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Adaptive Carrier Tracking for Mars to Earth Communications During Entry, Descent, and Landing

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4 Author(s)
Lopes, C.G. ; Dept. of Electron. Syst., Univ. of Sao Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil ; Satorius, E.H. ; Estabrook, P. ; Sayed, A.H.

We propose a robust and low complexity scheme to estimate and track carrier frequency from signals traveling under low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) conditions in highly nonstationary channels. These scenarios arise in planetary exploration missions subject to high dynamics, such as the Mars exploration rover missions. The method comprises a bank of adaptive linear predictors (ALP) supervised by a convex combiner that dynamically aggregates the individual predictors. The adaptive combination is able to outperform the best individual estimator in the set, which leads to a universal scheme for frequency estimation and tracking. A simple technique for bias compensation considerably improves the ALP performance. It is also shown that retrieval of frequency content by a fast Fourier transform (FFT)-search method, instead of only inspecting the angle of a particular root of the error predictor filter, enhances performance, particularly at very low SNR levels. Simple techniques that enforce frequency continuity improve further the overall performance. In summary we illustrate by extensive simulations that adaptive linear prediction methods render a robust and competitive frequency tracking technique.

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:46 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Oct. 2010

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