Fallthrough Correlation Techniques for Arbitrary-Phase Spread Spectrum Waveforms
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The use of practically non-repeating spreading codes to generate sequence-based spread spectrum waveforms is a strong method to improve transmission security, by limiting an observer's opportunity to cross-correlate snapshots of the signal into a coherent gain. Such time-varying codes, particularly when used to define multi-bit resolution arbitrary-phase waveforms, present significant challenges to the intended receiver, who must synchronize acquisition processing to match the time-varying code each time it changes. This paper presents a series of options for optimizing the traditional brute-force matched-filter preamble correlator for burst-mode arbitrary-phase spread spectrum signals, achieving significant computational gains and flexibility, backed by measurable results from hardware prototypes built on an Intel Arria 10 Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). The most promising of which requires no embedded multipliers and reduces the total hardware logic by more than 76%. Extensions of the core fallthrough correlator techniques are considered to support low-power asynchronous reception, underlay-based physical layer rewall functions, and Receiver-Assigned Code Division Multiple Access (RA-CDMA) protocols in Internet of Things (IoT)-caliber devices.