Match filtering approach for signal acquisition in radio-pulsar navigation

Richard Heusdens, Steven Engelen, Peter J. Buist, Arash Noroozi, Prem Sundaramoorthy, Chris Verhoeven, Marinus Jan Bentum, Eberhard Gill

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Pulsars with their periodic pulses and known positions are ideal beacons for navigation. The challenge, however, is the detection of the very weak pulsar signals that are submerged in noise. Radio based approaches allow the use of advanced techniques and methods for the detection and acquisition of such weak signals. In this paper, an effective signal acquisition method based on epoch folding and matched filtering is proposed that can enable pulsar navigation on spacecraft. Traditionally astronomers use an epoch folding algorithm to search for new pulsars which is a very time and processing power-consuming approach. Since a pulsar navigation system uses signals from known pulsars, advanced algorithms can reduce the time and processing power required for pulsar detection. Applying optimization methods on folding algorithms could lead to an increase in detection speed, however, it is not practical when taking all known signal parameters into account. In this paper a new approach is proposed to reduce the time and processing power further, considering a-priori knowledge such as pulse shape. This approach is based on the concept of matched filtering. Matched filtering is the basic tool for extracting known wavelets from a signal that has been contaminated by noise. A matched filter is obtained by correlating the observation with a template of a known signal, to detect its presence. Such a matched filter is the optimal linear filter for maximizing the signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) in the presence of additive stochastic noise. After a description of the underlying theory, simulations shows that by using this method, significant increases in detection speeds are possible.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publication63rd International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2012)
    Place of PublicationParis. France
    PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation (IAF)
    Number of pages5
    ISBN (Print)1995-6258
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2012
    Event63rd International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2012 - Naples, Italy
    Duration: 1 Oct 20125 Oct 2012
    Conference number: 63

    Publication series

    PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation (IAF)
    ISSN (Print)1995-6258


    Conference63rd International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2012
    Abbreviated titleIAC


    • METIS-289729
    • EWI-22353
    • IR-81942

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