This thesis describes the application of commercially available microprocessors and other VLSI devices to high-speed real-time digital correlation in spread spectrum and related communication applications. Spread spectrum communications are a wide-band secure communication system that generate a very broad spectral bandwidth signal that is therefore hard to detect in noise. They are capable of rejecting intentional or unintentional jamming, and are insensitive to the multipath and fading that affects conventional high frequency systems. The bandwidth of spread spectrum systems must be large to obtain a significant performance improvement. This means that the sequence rate must be fast and therefore very fast microprocessors will be required when they are used to perform spread spectrum correlation. Since multiplication cannot be performed efficiently by microprocessors considerable work, since 1974, has been published in the literature which is devoted to minimising the requirement of multiplications in digital correlation and other signal processing algorithms. These fast techniques are investigated and implemented using general-purpose microprocessors. The restricted-bandwidth problem in microprocessor-based digital correlator has been discussed. A new implementation is suggested which uses bit-slice devices to maintain the flexibility of microprocessor-based digital correlation without sacrificing speed. This microprocessor-based system has been found to be efficient in implementing the correlation process at the baseband in the digital domain as well as the post-correlation signal processing- demodulation, detection and tracking, especiaJIy for low rate signals. A charge coupled-device is used to obtain spectral density function. An all-digital technique which is programmable for any binary waveform and can be used for achieving initial acquisition and maintaining synchronisation in spread spectrum communications is described. Many of the practical implementation problems are discussed. The receiver performance, which is measured in terms of the acquisition time and the bit-error rate, is also presented and results are obtained which are close to those predicted in the system simulations
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