CoupleETC - Coupled Enhanced Turbo Codes Demodulator and Decoder

Start: 01 October 2012
End: 30 April 2014
Funding: European
Status: Due
Division: Communication Systems, Communication Technologies
Department: Advanced Signal and Information Processing (ASIP), Machine to Machine Communications (M2M), Statistical Inference (SI)

The European Space Agency foresees missions like Bepi-Colombo and ExoMars, and future planetary missions to have more demanding requirements in terms of received low signal power and high data rate, requiring improved synchronization, demodulation and decoding schemes.

This study aims at addressing this challenge by focusing on two main objectives. On the one hand to identify, implement and evaluate possible algorithms to allow ESA telemetry receivers using standard TT&C modulations to operate and acquire in real time at extremely low signal to noise ratio. Secondly, to improve the Frame Error Rate (FER) and Bit Error Rate (BER) performance of the standardized Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) Turbo codes in the error floor region.

The CCSDS Turbo codes have coding rates ratios down to 1/6 that achieve reliable frame error rate performance at Energy per bit to noise spectral density ratio values below 0dB. Consequently these families of codes require the receiver to be able to lock to a signal with an extremely low Energy per symbol to noise spectral density ratio (Es/No). In particular, the project will investigate coupled synchronization, demodulation and decoding algorithms that improve receiver operation in the low SNR regime and provide loop lock detection reliably.

Furthermore, the study will develop and implement enhanced turbo decoding algorithms to improve the behaviour of the Turbo codes decoder BER in the error floor region, so that they can be used in a wider range of missions together with a slight improvement in the waterfall region.

The project is organized in two phases. The first phase comprising algorithm development and a second phase devoted to the breadboard implementation of the receiver for testing purposes.

Elements of the ExoMars programme 2016-2018 (source: ESA)



  • Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (CTTC)
  • PilDo Labs, S.L