1.6 GHz Low-Power Cross-Correlator System Enabling Geostationary Earth Orbit Aperture Synthesis
Journal article, 2014
We present a 64-channel cross-correlator system for space-borne synthetic aperture imaging. Two different types of ASICs were developed to fit into this system: An 8-channel comparator ASIC implemented in a 130 nm SiGe BiCMOS process technology performs A/D conversion, while a single 64-channel digital cross-correlator ASIC implemented in a 65 nm CMOS process performs the signal processing. The digital ASIC handles 2016 cross-correlations at up to 3.6 GS/s and has a power dissipation of only 0.13 mW/correlation/GHz at a supply voltage of 1 V. The comparator ASIC can handle sample rates of at least 4.5 GS/s with a power dissipation of 47 mW/channel or 1 GS/s with a power dissipation of 17 mW/channel. The assembled system consists of a single board measuring a mere 136 x 136 mm(2) and weighing only 135 g. The assembled system demonstrates crosstalk of 0.04% between neighboring channels and stability of 800 s. We provide ASIC and system-board measurement results that demonstrate that aperture synthesis can be a viable approach for Earth observation from a geostationary Earth orbit.