Meeting the Challenge of Direct Sampling of SATCOM Data
Recently a major SATCOM provider came to Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions to see if there was a way to combine the ultra-wideband sampling performance of the multi-gigabit Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADC), and DACs with the high-performance FPGA products into a flexible architecture for a SATCOM product. The goal was to create a product that could be used for land-based stations, as well as for simulation of space based stations. Click here to read the full successful case study.
If data conversion technology was fast enough, signals could be directly sampled by the ADC eliminating the need for the front-end mixer. Direct sampling also enables the full bandwidth to be processed using digital signal processing (DSP) techniques.
By combining the industry leading 12 Gsps (and now 25 Gsps) data converter modules with high-performance FPGA products, a SATCOM system can directly sample S-band and C-band signals with a flexible amount of configurable processing sitting behind it. These modules can also be combined with other general purpose processor modules, switch cards, or recorders to provide even more capability.
While this system was specifically created for a SATCOM application, this same concept can be applied to other wideband communication systems that use S-band or C-band frequency signals. This technique can also be applied to higher rate signaling where down conversion may not be able to be eliminated, but it can be simplified.