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Real-Time Detection and Filtering of Radio Frequency Interference On-board a Spaceborne Microwave Radiometer: The CubeRRT Mission

Johnson, Joel T. and Ball, Chris and Chen, Chi-Chih and McKelvey, Christa and Smith, Graeme E. and Andrews, Mark and O'Brien, Andrew and Garry, J. Landon and Misra, Sidharth and Bendig, Rudi and Felten, Carl and Brown, Shannon and Jarnot, Robert F. and Kocz, Jonathon and Horgan, Kevin and Lucey, Jared F. and Knuble, Joseph J. and Solly, Mike and Duran-Aviles, Carlos and Peng, Jinzheng and Bradley, Damon and Piepmeier, Jeffrey R. and Laczkowski, Doug and Pallas, Matt and Monahan, Nick and Krauss, Ervin (2020) Real-Time Detection and Filtering of Radio Frequency Interference On-board a Spaceborne Microwave Radiometer: The CubeRRT Mission. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 13 . pp. 1610-1624. ISSN 1939-1404.

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The Cubesat Radiometer Radio frequency interference Technology validation mission (CubeRRT) was developed to demonstrate real-time on-board detection and filtering of radio frequency interference (RFI) for wide bandwidth microwave radiometers. CubeRRT’s key technology is its radiometer digital backend (RDB) that is capable of measuring an instantaneous bandwidth of 1 GHz and of filtering the input signal into an estimated total power with and without RFI contributions. CubeRRT’s on-board RFI processing capability dramatically reduces the volume of data that must be downlinked to the ground and eliminates the need for ground-based RFI processing. RFI detection is performed by resolving the input bandwidth into 128 frequency sub-channels, with the kurtosis of each sub-channel and the variations in power across frequency used to detect non-thermal contributions. RFI filtering is performed by removing corrupted frequency sub-channels prior to the computation of the total channel power. The 1 GHz bandwidth input signals processed by the RDB are obtained from the payload’s antenna (ANT) and radiometer front end (RFE) subsystems that are capable of tuning across RF center frequencies from 6 to 40 GHz. The CubeRRT payload was installed into a 6U spacecraft bus provided by Blue Canyon Technologies that provides spacecraft power, communications, data management, and navigation functions. The design, development, integration and test, and on-orbit operations of CubeRRT are described in this paper. The spacecraft was delivered on March 22nd, 2018 for launch to the International Space Station (ISS) on May 21st, 2018. Since its deployment from the ISS on July 13th, 2018, the CubeRRT RDB has completed more than 5000 hours of operation successfully, validating its robustness as an RFI processor. Although CubeRRT’s RFE subsystem ceased operating on September 8th, 2018, causing the RDB input thereafter to consist only of internally generated noise, CubeRRT’s key RDB technology continues to operate without issue and has demonstrated its capabilities as a valuable subsystem for future radiometry missions.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Johnson, Joel T.0000-0002-6921-6059
Chen, Chi-Chih0000-0001-6016-7708
Smith, Graeme E.0000-0002-4877-8845
Andrews, Mark0000-0001-6088-2832
Garry, J. Landon0000-0002-1859-5175
Misra, Sidharth0000-0003-1738-6635
Felten, Carl0000-0002-9963-4147
Brown, Shannon0000-0002-7566-8537
Kocz, Jonathon0000-0003-0249-7586
Lucey, Jared F.0000-0002-0456-4896
Peng, Jinzheng0000-0003-2213-7182
Additional Information:© 2020 IEEE. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. Manuscript received October 23, 2019; revised February 1, 2020; accepted February 15, 2020. Date of publication April 8, 2020; date of current version April 30, 2020. The CubeRRT project was sponsored by the In-space Validation of Earth Science Technologies (InVEST) program of NASA’s Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO), under Grant NNX16AC25G. This work was supported in part by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (80NM0018D0004).
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Subject Keywords:Microwave radiometry, passive microwave remote sensing, radio frequency interference (RFI)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200417-101904824
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Official Citation:J. T. Johnson et al., "Real-Time Detection and Filtering of Radio Frequency Interference Onboard a Spaceborne Microwave Radiometer: The CubeRRT Mission," in IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, vol. 13, pp. 1610-1624, 2020, doi: 10.1109/JSTARS.2020.2978016
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:102595
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Apr 2020 18:03
Last Modified:05 May 2020 20:16

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