A Software Defined Ultra Wideband Transceiver Testbed for Communications, Ranging, or Imaging

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Virginia Tech


Impulse Ultra Wideband (UWB) communications is an emerging technology that promises a number of benefits over traditional narrowband or broadband signals: extremely high data rates, extremely robust operation in dense multipath environments, low probability of intercept/detection, and the ability to operate concurrently with existing users. Unfortunately, most currently available UWB systems are based on dedicated hardware, preventing researchers from investigating algorithms or architectures that take advantage of some of the unique properties of UWB signals.

This dissertation outlines the development of a general purpose software radio transceiver testbed for UWB signals. The testbed is an enabling technology that provides a development platform for investigating ultra wideband communication algorithms (e.g., acquisition, synchronization, modulation, multiple access), ranging or radar (e.g., precision position location, intrusion detection, heart and respiration rate monitoring), and could potentially be used in the area of ultra wideband based medical imaging or vital signs monitoring. As research into impulse ultra wideband expands, the need is greater now than ever for a platform that will allow researchers to collect real-world performance data to corroborate theoretical and simulation results.

Additionally, this dissertation outlines the development of the Time-Interleaved Analog to Digital Converter array which served as the core of the testbed, along with a comprehensive theoretical and simulation-based analysis on the effects of Analog to Digital Converter mismatches in a Time-Interleaved Sampling array when the input signal is an ultra wideband Gaussian Monocycle. Included in the discussion is a thorough overview of the implementation of both a scaled-down prototype as well as the final version of the testbed. This dissertation concludes by evaluating the of the transceiver testbed in terms of the narrowband dynamic range, the accuracy with which it can sample and reconstruct a UWB pulse, and the bit error rate performance of the overall system.



Software Defined Radio (SDR), Ultra Wideband, Time Interleaved Sampling, Field programmable gate arrays, Analog to Digital Converter (ADC), High Speed Digital Design