Flexible Data and Frame Synchronization Structure for the LunaNet PNT Signal

Philip A. Dafesh, Gourav K. Khadge, Nathan S. Wong, and Goran Djuknic

Abstract: A LunaNet Lunar Augmented Navigation Service (LANS) is being developed to enable a position, navigation, and timing service for future Lunar operations [1]. The signal includes two components. An in-phase data channel signal is spread by a 1.023 MCPS ranging code that provides a high-rate data message at 250 bps and is encoded by a strong Low Density Parity Check (LDPC) code. A pilot channel with a 5.115 MCPS spreading code is also provided. The pilot code is configured with a secondary (overlay) code that does not currently provide absolute time or frame Synchronization as is the case for L1C [2] [3]. This work shows the advantage of implementing an overlay structure that provides absolute time for the LunaNet LANS signal structure known as the Augmented Forward Signal (AFS). The LunaNet AFS structure was developed to service two classes of user receivers. The first class is a lowcomplexity user receiver that only receives the 1.023 MCPS signal and does not use the 5.115 MCPS pilot channel. For this class of user, a data frame Sync word is needed. The second class of receiver is a high-end receiver that can process both data and pilot channels to take advantage of the higher chip rate pilot channel for enhanced robustness and improved accuracy. In the current draft LunaNet LANS AFS design, these users must employ the frame Sync word in the data channel and obtain absolute time after decoding the AFS navigation message [2]. The signal structure would greatly benefit from the addition of a pilot overlay structure that provides absolute time and robust frame Sync for high-end users as done for L1C [3]. To provide a more robust and interoperable AFS structure, this work summarizes a study and recommends alternatives for a new overlay code on the pilot channel that provides absolute time and a Sync word approach on the data channel. The overlay code and Sync word are designed to allow for flexible and robust data synchronization for both lowcomplexity and high-end user receivers. The new overlay code structure permits frame synchronization performance that is as good as or better than the L1 C signal, while enabling a determination of absolute time upon frame Sync to aid high-end assisted LANS AFS user receivers at low signal to noise levels. We also present the design of rate-matched 5G new radio (5GNR) LDPC codes that fit within the current 6000- symbol frame size along with a time of interval (TOI) word, frame ID (FID) word, and the remaining LunaNet AFS data message blocks. The paper describes and demonstrates robust frame synchronization performance of the overlay code and Sync word approaches. The results are described in terms of probability of missed detection and probability of false alarm for a correct frame synchronization at low Eb/No levels expected for decoding the TOI word and LDPC encoded data. Advantages of the proposed data synchronization structure will be described along with use cases for low-end and high-end receivers. Practical implementation considerations will also be described.
Published in: Proceedings of the ION 2024 Pacific PNT Meeting
April 15 - 18, 2024
Hilton Waikiki Beach
Honolulu, Hawaii
Pages: 844 - 866
Cite this article: Dafesh, Philip A., Khadge, Gourav K., Wong, Nathan S., Djuknic, Goran, "Flexible Data and Frame Synchronization Structure for the LunaNet PNT Signal," Proceedings of the ION 2024 Pacific PNT Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, April 2024, pp. 844-866. https://doi.org/10.33012/2024.19661
Full Paper: ION Members/Non-Members: 1 Download Credit
Sign In