Sargeant, H.; Interstate Electronics Corporation (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1986-10)
      Predetection recording of spread-spectrum (SS) signals such as GPS transmissions is a desirable objective for both users and developers of equipment designed to receive such signals. (GPS user-equipment development is a lengthy process during which signal simulators are only partially useful.) Upon playback, GPS signals are used by the same or modified receivers so that acquisition, processing, detection and tracking loops can be altered to optimize the receiver parameters. Development of predetect SS signal recording systems is difficult to achieve in practice. Such systems not only must be of suitable phase linearity to preserve the signal content to be extracted but sometimes must also preserve the exact signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) characteristics of the recorded signals. Existing conventional test equipment is unsuitable for deriving value judgments of the quality of a predetect recording system’s output because the SS signal has a negative SNR. This paper reveals that it is possible to use, for this purpose, tape recorders now available on many test ranges in combination with auxiliary equipment similar to that designed for the U.S. Navy’s TRIDENT Program (recording C/A-code data from in-flight missile translators). The basic techniques are described in some detail to enable potential users to understand the necessary equipment concepts and evaluate the author’s approach in terms of their own applications.