C.Campa, P.D'Alessandro, E.Rossini (Contraves Italiana SpA):   A General Purpose Processing System Based On Digital Signal Processors; ICSPAT (International Conference on Signal Processing Applications & Tecnology); 1993.

Single chip digital signal processors (DSP) for real time applications have become very common. However the hardware architecture and the data communication protocol between the processing elements (PE) strongly depend on the application. This problem has often been solved by realising specialised elaboration systems, or by designing single PE with very complex and expensive interfaces in order to obtain a large flexibility. In this paper an overview on multi-micro, real-time processing system design criteria are given. Then a simple and cheap PE structure based on DSPs is presented, which is able to realise a powerful general purpose processing system (GPPS). Two different applications of the GPPS will be described, the first in the RADAR field, the second concerning the image processing.

G.Chiassarini, G.Cangini, G.Chiarini, M.Gouta, E.Rossini, P.Tabacco (Space Enginnering SpA) - V.Piloni, R.Novello (Alenia Aerospazio): Implementation In Single ASIC Chip Of A Multi-Carrier SCPC-TDMA Demodulator For A Regenerative DVB Payload; Ninth Annual ICSPAT (International Conference on Signal Processing Applications & Tecnology); 1998.  (full text in PDF format)

This paper presents the functionality and performance of an ASIC implementing a digital multi-carrier demultiplexer and demodulator (MCDD) for a digital video broadcasting (DVB) payload. The multi-carrier demodulator has to be suitable for either single or multiple QPSK continuous (SCPC) or TDMA mode carriers. The system requirements are such that any mixture of 'high' rate (6 Mbits/sec) 'low' rate carriers (2 Mbits/sec) is permissible and the carriers access independently and asynchronously. These requirements imply flexible and efficient demodulator architecture implemented by means of VHDL. The demodulator ASIC receives a 'high' rate carrier at an intermediate frequency (IF) equal to ¼ of sampling rate. After the anti-aliasing filter, a single ADC sample the input data at the fixed sampling rate of 14.666 MHz. Each high rate carrier is than processed in continuous or TDMA mode. In case of 'low' rate carriers an input polyphase filter is activated to demultiplex simultaneously 'three' low rate carriers. All the carriers are simultaneously processed by the demodulator, which provides in this case three data stream. The specifications about input carrier frequency and power unbalance are severe and require specific attention, especially in TDMA mode.

P.Tabacco, G.Cangini, G.Chiarini, E.Rossini, M.Gouta, G.Chiassarini (Space Engineering SpA) - V.Piloni (Alenia Aerospazio): Multi-Carrier Demodulator ASIC Design For The Skyplex 2nd Generation OnBoard Processor; ESA/ESTEC - DSP98 Workshop; 1998. (full text in PDF format)

This paper presents the functionality and performance of the Multi-Carrier Digital Demodulator (MCDD) ASIC developed for the Skyplex 2nd generation on board processor to be embarked on the Hot Bird V satellite. The Skyplex 2nd generation processor will provide commercial DVB compliant services, i.e. DTH DTV, Internet 'Push' and multimedia applications, within the Hot Bird V coverage area, [1-6]. The demodulator ASIC has to cope with QPSK continuous (SCPC) and TDMA burst mode carriers. The system requirements are such that any mixture of 'low' (2Mbit/s) and 'high' (6Mbit/s) carriers is permissible and the carriers access independently and asynchronously, [4]. These requirements imply flexible and efficient demodulator architecture. The developed demodulator ASIC receives a 'high' rate carrier at an Intermediate Frequency (IF) equal to the symbol rate. After the anti-aliasing filter, a single ADC samples the input data at -at least four samples per symbol -the sampling clock is fixed at 14.6 MHz independently from the carrier and the timing recovery is asynchronous with respect to the input carrier symbol rate. Each 'high' rate carrier either in continuous or burst mode is then demodulated. In case of 'low' rate carriers, an input poly-phase filter is activated to demultiplex 'three' carriers. Three 'low' rate carriers occupying the bandwidth of a single 'high' rate carrier are simultaneously processed by the demodulator, which provides the respective transport streams. Moreover, all three 'low' rate carriers may be either simultaneously active or not. The paper discusses the MCDD functional performance at system level focusing on the most critical issues of the multi-rate operation and the implementation of the synchronisation algorithms. It provides the ASIC hardware description and discusses the aspects of dual VHDL, C++ modelling and co-simulation aspects.

V.Piloni, P.Tabacco, E.Rossini, F.Richichi (Space Engineering SpA): The New Generation of SKYPLEX Multicarrirer Demultiplexer Demodulator ASIC; ESA/DSP2001 - Seventh International Workshop On Digital Signal Processing  Techniques For Space Communication; 2001. (full text in PDF format)

The most important feature of SKYPLEX system is the capability to offer up link data rates from 2 Mbps up to 7.3 Mbps, both in TDMA and SCPC. The satellite On-Board signal processing section is in charge of demodulating and multiplexing several of these asynchronous uplink data flows in a single data stream at 55 Mbps fully compatible with the DVB-S standard.
This paper presents the functionality and performance of the third generation On-Board ASIC, implementing a digital Multi Carrier Demultiplexer and Demodulator (MCDD) for the new SKYPLEX programs. The second generation of SKYPLEX MCDD (operating on Hot BirdTM 5 satellite) was suitable for either single high rate or triple low rate multiple QPSK continuous (SCPC) and TDMA mode carriers. Any combination of low rate carriers (~2 Mbps) is permissible and the carriers are independent and asynchronous to each other. Presently, the operation working point of the Skyplex Unit in terms of Eb/No is about 11 dB.
The third generation of SKYPLEX will provide commercial DVB compliant services, i.e. DTH DTV, Internet 'Push' and multimedia applications, within the Hot BirdTM 6 coverage area. They shall also support data transmission, and more complex traffic routing policies. The goal is to minimise the uplink station RF power and ground antenna size. A reduced complexity and hence lower cost for the TDMA network implementation is the main objective for the effective utilisation of the SKYPLEX system for thousands of users.
These stringent requirements have been satisfied including DVB-RCS MPEG Packet Turbo Coding FECs in the uplink (R=4/5) and 6/7). The new Eb/No working range is between 6 - 7 dB. This new value for Eb/No creates a severe operational environment for correct carrier demodulation and TDMA operation, hence a more complex design for the MCDD implementation.

G. Mocci, A. Di Fazio, F.  De Piccoli (Telespazio SpA), F. Six (Thales), G. Chiassarini, E. Rossini (Space Engineering): Advanced Signal And Data Processing Within The GAUSS Project; ESA/DSP2001 - Seventh International Workshop On Digital Signal Processing Techniques For Space Communication; 2001. (full text in PDF format)

GAUSS (Galileo And S-UMTS Synergetic System) is a Research and Technological Development project co-funded by the European Commission, within the frame of the Information Society Technologies (IST) Programme. GAUSS main innovation is to analyse and demonstrate the potential synergy between Satellite Navigation and Communications, by proposing a solution for providing value-added services oriented to the mobility and transport management.
The main concept on which the GAUSS solution is based on, envisages the synergetic integration of the GALILEO Navigation and S-UMTS Communication systems, to provide advanced location-based services specifically addressing Info-Mobility and Inter-Modality.

A. Di Fazio (Telespazio SpA), A.Vernucci, E. Rossini (Space Engineering SpA): GAUSS Project Trials Results; First International Conf. on Advanced Satellite Mobile Systems (ASMS2003) 10-11 July 2003, Frascati, Italy (ESA SP-541, July 2003). (full text in PDF format)

GAUSS is a Research and Technological Development project co-funded by European Commission, within the frame of the IST (Information Society Technologies) V Programme. It is a two-year project, starting from December 2000, and successfully completed.
GAUSS objective was to design and demonstrate the feasibility of a system providing Location-based services, from the integration of Satellite Navigation and Communications, within the contexts of GALILEO and the UMTS technology.
The GAUSS proposed solution supports highly reliable, near real-time two-way communication between Mobile Users and Service Centre/Provider. The services considered for GAUSS are based on exchange at low data rate transmission of small data packets carrying very accurate positioning & timing information, as typically required by Info-Mobility and Inter-Modality oriented applications. These services are characterised by bursty and unbalanced traffic, generated by a large number of Mobile Users towards a relatively small number of Service Providers, and viceversa from the Service Providers towards widely geographically sparse Mobile Users (i.e. greater amount of traffic in the return link with respect to the forward link).

E. Rossini, C. Campa, G. Chiassarini, G. D'orazio, D. Gianfelici, M. Marsella (Space Engineering SpA): Programmable Single Board Spread Spectrum Digital Modem; ESA/SPSC2003 (8th International Workshop on Signal Processing for Space Communications), Catania, Italy Sept24-26, 2003. (full text in PDF format)

Space Engineering SpA has recently developed a multi-processor, multi-FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array), compact platform, including a multiple analog interface based on high-speed and high-accuracy ADC (Analog to Digital Converter) and DAC (Digital to Analog Converter).
The platform with related software is intended to be a potentially powerful development system for the implementation of spread spectrum digital modems for satellite and terrestrial communications. The platform however is compact and flexible in order to be adapted the real user needs in terms of performance and cost.
The platform is in fact a self-standing single board, housed in a small 19' drawer with 220 V power supply, local display and keyboard. It can be also remotely controlled by a personal computer via high-speed serial interfaces.
The platform has been used to implement modulators, demodulators and interference generators, for S-UMTS and T-UMTS (Satellite and Terrestrial Universal Mobile Telecommunication System) working in DS-CDMA (Direct Sequence Code Division Multiple Access) in the frame of several ESA (European Space Agency) and EC (European Community) programs.
Moreover complete terminals for voice/data transmission and wide-band interference generators have been implemented for wide-band FH-FDMA (Frequency Hopping Frequency Division Multiple Access).
The versatility of the board has allowed addressing the effort on the algorithm's design while maintaining the same hardware platform. A large variety of algorithms have been developed in the frame of digital modems mainly using the VHDL (Very high speed Hardware Description Language) language to configure the FPGA devices and the C language to program the DSP (Digital Signal Processor). This paper focuses the attention on the complexity analysis of the implemented algorithms and on their partitioning to achieve an optimum mapping on the available programmable devices.

E.Rossini, M.Albani (Space Engineering SpA), P.Balletta (Telespazio SpA): Multiple Gateways Synchronous CDMA Access in the Framework of COMPOSE; ESA/SPSC2003 (8th International Workshop on Signal Processing for Space Communications), Catania, Italy Sept24-26, 2003. (full text in PDF format)

COMPOSE (Composition Of Mobile Pre-trip, On-trip SErvices) is a Research and Technology Development project co-funded by the European Commission and aiming to define the specifications of an innovative mobile service scenario for travelers and to demonstrate the effectiveness of new Location-Based and Broadcast/Multicast services.
This goal will be achieved by means of a comprehensive service Test-Bed (the COMPOSE Demonstrator) combining the exploitation of terrestrial and satellite communication and navigation facilities together with Geographical Information (GI) contents. The full coverage of mobile users needs (both pre-trip and on-trip), combined with a single user access point to continuously broadcasted general information (finance, traffic, news and weather forecasting) and on demand information (messages, point of interest, route guidance, etc…) is the COMPOSE service concept. In the COMPOSE on-trip framework in particular, users will have wireless-link access to both broadcast/multicast one-way services through an S-UMTS (Satellite Universal Mobile Telecommunication System) standard compliant satellite link and point-to-point two-way location-based services through a GPRS (General Packet Radio Services) terrestrial link.
This paper is mainly focused on the broadcast/multicast services provision and in particular on the synchronization strategy adopted and implemented in the COMPOSE demonstrator in order to synchronize the transmissions of two different gateways accessing the satellite facilities. This multiple gateway uplink architecture indeed is a very innovative approach extending the SKYPLEX concept, only conceived for operation in the DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting) context, to the S-UMTS CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) technology environment.

A. Di Fazio (Telespazio SpA), G. Mocci (Telespazio SpA), E. Rossini (Space Engineering SpA), G. D'Angelo (Space Engineering SpA), A. Lorelli (Ericsson Telecomunicazioni Italia), A. Jarosh (ASCOM): GAUSS Satellite Solution for Location-Based Services; IJSC - International Journal of Satellite Communications, Wiley, December 2003. (full text in PDF format)

GAUSS (Galileo And UMTS Synergetic System) is a Research and Technological Development project co-funded by European Commission, within the frame of the 5 th IST Programme. The project last two years, starting from December 2000, and it is now successfully completed.
GAUSS main goal is to demonstrate the feasibility of integrating Satellite Navigation GNSS and UMTS communication technology for the development of high quality location based services. The provided services envisage the transmission of small data packets carrying precise positioning & timing information, as required in road info-mobility and safety, emergency assistance and inter-modality applications.
A synergetic combination of GNSS-2 GALILEO and UMTS system was studied, and a Target System using such an integration for providing LBS was designed.
A Demonstrator was built up, by combining new purposely developed hardware and software components with existing facilities. A prototype of user terminal was realised, integrating off-the-shelf equipment and technologically advanced parts, based on GNSS-1, GALILEO and S-UMTS compatible units. Mobile e-safety and transport efficient management are the core of the developed applications, to provide reliable and effective services to citizens: road info-mobility and fleet management, inland waterways vessel traffic management and information, port/terminals appointment monitoring & control, dangerous goods transhipment supervision, emergency assistance.
A trial campaign run into real environments was performed in Summer 2002. GAUSS Demonstrator performances and benefits were validated with the direct involvement of an intermodal transport user, specifically operating in the inland-waterways and roads. Safety-of-life transhipment over the Po River were thoroughly tested and assessed. Applications for emergency assistance, Point of Interest inquiry, localisation and control of commercial fleet were also proven.
GAUSS successfully demonstrated integrated precise Satellite Navigation GNSS1 positioning based on EGNOS and Satellite UMTS packet communication, for provisioning of high quality LBS.
Horizontal accuracy better than 3-m was achieved in the trial area (Northern Italy - Como Lake, Parma and Po River neighbourhoods). The MTB (Mediterranean Test Bed) was utilised because of the poor performance coverage of the ESTB system over the Italian regions. The new technology with respect to the current state-of-the-art, developed within the project was validated during the trial campaign, including the implemented broadcasting and multicasting communication of data packet compliant to 3GPP standard (current release 4). In this framework, GAUSS fruitfully contributed in the activities and results of ETSI SES S-UMTS Working Group and ESA ASMS-TF.
GAUSS results open the way to the development and exploitation of advanced technology supporting high quality, reliable and effective services to citizens for the transport sector and whole mobility domain, in view of GALILEO and UMTS scenarios: emergency and e-safety applications, fleet and freight transport management (rail, road, maritime and inland waterway), hazardous and valuable goods transportation, containers tracking.

R. Hughes, R. Warren, A. Ahmed and A. Couchman (Astrium Ltd.), G. Chiassarini and E. Rossini (Space Engineering S.p.A), P. Angeletti (ESA-ESTEC): High Throughput Fully Processed Payload For Broadband Access Network; 13th Ka and Broadband Communication Conference, Turin, Italy September 24-26, 2007. (full text in pdf format)

In order to compete with terrestrial services, satellite systems for broadband access networks must maximise the useful capacity provided by each satellite. The High Throughput system has  been carefully optimised in terms of capacity as part of an ESA R&D contract. This system provides Ka-band links between approximately one hundred user beams and a network of gateway stations over a regional European coverage from geostationary orbit. On-board digital processing is essential in providing the routing and frequency plan flexibility needed to use  the resources efficiently across so many spot beams. Despite the large bandwidths involved, recent advances in ASIC, mixed signal conversion and digital interconnect technologies, make a  fully processed payload handling up to 50 GHz of processed bandwidth feasible in the relatively  near term. As well as fine channel demultiplexing, fully flexible routing and gain control, the  digital processor also supports digital beamforming across a 500 MHz band, allowing for flexible frequency reuse and coverage that can be reconfigured in orbit. All these functions  can be demonstrated at speed for a reduced number of processing chains using currently available commercial off-the-shelf FPGA-based processing cards.

A. Ferreol and P. Morgand (Thales communications), E. Rossini (Space Engineering): Detection, mitigation and isolation of Galileo interferers; ENC-GNSS 2008 Conference, Toulouse, France April 22-25, 2008. (full text in pdf format)

This paper describes the activities carried out in the framework of the MAGIC (MAnagement of Galileo Interference and Counter measures) project, a GSA European project aimed at analyzing the potential interfering scenarios for the Galileo signals. In particular the main tasks of the project include the study of suitable detection, localization and mitigation strategies to be implemented in a dedicated test bed  in order to validate it with trials on site on synthetic or real existing interferers. The MAGIC test bed realized during the project prefigures an Interferer Observation System (IOS) that allow the detection, classification, mitigation and direction of arrival estimation of the interferer waves. 
In addition, an interferer campaign of measurement and analysis conducted by JR was realized over parts of four European countries as Austria, Italy, France and Germany. 
Finally, the MAGIC project allowed the study and definition of the typical implementation of a GIMS (Galileo Interferer Measurement System) infrastructure based upon Interference Observation Sites (IOS) and Interference Control Centres (ICC). 
These local components are in charged of integrating, processing observations and disseminating the relevant results. The GIMS can be installed in typical areas as airports and harbours where it can be put side by side to already existing LAA (Local Area Augmentation) improving their availability  through protecting the DAT (Differential Augmentation Terminals) against the
interferences. The results achieved during these different items are shown in this article.

E.Rossini and G.Gallinaro (Space Engineering SpA), G.Palmerini, L.Schirone and L.Iess (University "La Sapienza"), D.Giunta (ESA-ESTEC): The Cross-Link Tecnique for Deep Space Missions; EFTF-IFCS 2009 Conference, Besancon, France April 21-24, 2009. (full text in pdf format)
Availability of a precise time reference is a key issue for several space missions. Although atomic clocks already have a good flight experience, they also have heavy requirements in
terms of volume, mass, power and cost, which do not fit all applications. An alternative to this solution is the use of a good precision oscillator which shall be synchronized to a ground
station master clock. The proposed paper illustrates the findings of a recent study promoted by ESA on in-space synchronization methods. The selected approach is based on the cross-link technique.