Applying 3G WCDMA Technology to MUOS



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This new courseprovides a detailed review of the characteristics of the 3G mobile wireless standard and its adaptation to satellite communications in general and the MUOS system in particular. While 3G has become common throughout the US and overseas, it was designed for the terrestrial environment with short path lengths, high degrees of mobility, and operation in the widest range of physical environments. It also supports numerous different types of user devices and delivers good performance at low to medium bit rates. IP services are combined with voice to provide users with a rich experience. Many of these benefits will accrue to military users of 3G when it is applied over MUOS. However, the fact that MUOS is a GEO satellite system and uses the UHF spectrum around 300 MHz poses many challenges to the developer and operator. This course delves into the basic principles of the 3G standard and air interface. We review where changes are needed and how they are being addressed, based on publically available documents. The three-day course is intended for satellite communications engineers and technicians who already understand basic principles of satellite links and equipment; familiarity with terrestrial wireless systems is not required as these are covered as needed.

Course Outline:

    1. Mobile Satellite System Principles
          1.1. GEO satellites


      • 1.1.1. Multibeam coverage
      • 1.1.2. Beam to beam interference
      • 1.1.3. Satellite Spectrum (300 MHz UHF versus L and S bands)
      • 1.2. General Comparison of 3G Wireless and Satellite
      • 1.3. UHF Propagation for MSS Links
      • 1.3.1. Lineofsight
      • 1.3.2. Multipath – Ricean vs. Rayleigh fading
      • 1.3.3. Impact of the Ionosphere (Scintillation, Dispersion and Faraday Effect)
      • 1.3.4. Shadowing and Blockage
      • 1.3.5. Realistic Environments for GEO MSS
      • 1.3.6. Propagation Delay and Delay Spread
      • 1.3.7. Application of Time Diversity
      • 1.4. Waveforms vs. the Air Interface
      • 1.4.1. Basic Transmission Architecture (multiplexing, encoding, FEC, spreading, modulation)
      • 1.4.2. Adapting to varying channel demands
      • 1.4.3. Voice Quality of Vocoder Systems (G.729, MELPe, etc.)
      • 1.4.4. Call and Service Management through an Air Interface Standard
      • 1.5. CDMA using Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum
      • 1.5.1. Spreading using Walsh Codes
      • 1.5.2. Despreading
      • 1.5.3. Power Control (Open Loop and Closed Loop)
      • 1.5.4. Intra System and Inter System Interference
      • 1.5.5. RAKE Receiver Architecture
      • 1.5.6. Channel and Frequency Tracking
      • 1.5.7. Base Station Beam Combining
      • 1.5.8. Handover (Soft and Hard)
      • 1.6. Frequency Division vs. Time Division Duplex
      • 1.7. Calculating and Measuring Capacity
      • 1.8. User Terminals (Fixed, Portable, Mobile)
      • 1.9. Service Quality
    2. 3G Architecture and Technology
          2.1. Requirements for Layers of 3G


      • 2.2. Primary Elements
      • 2.2.1. Core Network
      • 2.2.2. Access Network – Radio Network Controller and Node Bs
      • 2.2.3. User Equipment
      • 2.3. Physical Layer Principles
      • 2.3.1. Time Frame Structure and 10 ms Timing
      • 2.3.2. Uplink (return link) Design
      • 2.3.3. Downlink (forward link) Design
      • 2.3.4. Acquisition Structure – Slotted ALOHA
      • 2.3.5. Data Rate Matching
      • 2.3.6. Spreading and Despreading (OVSF, scrambling and synchronization)
      • 2.3.7. Error Detect

ion, Correction and FEC Options

  1. Vehicle
    • 3.3.4. Manpack
    • 3.3.5. Handheld (typical configuration, antennas, link budget)
    • 3.4. Base Stations
    • 3.4.1. Kaband
    • Links to Radio Access Facility
    • 3.4.2. Kaband
    • Feeder Link Availability
    • Integration of 3G with Mobile Satellite
    • Necessary Modifications to the 3G Air Interface/Waveform
    • Propagation on GEO MSS Paths
    • Call Handling
    • Quality of Service
    • Link Budget Analysis Examples
    • Required Eb/No and Eb/Io
    • Link Margin
    • Downlink Example (Forward Link)
    • Uplink Example (Return Link)
    • WCDMA Radio System Engineering for MSS
    • Base Station Design (Node B)
    • Coverage and Capacity
    • Interference Analysis and Mitigation
    • Intersystem Interference
    • Testing and Deployment Strategies


Bruce R. Elbert, MSEE, MBA, Adjunct Professor, College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Mr. Elbert is a recognized satellite communications expert and has been involved in the satellite and telecommunications industries for over 30 years. He founded ATSI to assist major private and public sector organizations that develop and operate cutting-edge networks using satellite technologies and services. Assignments included a thorough investigation into the design and operation of the Iridium system; development of performance models for a proposed in-flight digital video program delivery system; and design of a satellite network to extend interactive broadband services into the Asia-Pacific region. During 25 years with Hughes Electronics, he directed the design of several major satellite projects, including the Hughes GEO Mobile Satellite System, adopted for Thuraya; Palapa A, Indonesia’s original satellite system; and the Galaxy follow-on system (the largest and most successful satellite TV system in the world). By considering the technical, business, and operational aspects of satellite systems, Mr. Elbert has contributed to the operating success of leading organizations in the field. He has written seven books on telecommunications and IT, including Introduction to Satellite Communication, Third Edition (Artech House, 2008),The Satellite Communication Applications Handbook, Second Edition (Artech House, 2004); and The Satellite Communication Ground Segment and Earth Station Handbook (Artech House, 2001).

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