• Design and Implementation of the Next Generation Landsat Satellite Communications System

      Mah, Grant; O'Brien, Mike; Garon, Howard; Mott, Claire; Ames, Alan; Dearth, Ken; United States Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resource Observations and Science (EROS) Center; Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies (SGT, Inc.); Muniz; Orbital Sciences Corporation; et al. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2012-10)
      The next generation Landsat satellite, Landsat 8 (L8), also known as the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM), uses a highly spectrally efficient modulation and data formatting approach to provide large amounts of downlink (D/L) bandwidth in a limited X-Band spectrum allocation. In addition to purely data throughput and bandwidth considerations, there were a number of additional constraints based on operational considerations for prevention of interference with the NASA Deep-Space Network (DSN) band just above the L8 D/L band, minimization of jitter contributions to prevent impacts to instrument performance, and the need to provide an interface to the Landsat International Cooperator (IC) community. A series of trade studies were conducted to consider either X- or Ka-Band, modulation type, and antenna coverage type, prior to the release of the request for proposal (RFP) for the spacecraft. Through use of the spectrally efficient rate-7/8 Low-Density Parity-Check error-correction coding and novel filtering, an XBand frequency plan was developed that balances all the constraints and considerations, while providing world-class link performance, fitting 384 Mbits/sec of data into the 375 MHz X-Band allocation with bit-error rates better than 10⁻¹² using an earth-coverage antenna.