Saw; uwb; sdr; ofc; orthogonal frequency coding; matched filter; correlator; spread spectrum; ultra wideband; surface acoustic wave; software defined radio; processing gain; noise; snr; communication system; demodulated; solid state device; bpsk; chirp; bit error rate


Ultra-wideband (UWB) communication technology offers inherent advantages such as the ability to coexist with previously allocated Federal Communications Commission (FCC) frequencies, simple transceiver architecture, and high performance in noisy environments. Spread spectrum techniques offer additional improvements beyond the conventional pulse-based UWB communications. This dissertation implements a multiple-access UWB communication system using a surface acoustic wave (SAW) correlator receiver with orthogonal frequency coding and software defined radio (SDR) base station transmitter. Orthogonal frequency coding (OFC) and pseudorandom noise (PN) coding provide a means for spreading of the UWB data. The use of orthogonal frequency coding (OFC) increases the correlator processing gain (PG) beyond that of code division multiple access (CDMA); providing added code diversity, improved pulse ambiguity, and superior performance in noisy environments. Use of SAW correlators reduces the complexity and power requirements of the receiver architecture by eliminating many of the components needed and reducing the signal processing and timing requirements necessary for digital matched filtering of the complex spreading signal. The OFC receiver correlator code sequence is hard-coded in the device due to the physical SAW implementation. The use of modern SDR forms a dynamic base station architecture which is able to programmatically generate a digitally modulated transmit signal. An embedded Xilinx Zynq ™ system on chip (SoC) technology was used to implement the SDR system; taking advantage of recent advances in digital-to-analog converter (DAC) sampling rates. SDR waveform samples are generated in baseband in-phase and quadrature (I & Q) pairs and upconverted to a 491.52 MHz operational frequency. The development of the OFC SAW correlator ultimately used in the receiver is presented along with a variety of advanced SAW correlator device embodiments. Each SAW correlator device was fabricated on lithium niobate (LiNbO3) with fractional bandwidths in excess of 20%. The SAW correlator device presented for use in system was implemented with a center frequency of 491.52 MHz; matching SDR transmit frequency. Parasitic electromagnetic feedthrough becomes problematic in the packaged SAW correlator after packaging and fixturing due to the wide bandwidths and high operational frequency. The techniques for reduction of parasitic feedthrough are discussed with before and after results showing approximately 10:1 improvement. Correlation and demodulation results are presented using the SAW correlator receiver under operation in an UWB communication system. Bipolar phase shift keying (BPSK) techniques demonstrate OFC modulation and demodulation for a test binary bit sequence. Matched OFC code reception is compared to a mismatched, or cross-correlated, sequence after correlation and demodulation. Finally, the signal-to-noise power ratio (SNR) performance results for the SAW correlator under corruption of a wideband noise source are presented.


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Graduation Date





Malocha, Donald C.


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Degree Program

Engineering and Computer Science








Release Date

August 2015

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science; Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic

Included in

Engineering Commons