statistical decisions about node synch based on the hard-quantized undecoded data stream. We will show that in a worst-case Voyager environment, our method will detect and correct a true loss of synch (thought to be a very rare event) within several hundred bits; many of the resulting outages will be corrected by the outer Reed-Solomon code. At the same time, the mean time between false alarms is on the order of several years, independent of the signal-to-noise ratio.

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Communications, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:32 ,  Issue: 5 )