K/Ka-Band Very High Data-Rate Receivers: A Viable Solution for Future Moon Exploration Missions

Federico Alimenti, Paolo Mezzanotte, Luca Roselli, Valentina Palazzi, Stefania Bonafoni, Roberto Vincenti Gatti, Luca Rugini, Giuseppe Baruffa, Fabrizio Frescura, Paolo Banelli, Federico Bernardi, Fabrizio Gemma (+13 others)
2019 Electronics  
This paper presents a feasibility study for a very high data rate receiver operating in the K/Ka-band suitable to future Moon exploration missions. The receiver specifications are outlined starting from the mission scenario and from a careful system analysis. The designed architecture uses a low noise front-end to down-convert the incoming K/Ka-band signal into a 3.7 GHz intermediate frequency (IF). For maximum flexibility, a software defined radio (SDR) is adopted for the I/Q demodulation and
more » ... Q demodulation and for the analog to digital conversion (ADC). The decoding operations and the data interface are carried out by a processor based on field programmable gate array (FPGA) circuits. To experimentally verify the above concepts, a preliminary front-end breadboard is implemented, operating between 27.5 and 30 GHz. The breadboard, which uses components off the shelf (COTS) and evaluation boards (EVBs), is characterized by a 46 dB gain, a 3.4 dB noise figure and a − 37 dBm input-referred 1 dB compression point. Finally, a 40 Msym / s quadrature phase shift keying (QPSK) signal is demodulated by means of a commercially available SDR, demonstrating the above concept. The importance of these results is that they have been obtained exploiting a class of miniaturized and low cost microwave integrated circuits currently available on the market, opening the way to a dense communication infrastructure on cislunar space.
doi:10.3390/electronics8030349 fatcat:nnfyb7ro2rczdmce35imbepfim