Aeronautical telemetry systems have historically been implemented with constant envelope modulations like CPM. Shifts in system constraints including reduced available bandwidth and increased throughput demands have caused many in the field to reevaluate traditional methods and design practices. This work examines the costs and benefits of using APSK for aeronautical telemetry instead of CPM. Variable rate turbo codes are used to improve the power efficiency of 16- and 32-APSK. Spectral regrowth in nonlinear power amplifiers when driven by non-constant envelope modulation is also considered. Simulation results show the improved spectral efficiency of this modulation scheme over those currently defined in telemetry standards. Additionally, the impact of transitioning from continuous transmission to burst-mode is considered. Synchronization loops are ineffective in burst-mode communication. Data-aided feed forward algorithms can be used to estimate offsets in carrier phase, frequency, and symbol timing between the transmitter and the receiver. If a data-aided algorithm is used, a portion of the transmitted signal is devoted to a known sequence of pilot symbols. Optimum pilot sequences for the three synchronization parameters are obtained analytically and numerically for different system constraints. The alternating sequence is shown to be optimal given a peak power constraint. Alternatively, synchronization can be accomplished using blind algorithms that do not rely on a priori knowledge of a pilot sequence. If blind algorithms are used, the observation interval can be longer than for data-aided algorithms. There are combinations of pilot sequence length and packet length where data-aided algorithms perform better than blind algorithms and vice versa. The conclusion is that a sequential arrangement of blind algorithms operating over an entire burst performs better than a CRB-achieving data-aided algorithm operating over a short pilot sequence.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Electrical and Computer Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





aeronautical telemetry, turbo-codes, APSK, synchronization, data-aided estimation, blind estimation, symbol timing, carrier frequency, carrier phase