Development of a receiver processor for UAV video signal acquisition and tracking using digital phased array antenna
Kaya, Fevzi Aytac
Jenn, David C.
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Air dominance is a key factor concerning today's warfare. Obtaining air dominance requires having a high degree of situational awareness. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have gained popularity for surveillance and reconnaissance missions and provide situational awareness to ground-based military units. During operations it is necessary to maintain an uninterrupted data and control link between the UAV and the ground control station (GCS). This requires GCS antennas with signal-tracking capability. The work on this research was based on an ongoing project that originally started in 2002. The ultimate purpose is to design and build a digital phased-array antenna system that can automatically acquire, track, demodulate and decode video signals from a UAV using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment. Previous work done includes integration of hardware components and development of software modules that allow the array system to auto-track signals from a UAV as well as decode the video signals in a standard format. The research in this thesis focused on allowing the system to demodulatethe video signals acquired by the digital tracking array. The baseband demodulation technique implemented was previously tested with video signals. A new technique utilizing tangent-type demodulation of signals was also implemented and tested using a bench-top test setup.
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