December 1974 | NTIA Technical Memo OT TM 74 190

Ionospheric scintillation as it affects satellite communication -Part III: Scintillation channel characterization and MPSK performance estimation

Martin Nesenbergs

Abstract: This memorandum is concerned with scintillation effects on digital multiple phase shift keying (MPSK) channels in presence of additive Gaussian noise. The basic channel statistics, such as the correlation bandwidth and related spreads, are introduced first. Later, the function of the demodulator is reviewed and the most popular digital performance index, the bit error probability (P), is pursued. A particular approach, starting from Taylor and ending in Gram-Charlier ex­pansions, is elaborated in detail. A number of useful Pe expansions are given. The choice of a preferred expansion depends on existing knowledge of scintillation statistics, notably the extent of the power delay density, the fading character in the time-frequency domain (such as flat-flat, or other), and the gross magnitudes of the intersymbol inter­ference moments at the detector. The memorandum concludes with an overview of the general intersymbol interference case, as it pertains to scintillation distortions on satellite MPSK links. More realistic radio wave statistics are needed to estimate the modem performance reliably.

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