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Aligning a Receiving Antenna Array to Reduce InterferenceA digital signal-processing algorithm has been devised as a means of aligning (as defined below) the outputs of multiple receiving radio antennas in a large array for the purpose of receiving a desired weak signal transmitted by a single distant source in the presence of an interfering signal that (1) originates at another source lying within the antenna beam and (2) occupies a frequency band significantly wider than that of the desired signal. In the original intended application of the algorithm, the desired weak signal is a spacecraft telemetry signal, the antennas are spacecraft-tracking antennas in NASA s Deep Space Network, and the source of the wide-band interfering signal is typically a radio galaxy or a planet that lies along or near the line of sight to the spacecraft. The algorithm could also afford the ability to discriminate between desired narrow-band and nearby undesired wide-band sources in related applications that include satellite and terrestrial radio communications and radio astronomy. The development of the present algorithm involved modification of a prior algorithm called SUMPLE and a predecessor called SIMPLE. SUMPLE was described in Algorithm for Aligning an Array of Receiving Radio Antennas (NPO-40574), NASA Tech Briefs Vol. 30, No. 4 (April 2006), page 54. To recapitulate: As used here, aligning signifies adjusting the delays and phases of the outputs from the various antennas so that their relatively weak replicas of the desired signal can be added coherently to increase the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for improved reception, as though one had a single larger antenna. Prior to the development of SUMPLE, it was common practice to effect alignment by means of a process that involves correlation of signals in pairs. SIMPLE is an example of an algorithm that effects such a process. SUMPLE also involves correlations, but the correlations are not performed in pairs. Instead, in a partly iterative process, each signal is appropriately weighted and then correlated with a composite signal equal to the sum of the other signals.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Document Type
Other - NASA Tech Brief
Jongeling, Andre P.
(California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Rogstad, David H.
(Santa Barbara Applied Research United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 2009
Publication Information
Publication: NASA Tech Briefs, August 2009
Subject Category
Technology Utilization And Surface Transportation
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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