Convolutional Coding At 50 Mbps for the Shuttle Kuband Return Link
AffiliationLyndon B. Johnson Space Center
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AbstractError correcting coding is required for 50 Mbps data link from the Shuttle Orbiter through the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) to the ground because of severe power limitations. Convolutional coding has been chosen because the decoding algorithms (sequential and Viterbi) provide significant coding gains at the required bit error probability of 10⁻⁶ and can be implemented at 50 Mbps with moderate hardware. While a 50 Mbps sequential decoder has been built, the highest data rate achieved for a Viterbi decoder is 10 Mbps. Thus, five multiplexed 10 Mbps Viterbi decoders must be used to provide a 50 Mbps data rate. This paper discusses the tradeoffs which were considered when selecting the multiplexed Viterbi decoder approach for this application.
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