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Title: A low power HF communication system
Author: Wilson, John Martin
ISNI:       0000 0004 2720 1355
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2012
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The HF band of radio frequencies, from 3-30 MHz, is unique in its property that it is refracted by the ionosphere. This property allows long distance radio telecommunications around the world without requiring infrastructure. High frequency (HF) communication has been largely superseded by satellite and cellular technologies for day-to-day communications, due to the tight bandwidth constraints and technical difficulties inherent in using it. However there is still a need for HF communications devices where existing infrastructure is not available, such as in remote or polar locations, or in emergency situations due to natural disasters. This research is aimed at the development of an asymmetric HF communications link, with a battery-powered remote unit that transmits a small amount of data to a mains-powered base station. New technologies are identified and evaluated for use in the link, with the aim of reducing the power requirements of the remote unit. Error correction techniques are investigated. Low-density parity check (LDPC) codes, which are powerful codes used for forward error correction, are suggested for use in the link. Quasi-cyclic LDPC codes allow the low-power transmitter unit to use a computationally simple encoder based on feedback shift registers for generating the LDPC block codes cheaply. Semi-blind LDPC turbo equalisation is a powerful technique that can be used at the base station which utilises the structure of the LDPC code to encode the data stream. This equalises a received signal with a minimal amount of training data required, reducing the duty cycle of the remote unit. Hybrid automatic repeat request (HARQ) techniques are also investigated, which increase the throughput of a link when data repeats are required. A novel HARQ techniquewas created and proven to increase throughput in links with noise. As the proposed system may be deployed in remote locations, or locations where it might be difficult or undesirable to erect a proper HF antenna, a selection of buried antennas are characterised. A design for a remote unit is suggested. This unit was manufactured and used to test the capability of inexpensive, low power hardware to implement the proposed remote unit algorithms.
Supervisor: Green, Peter Sponsor: HMGCC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HF communications ; LDPC turbo equalisation ; Hybrid-ARQ ; Buried Antennas ; Asymmetric communications systems