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DIGITAL CONCEPTS

Module 1: ASTRO Digital Systems


Contents Topic 1: Motorola ASTRO This topic introduces the features and capabilities of Motorola ASTRO digital radio systems.

Topic 2: Analog and Digital Signals This topic describes the differences between analog and digital signals and shows how analog signals are converted to and from digital form for transmission. Topic 3: Digital Transmitter Operation This topic describes the operation of the ASTO digital radio transmitter and illustrates its component parts.

Topic 4: Digital Receiver Operation This topic describes the operation of the ASTO digital radio receiver and illustrates its component parts.

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Topic 5: APCO Requirements This topic discusses APCO Project 25 and shows how ASTRO digital radio systems are in conformance to Project 25 requirements.

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DIGITAL CONCEPTS

Topic 1: Motorola ASTRO


Introduction Motorola ASTRO systems apply digital technology to narrowband voice radio communication. ASTRO technology delivers excellent voice quality throughout the coverage area and provides enhanced signaling control, greater spectrum efficiency, and improved secure communication.

Frequency Bands Motorola's ASTRO digital systems are available for use in the VHF, UHF, and 800 MHz frequency bands. ASTRO systems provide fully digital operation in a 12.5 kHz narrowband channel and are capable of software upgrades to meet future requirements. ASTRO systems provide analog operation as well as narrowband digital operation. This dual- mode capability allows customers to migrate their current analog systems to a narrowband digital radio system. ASTRO Benefits ASTRO technology provides the following benefits for two-way radio users: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Improved spectrum efficiency Superior audio quality for encrypted communications Enhanced embedded signaling Integrated voice and data on the same channel Radio interface with external data devices through an RS-232-C port Enhanced encryption features Compatibility with existing systems

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DIGITAL CONCEPTS

Topic 2: Analog and Digital Signals


Introduction Much of the information that must be communicated over a digital radio system originates in analog form, most importantly voice. Digital radio systems must also be able to carry other types of analog signals in digital form, such as control signals, tones or tone combinations. The main requirement for analog/digital conversions involves the following two processes: ? Conversion of an analog voice signal into a digital equivalent for transmission. ? Conversion of the received digital signal back into the original analog voice signal. The device used at each end of the communication channel that handles these conversions is called a vocoder.

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Vocoder Operation Conversion of analog voice into a digital equivalent is called voice coding or vocoding. At the receiving end, the vocoding process is used again to decode the voice data stream and reconstruct an analog voice audio signal that drives the radio speaker. In a digital radio system, the vocoder in the transmitter converts the analog sine wave signal into an equivalent square wave digital signal. The vocoder in the receiver converts the digital square wave signal back into the original sine wave analog signal. There are many techniques available for performing these conversions.

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Analog Signals The difference between analog and digital radio is primarily in the format of the modulating signal. In analog radio, the modulating signal normally takes the form of a sine wave. The sine wave used in transmitting an analog voice signal is called a sinusoidal wave form. The wave form represents an analog electrical signal that contains both analog voice and analog tone signaling information. The frequency of the sine wave signal is a measure of the number of times the wave form repeats each second.

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Digital Signals In digital radio, the modulating signal normally takes the form of a stream of bits or symbols that represent data. As with analog transmission, the digital data stream is represented in the form of an electrical signal. The bits are represented as abruptly changing voltage levels that create a modulating signal that takes the form of a square wave. A square wave is a cyclic, uniform, repeating wave form. The frequency of the signal is a measure of the number of times the wave form repeats each second. Data bits are represented by the almost instantaneous transition from one energy level to another energy level, such as from a positive voltage to a negative voltage.

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DIGITAL CONCEPTS

Topic 3: Digital Transmitter Operation


Introduction The graphic shows a block diagram of a digital radio transmitter from an applied technology point of view. The diagram shows how both voice information and data informa tion is handled.

DSP Vocoder The first step performed by an ASTRO transmitter is to convert the analog voice signal to digitized voice. Voice is digitized in the vocoder circuit. ASTRO Digital Systems use a vocoder technology called Improved Multi-Band Excitation (IMBE). Encryption Once the voice has been digitized, one of two things can happen: it can be passed unchanged to the error protection stage, or it can be first encrypted. The encryption process protects the transmitted signal from being understood by unauthorized parties. When operating in the ASTRO digital mode, the radio uses the same encryption algorithms as today's SECURENET radios. In the ASTRO mode, there is no range degradation compared to analog systems. Also, there is no audio quality degr adation, since encrypted digital voice sounds exactly like clear ASTRO digital voice. As a result of digital error correction, both encrypted and clear digital voice are comparable to clear analog voice. Synchronization information is buried in the embedded signaling, which avoids voice message truncation at the beginning of an encrypted ASTRO message.

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Error Protection When information is transmitted using RF signaling, fading and interference can cause distortion in the received signal. In an analog system the user hears this distortion in the form of noise bursts and degraded audio. In a digital system, interference causes errors in the recovered digital information. If incorrect digital information is fed into the vocoder, the incorrect digital signal create distortion in the reconstructed audio. Signaling functions might likewise be affected. To protect against the errors that occur during digital transmission, additional bits are transmitted along with the information bits to carry error detection and correction information. These bits are added to the data stream by the transmitting radio. Using these bits, an ASTRO receiver can detect transmission errors. The receiver can then correct these errors, as long as they are not too severe. If too many bits are disrupted, the error detection and correction circuits recognize that they can't correct the problem. Instead, they use portions of the previous correct voice information to predict how the missing piece probably sounded. An estimate of the replacement piece is created and inserted in the gap. Because of the large amount of redundancy in human voice, the process is effective in recovering from errors that cant be repaired. Embedded signaling information is similarly protected to ensure its reliability. Embedded Signaling Digital control signaling consists of the stream of digital information used to manage and direct system traffic. In ASTRO trunking systems, radios are accessed, directed, and redirected to channels via control signaling. The same channel is used in ASTRO to transmit both voice information and digital control signaling. ASTRO digital technology allows voice and data radios to share the same channel. This is possible because digital voice and high-speed data use compatible signaling protocols. Embedded signaling is used to provide system access and control. The ASTRO infrastructure transmits embedded control information to efficiently handle both short data transmissions and long voice messages. A single ASTRO radio can operate in both voice and data modes, based upon its mode of operation and programming. Each radio can optionally provide an RS-232 data interface to compatible external data devices. This allows an ASTRO system to carry images, computer data, and FAX messages, as well as conventional text data.

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Modulation There are two modulation techniques most often used in two-way radio transmission: ? ? Amplitude modulation (AM) Frequency modulation (FM) Most of the radio equipment Motorola manufactures uses frequency modulation. In frequency modulation (FM), the analog voice signal is used to modulate (or modify) the frequency of the radio frequency (RF) carrier, thus allowing the RF signal to carry a representation of the actual voice information. With digital modulation, the analog voice signal is converted into digital data. This digital signal is then transmitted over the RF carrier and is reconverted to analog voice by the receiver. Once the vocoder has generated a data stream and has added the error protection, embedded signaling, and encryption information to it, the actual RF modulation process is completed. Motorola's digital radios use four- level (fourvalue) modulation to place the data stream onto the RF carrier. The RF carrier is then shifted between discrete frequencies through a process called frequency shift keying (FSK). The FSK method allows the required information to be placed on the RF carrier without using a wide bandwidth. Data Interface This function accepts user data from an external data device via an RS-232-C serial port and converts it to digital signals suitable for transmission through the ASTRO system.

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DIGITAL CONCEPTS

Topic 4: Digital Receiver Operation


the transmitter in preparing an analog signal for transmission. The Digital Signal Processor (DSP) circuit in an ASTRO receiver performs many receiver functions. The use of a DSP makes it possible for software to control many radio functions. This flexibility of the DSP component allows an ASTRO radio to reduce the normal bandwidth requirement of 25 kHz to 12.5 kHz and to allow the user to switch between analog voice to digital voice operation. The functions required to support these functions are programmed into the radios and operate automatically as the user switches modes. DSP digital receivers allow the user to easily move between a wide variety of system types and services. This is the key to ASTRO migration flexibility.

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Topic 5: APCO Requirements The Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, International (APCO) Project 25 brings together representatives from local state and federal government agencies. These agencies and other user organizations evaluate the technologies used in advanced land mobile radio applications and find solutions that best serve the needs of the public safety marketplace. The committee has encouraged the participation of numerous international public safety organizations. Then National Association of State Telecommunications Directors (NASTD), National Communications Systems (NCS), National Telecommunications & Information Agency (NTIA), and the Department of Defense (DoD) are actively involved in the development of these standards. ASTRO trunked systems incorporate the latest Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA) digital technology specified by APCO Project 25. ASTRO radios are capable of being Project 25 Common Air Interface (CAI) compliant. In order to comply with the CAI portion of the standard, ASTRO trunked systems offer the Project 25-compliant Improved Multi-band Excitation (IMBE) vocoder and signaling protocol. The CAI circuits in trunked ASTRO systems provide users with interoperability with other Project 25 conventional systems while maintaining their ability to communicate with other Motorola analog and digital trunked systems.

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DIGITAL CONCEPTS

Module 2. ASTRO Technology Benefits


Contents Topic 1: ASTRO Features and Benefits This topic describes some of the important features and benefits of ASTRO digital radio equipment. Topic 2: ASTRO Migration This topic discusses some considerations for migrating from conventional analog systems to an ASTRO digital system. 13

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DIGITAL CONCEPTS

Topic 1: ASTRO Features and Benefits


Introduction Major ASTRO features and benefits are listed in the graphic below and are described in the following sections.

Spectrum Usage Increased channel congestion is already a concern of radio system users in most major metropolitan areas of the continental United States. Even high priority public safety and federal users sometimes are unable to acquire needed channels. ASTRO digital technology can provide a long term solution through improved spectral efficiency requiring only half as much bandwidth per channel as traditional analog channels. ASTRO radios require only 12.5 kHz of frequency spectrum for a channel compared to analog radios which require 25 or 30 kHz of channel bandwidth. Reducing spectrum requirements for voice or data communications by half means that, in frequency congested areas, twice as many channels can be made available. Secure Voice Communication ASTRO digital systems allow information to carried in an encrypted form to enhance the privacy of communication. ASTRO digital systems dramatically improve the quality of secure voice communications. Traditional secure voice systems use Continuously Variable Slope Delta Modulation (CVSD) techniques to convert analog voice to a digital signal. CVSD is less accurate in converting analog voice to digitized voice than the vocoder/DSP used in ASTRO.

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No Audio Truncation Other secure voice techniques may clip the beginnings of messages because of the preamble used to synchronize the encrypted radios. In an ASTRO system, the encryption preamble synchronization information is buried in the embedded signaling, and message clipping is eliminated. Users can begin speaking as soon as they press the PTT switch without having the beginning of the transmission clipped if they begin speaking prior to completion of the preamble signal. Channel access time is comparable regardless of whether operation is in the clear or coded ASTRO mode. Voice and Data Integration In analog systems, signaling information is transmitted along with voice messages on the voice channel. Each voice channel can accommodate a limited amount of continuous control information. ASTRO digital systems increase signaling capacity to 2.7 Kbps. This makes it possible to continually send a higher volume of continuous control information and allows the coexistence of voice and signaling information on a single channel. The digital process called "embedded signaling" intermixes system signaling information with digital voice. Digital signaling is sent continuously, resulting in improved system access and fast, reliable communications. Encryption ASTRO radios compatible with Motorola's SECURENET and Advanced SECURENET systems. In digital mode ASTRO radios also have two major enhanced encryption capabilities. 1. Each ASTRO field unit is capable of carrying two different IC encryption algorithms. This enables secure users to interoperate with another organization that uses a different type of encryption. 2. Each ASTRO digital radio is capable of containing up to 16 encryption keys. This added multi-key capacity supports easier group partitioning for
more secure talk groups.

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Continuous Unit ID The Unit ID of the initiating radio is combined with, or embedded in the vo ice transmission and continuously transmitted to talkgroup members. Talkgroup members who have a radio with a display will always be aware of the identity of the transmitting party, even if they join a conversation late. Emergency Unit ID When an emergency call is initiated within a talkgroup, talkgroup members who have a radio with a display get visual identification of the Unit ID of the transmitting radio during the emergency. Since talkgroup members know who initiated the emergency, this enhances their ability to quickly lend assistance. Remote Monitor The remote monitor feature allows a dispatcher to monitor a radio without any audible or visible indication to the radio user that the unit is being monitored. The advantage of this feature is that if the user is involved in a standoff situation where direct voice communication is not possible, the dispatcher can continue to track the situation and send assistance if necessary. Secure Priority Monitor ASTRO radios residing on the control channel may scan the control channel for activity directed at any of the 1-8 talkgroups in its scan lists, even if while it is operating in a coded(encrypted) mode. Two talkgroups can be chosen as first and second level priority talkgroups. Either clear analog, coded ASTRO, or clear ASTRO talkgroups may be designated as priority.

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DIGITAL CONCEPTS

Topic 2: ASTRO Migration


An important advantage of ASTRO technology is ease in migration from an existing analog system to a digital system. ASTRO field radios and base statio ns are designed to be flexible and to operate in existing analog and digital systems. ASTRO radios can operate with all of the system types shown in the diagram.

Because of the backwards compatibility of ASTRO digital radios, customers can migrate only as much of their system as needed. ASTRO makes migration possible in a number of different ways, including: ? Radio by Radio Migration. The gradual replacement of existing analog radios with digital radios can provide a foundation for a later move to digital. Since all of the digital radios can operate as analog or SECURENET units, customers can maintain current system services while laying the groundwork for a future shift to digital. ? Channel By Channel Migration. In multi-channel systems it is feasible to change over just one channel at a time to a digital system. Existing analog units operate only on current channels, while new digital units can operate on both the new digital and existing analog channels. ? Region by Region Migration. When a system includes multiple cities or geographic regions, one region at a time can be converted to digital and new units can roam throughout the entire system.

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DIGITAL CONCEPTS

Module 3. ASTRO Systems


Contents Topic 1: ASTRO Trunking This topic describes the features and capabilities of ASTRO trunking systems. Topic 2: ASTRO Components This topic discusses the various components that make up an ASTRO digital radio system. 18

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DIGITAL CONCEPTS

Topic 1: ASTRO Trunking


Introduction ASTRO SMARTNET trunking can take the form of an ASTRO digital-only system that uses only ASTRO repeaters and field radios. Alternatively, an ASTRO system can consist of a mix of different types of equipment, with specific channels dedicated as ASTRO digital channels and the remaining channels dedicated as analog channels. ASTRO Digital-only Trunking An ASTRO digital-only trunked system is capable of handling both clear and encrypted ASTRO calls. ASTRO Quantar repeaters and a DIU are required for each channel, if consoles or telephone interconnect is used. The ASTRO repeaters provide error correction to improve the repeated signal quality and also transmit trunking control data in the form of ASTRO embedded signaling. The diagram illustrates ASTRO digital only trunking. Links are required from a device called the Data Broadcast Box (DBB) and from the Central Controller to each repeater. The links carry the outbound trunked control signaling that the repeaters put into the ASTRO embedded signaling format and transmit to the user radios. ASTRO Digital and Analog Trunking An ASTRO system can be configured as a hard partitioned mixed trunking system in which certain channels are dedicated ASTRO digital channels with the remaining channels used as standard analog trunked channels. The analog repeaters handle only analog calls. ASTRO Quantar repeaters can be programmed for either analog operation, digital operation, or mixed. The talkgroups in a mixed system must also be hard partitioned. Each talkgroup must be designated as an ASTRO digital-only talk group or as an analog talkgroup. ASTRO-capable radios can participate in both analog and ASTRO digital talkgroup calls. This type of mixed trunking system lets an existing trunking customer slowly migrate to an ASTRO digital system without the expense of swapping out the entire trunked system.

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ASTRO Wide Area Systems In a wide area coverage application, an ASTRO Digital System can be configured as either a SmartZone, SmartZone Simulcast, or SmartZone Voting system.

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DIGITAL CONCEPTS

Topic 2: ASTRO Components


Introduction ASTRO technology can be applied to a variety of system configurations including conventional, trunking, and wide area communications. The major ASTRO components used to build an ASTRO system are listed in the diagram below and are described in the following sections.

Base Stations and Repeaters There are two stations that can be used as base stations and repeaters in an ASTRO Digital system: the Quantar station and the Quantro station. Both stations are considered ASTRO -transparent, in that no IMBE voice processing takes place in either. However, digital signal error correction is performed on all received ASTRO digital signals. The ASTRO Stations are modular in design. Major circuits are implemented on a separate cards or chassis. Enhanced diagnostics capability is built into both stations. ? Quantar Station. The Quantar station is used in low power applications in the VHF, UHF, and 800 MHz bands. ? Quantro Station. The Quantro station is used in high power applications in the VHF, UHF, and 800 MHz bands. ? ASTRO Satellite Receivers. The ASTRO Satellite Receiver is similar to an ASTRO stations except that it does not have a power amplifier or exciter module. ? IntelliRepeater. An IntelliRepeater combines many of the functions of an ASTRO 6809 Controller and a Trunked Repeater into a single Quantro/Quantar station. Quantro/Quantar stations are field upgradeable to IntelliRepeater operation.

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ASTRO-TAC Comparator The ASTRO-TAC Comparator provides the ability to use voting to provide wide area coverage in an ASTRO systems. The signal voter in an ASTRO system is the microprocessor-based ASTRO Comparator. The ASTRO Comparator uses the same basic hardware as an ASTRO station. It can interface to various signal sources and supports a maximum of 16 programmable input/output ports. Digital Interface Unit Existing analog remote console equipment can be interfaced to an ASTRO Station using a Digital Interface Unit (DIU). The DIU is a standalone device connected between a control console and an ASTRO station or ASTRO-TAC Comparator. The DIU performs four key functions for the console operator: ? It contains the circuitry used to perform the analog-to-digital signal conversion of outbound voice messages and the digital- to-analog signal conversion of inbound voice messages. ? It generates ASTRO station keying command sequences. Any tone remote control sequences sent by the console are converted to digital commands that are carried as ASTRO embedded signaling. ? It provides encryption/decryption functions for the console operator. ? It routes ASTRO embedded signaling information to a separate port so the ASTRO Console Interface Module (ACIM) or an external device can access it for decoding. In multi- channel systems, one DIU is required for each ASTRO-equipped channel. In a CentraCom II Series installation, only one DIU is needed for each station to be controlled no matter how many operator positions are in use. Since the DIU can convert Tone Remote Control sequences into ASTRO Station signaling commands, other analog console products can also be used in an ASTRO Digital system.

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Encryption Components An ASTRO system can readily support digital encryption, which provides a high level of security in a private two-way radio system. ASTRO digital encryption uses similar technology as SECURENET digital encryption and allows the user to define key variables and selectively control who receives important and/or sensitive messages. To enable such operation, ASTRO encryption support devices are available. ASTRO encryption devices are similar to those use in SECURENET systems and provide the same functions and capabilities. They are modified for use in an ASTRO digital system and interface with the system through a DIU. Radio Units ASTRO digital technology is available in portable and mobile radios, which provide all of the features and functions of their conventional and trunking counterparts. In addition, ASTRO mobile and portable radios can operate in either analog or digital mode.

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DIGITAL CONCEPTS

Module 4. ASTRO Digital Technology


Contents Topic 1: ASTRO Transmitter Operation This topic introduces the operation of the transmitter component in an ASTRO digital radio. Topic 2: Transmitter Vocoder Operation This topic introduces the ASTRO trasmitter vocoder that converts analog voice to digital form for transmission. Topic 3: Transmi tter Encryption This topic examines the ASTRO transmitter encrytion component that encrypts signals for transmission. Topic 4: Transmitter Error Protection This topic discusses the ASTRO transmitter error detection and correction component that allows the receiver to detect transmission errors and recover from them. Topic 5: Transmitter Embedded Signaling This topic examines the embedded signaling feature that allows signaling to be carried along with voice in an ASTRO digital radio system.
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34 Topic 6: Transmi tter Four-Level Modulation This topic discusses the modulation scheme used in ASTRO digital systems for placing voice and signaling information on the RF carrier.

Topic 7: ASTRO Receiver Operation This topic introduces the operation of the receiver compone nt in an ASTRO digital radio.

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Topic 1: ASTRO Transmitter Operation This module reviews the core technologies on which ASTRO Digital systems are based. This topic discusses the ASTRO transmitter and highlights the analog-to-digital conversion process, the IMBE vocoder, encryption techniques, modulation methods, and signal error detection and correction. In an ASTRO system all information -- voice, data, and signaling -- is transmitted in digital form. This means that any analog signal in an ASTRO system is transformed into a digital signal before any processing of it takes place. ASTRO radios then transmit combinations of voice, data, and signaling over an RF channel at a rate of 9.6 kilobits per second (Kbps). By processing all signals in digital form, the transmission scheme can be designed to provide optimum performance on digital signals.

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Topic 2: Transmitter Vocoder Operation Introduction The first step an ASTRO digital radio performs is to convert the analog voice signal to digital form. Such conversions are not unique to ASTRO systems. Long distance telephone calls are processed with digitally-converted voice, and Motorola SECURENET systems have been using digitally-converted voice since the 1970s. Many different analog-to-digital (A/D) signal conversion methods have been used. Techniques used by phone companies provide highquality voice reproduction but require a large amount of digital information (64 Kbps) to represent voice. Telephone techniques have not been applied to radio systems because they can't provide acceptable audio quality within the bandwidth constraint of a land mobile radio channel. Motorola SECURENET provides an example of a digital technology limited by bandwidth constraints. SECURENET systems use an analog-to-digital conversion method called Continuously Variable Slope Delta (CVSD) modulation. CVSD was initially designed to operate at a data rate of at least 30 Kbps. However, to fit the constraints of a radio cha nnel bandwidths of 25 - 30 kHz, the technique is required to operate at a lower data rate (12 Kbps). As a result, there is a noticeable degradation of recovered audio quality. Such degradation is tolerated by some users because they required the level of system security that SECURENET provided.

Vocoder Functions A primary objective of ASTRO systems is to provide audio quality comparable to that of today's clear analog systems, not only in 25-30 kHz land mobile radio channels, but in 12.5 kHz channels. The first step in converting the audio signal to digital form is performed by the vocoder. A vocoder (short for voice coderdecoder) uses a voice digitization technique to create a digital representation of the sounds generated by the human voice.

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IMBE Vocoders In the past, most A/D converters have been designed to generate a set of data values that track the flow of an analog signal, no matter its source. However, since an analog signal changes values instantaneously, this approach can never produce an entirely accurate representation. In an ideal world, the data rate could be increased at will to obtain a near-perfect digital representation. In actuality, however, the bandwidth required to transmit a digital signal is proportional to it s data rate, and a real world communications channel must conform to the band width constraint of a land mobile radio channel. The vocoder technology used in ASTRO Digital systems uses a fundamentally different technique than previous vocoders. ASTRO vocoder technology is an outgrowth of work begun at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the early 1980s. The goal of the work was to develop a robust speech model that would outperform the linear prediction speech model used in conventional vocoders. The result of this work is the Multi-Band Excitation (MBE) speech model. This speech model provides a unique speech coding framework that results in a number of advantages over linear prediction-based vocoders. ASTRO Digital Systems use a vocoder technology based on the MBE speech model called Improved Multi-Band Excitation (IMBE). The IMBE speech compression algorithms are the performance leaders for low-bit-rate speech compression systems. MBE-base technology provides superior speech quality. In addition, the ASTRO IMBE vocoder has been designed for robustness in handling both background noise and channel errors. IMBE vocoder technology has become an international standard and is used in a number of communication systems. The IMBE system is currently the standard for several global satellite-based mobile communication services, including several Inmarsat and OPTUS services. The IMBE vocoder has successfully been in use commercially since the late 1980s. The IMBE vocoder technology has also been selected by APCO Project 25. The IMBE coder divides each segment of speech into distinct frequency bands and makes a voiced/unvoiced (V/UV) decision for each frequency band. This allows the excitation signal for a particular speech segment to be a mixture of periodic (voiced) and noise-like (unvoiced) energy. The inherent problem with most linear prediction vocoders is that the linear prediction model does not yield high quality speech or robustness to background noise without the addition of a prediction residual. The prediction residual can be viewed as an error signal that corrects for inaccuracies in the linear prediction model. Elimination of this residual results in a harsh, mechanical

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quality in the speech. Consequently, all high quality linear predictive vocoders transmit a residual. The primary difference between these systems is the manner in which they accomplish this task. Linear Predictive Coding (LPC), at rates below 8 Kbps, divide the residual into small pieces or vectors and then search through a codebook to find the code vector that is the closest match. Searching through a reasonable sized codebook is a computationally complex task. IMBE does not require the use of codebooks and requires fewer computations than most other vocoders. The IMBE vocoder is not based upon linear prediction. Instead, it uses the Multi- Band Excitation speech model to produce high quality speech without the need for a residual signal.

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Topic 3: Transmitter Encryption It is often vital that transmitted messages not be heard and understood by unauthorized parties. The same IC-based digital encryption algorithms used in SECURENET systems are used in ASTRO systems. Project 25 defines the encryption algorithm and has chosen as the standard mode of operation an encryption technique called Output Feedback (OFB). OFB defines how information is transformed from plain text to cipher text and minimizes error propagation in going from plain text to cipher text. ASTRO digital technology offers three major enhancements previously unavailable in encrypted voice radio systems. 1. There is no range degradation in the encrypted mode, regardless of the algorithm employed. 2. There is no additional truncation at the beginning of an encrypted message, since encryption synchronization information is buried in embedded signaling. 3. ASTRO provides the ability to house multiple algorithms within a single radio for further secure communications interoperability and partitioning capability.

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Topic 4: Transmitter Error Protection In an ideal world, an RF channel would simply carry signals from place to place without altering them. Unfortunately, a real RF channel inevitably encounters interfering signals usually called noise. Such noise mixes with a transmitted signal and distorts its shape. If the transmitted signal is an analog signal, the noise effect can directly result in audio quality degradation at the receiver. An analog receiver sends the distorted version of the signal to the speaker. If the transmitted signal is a digital signal, the noise effect can create errors in the data that would also result in degradation of audio quality. ASTRO systems, however, can manipulate the IMBE voice data to protect it from such errors. ASTRO introduces redundancy in the digital signal through the addition of the error correction bits to allow an ASTRO receiver to detect errors that occur during digital transmission. The receiver can then correct these errors, as long as the number of errors does not exceed some maximum. If the radio finds that too many of the incoming bits have been corrupted, it realizes that it cannot correct the errors and, instead, uses portions of prior correct information to predict how the missing piece might have appeared. It is not necessary to protect 100% of the digital voice signal in order to achieve sufficient error protection. ASTRO systems have been designed to protect voice messages from an RF channel bit error rate of up to 10% and still be able to provide acceptable audio. To accomplish this, the ASTRO transmitter needs to send only 2.8 Kbps of error protection information along with the 4.4 Kbps of encrypted or unencrypted voice.

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Topic 5: Transmitter Embedded Signaling


Introduction In the earliest private two-way radio communications systems, the only type of nformation that was transmitted from place to place was voice information. Additional information is carried by today's two-way radio communication systems, including the following: ? ? ? ? ? Coded squelch control signals, such as PL for selective repeater access. Radio unit identification codes, for selective calling and ID indication. Digital encryption synchronization data, for successful voice security. Digital encryption key variable identification codes. Emergency notification signals, for immediate alerting to a volatile situation. In current analog systems, there are two ways to send information along with the voice signal: sub-audible continuous signaling and preamble signaling. The following pages describe each of these methods.

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Sub-Audible Continuous Signaling. With sub-audible continuous signaling, signaling and control information is transmitted simultaneously with voice in the form of tones or low-speed data. Signaling and control information is kept within the sub-audible frequency range to avoid interfering with the concurrent voice transmission.

With sub-audible continuous signaling, signaling competes with voice for channel bandwidth. Sub-audible signaling, with its spectrum required to extend no higher in than the bottom edge of the audible frequency band, is severely limited in signaling capacity. Examples of sub-audible signaling information includes: ? Repeater access, e.g. PL or DPL squelch control. ? talkgroup affiliation. ? Trunking priority number.
Preamble Signaling

With preamble signaling, a burst of signaling and control information is sent prior to each voice message in the form of tones or low-speed data.

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A problem with preamble signaling is that signaling must compete with voice for channel access time. More information can be transmitted using preamble signaling than with sub-audible signaling, but voice transmission can not start until the signaling is completed. Thus, because it is possible for a radio user to start talking before the radio is ready to transmit voice, the beginning of a voice message can be lost when preamble signaling is used.
Embedded Digital Signaling

ASTRO systems use embedded digital signaling instead of continuous signaling or preamble signaling. With embedded digital signaling, an ASTRO system inserts 2.4 Kbps of signaling and control information into the digitized voice data stream.

When an ASTRO radio user presses the PTT button, when a channel is granted the radio immediately begins to accept the user's voice signal while simultaneously sending an initial burst of signaling. As soon as enough voice is processed, the radio begins intermixing vo ice and signaling information. In this manner, additional truncation of voice information at the beginning of a message is eliminated. The 9.6 Kbps voice/signaling combination is fed to the modulator for transmission over the RF channel. Embedded signaling combines the advantages of sub-audible continuous signaling and preamble signaling. It allows ASTRO systems to have a signaling capacity on the level of a preamble signaling system and be able to pass such signaling throughout a voice message. Because of this high-capacity continuous signaling, ASTRO can give complete information to radios in two important situations: 1. Late entry, when a radio begins to monitor the channel in the middle of a

2. Re-entry, when a radio loses the ability to monitor a transmission and then regains it.

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An ASTRO radio continuously repeats embedded signaling information throughout a voice transmission until such time as the state of the radio changes. This allows receiving ASTRO radios to obtain the information at any time. The ASTRO signaling system allows the following types of information to be transmitted along with the voice signal:
? ?

Network Identifier (Network ID). A universal ID shared by all system radios for access to the system infrastructure (analogous to connect tone). Source Unit and Destination Unit IDs. Field radio IDs that can be used for a transmitting radio ID display or for selective calling. Note that the ID is transmitted continuously with voice and optionally displayed. Talkgro up ID. An ID that identifies the radio's talkgroup affiliation. Encryption Sync. Data used to maintain the successful synchronization of the encryptor of a transmitting radio and the decryptor of a receiving radio during secure operation. Emergency. An immediate alert to the console operator that a radio user is in the midst of an emergency situation. Key ID. An ID used to inform a receiving radio of which encryption key variable must be used for successful decryption of the voice message. Adaptive Po wer Control information. The radio uses Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) information to determine whether to transmit at high or medium power. Error Protection. Extra bits inserted to provide the signaling information with protection from interfering noise signals.

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Topic 6: Transmitter Four-Level Modulation


Introduction ASTRO systems are designed to achieve enhanced voice, signaling, and data capabilities in narrowband channels, since ASTRO channels require a channel spacing of only 12.5/15 kHz. The key to reducing the transmission bandwidth required to pass a digital signal is to reduce the transmission data rate. The modulation technique used by ASTRO systems, called Four-Level Digital Modulation is used to effectively carry the 9.6 Kbps digital signal within the available bandwidth. The ASTRO transmitter combines each pair of bits into a single symbol and can transmit those symbols at a rate half of that of the input bit rate of 9.6 Kbps, or 4.8 Kbps per second. The modulation process is called four- level because the symbol set required to represent all possible bit pairs includes four symbols.

Modulation Techniques Prior to the development of ASTRO systems, modulation has been implemented in land mobile radio systems in one of two analog forms: 1. Amplitude Modulation (AM) 2. Frequency Modulation (FM) Most Motorola radios have used FM, in which the voice signal is used to modulate the frequency of an RF carrier.

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ASTRO systems use a digital form of analog FM. Once voice or data has been processed to form a 9.6 Kbps binary data stream, the modulator uses the bits to shift the frequency of an RF carrier between discrete values. This process, called Compatible 4-Level FM (C4FM), allows a considerable amount of information to be placed on an RF carrier without using a wide bandwidth. Modulation Operation Specifically, the ASTRO modulation process works as follows: 1. A digital input signal arrives as a binary data stream. For example, it could appear as 10111001000110 2. Two bits at a time are sequentially removed from the data stream. For the example above, this would appear as 10 -11 - 10 - 01 - 00 - 01 - 10 3. As the two bits are removed from the data stream, there are four different possibilities. The bits could be 00, 01, 10, or 11. 4. The digital modulator shifts the RF carrier frequency to one of four values to represent the four possible two-bit values as follows: ? ? ? ? Bits 01 -->Shift to center frequency + 1.8 kHz Bits 00 -->Shift to center frequency + 0.6 kHz Bits 10 -->Shift to center frequency - 0.6 kHz Bits 11 -->Shift to center frequency - 1.8 kHz receiver recovers the two bits that were transmitted and the digital message is reconstructed exactly.

5. At a receiver, the shifts in the RF carrier are detected. For each shift, the

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Topic 7: ASTRO Receiver Operation


The ASTRO receiver performs, in reverse, the same functions performed by the ASTRO transmitter. A Digital Signal Processor (DSP) performs many receiver functio ns handled by different circuits in a conventional receiver. The DSP also provides the radio with the ability to switch between voice and data modes. The receiver DSP allows the use of software to control the parameters that define how an ASTRO radio will operate. This flexibility is key to the backward compatibility of an ASTRO radio: ? ? It allows the switching of a radios receiver band width between 25/30 kHz and 12.5/15 kHz channels. It allows switching of a radio between SECURENET and ASTRO encrypted voice operation.

? It allows switching of a radio between analog and ASTRO unencrypted voice operation. ? It allows switching of a radio between ASTRO encrypted voice operation and ASTRO unencrypted voice operation. All of this switching can be programmed into an ASTRO radio through the use of Radio Service Software (RSS).

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Module 5. Bandwidth Considerations


Contents Topic 1: Bandwidth Introduction This topic discusses the way in which ASTRO digital radio systems make use of the bandwidth available for a two-way radio system. Topic 2: Radio Bandwidth Programming This topic describes how ASTRO digital radios can be programmed to use different types of modulation systems.
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Topic 1: Bandwidth Introduction


Introduction The purpose of this module is to identify approved modes of operation for mixed mode (analog/ASTRO) systems. Due to differences between RF bands, the acceptable operating modes will be outlined by band.

Terminology Narrowband. An RF signal that requires 12.5 kHz of spectrum bandwidth to deliver intelligible information. Wideband. An RF signal that requires 25 kHz of spectrum bandwidth to deliver intelligible information. Narrow Pulse. A technical modulation approach that allows an ASTRO voice signal to fit into a narrowband energy mask. This term only applies to ASTRO operation. Wide Pulse. A technical approach that allows an ASTRO voice signal to fit into a wideband energy mask. This term only applies to ASTRO operation. Channel Spacing. The frequency separation between centers of RF channel assignments

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Bandwidth Requirements ASTRO signals generally operate in a narrowband channel. This is accomplished by using a narrow pulse modulation technique. Depending on the band, the voice channel assignments may be on 12.5 kHz centers or 25 kHz centers.

Wide pulse is an alternate modulation technique for ASTRO. Wide pulse modulation requires a wideband channel. Wide pulse is sometimes used for ASTRO simulcast systems in order to get better site separation. The use of wide pulse modulation that requires a wideband channel results in a system design that is not APCO Project 25 compliant. Analog channels generally operate in a wideband channel. Current analog operation at 5 kHz deviation requires a wideband channel. In addition, SECURENET or 12 Kbps secure requires a wideband channel. An analog signal can also be made to operate in a narrowband channel by reducing the signal deviation. For an analog voice signal to operate in a narrowband channel, a peak deviation of +/- 2.5 kHz is required. The following are bandwidth requirements in the various frequency ranges in which ASTRO equipment operates: - 800 MHz Band. Narrowband operation is supported in the 800 MHz band. In the 800 MHz band, 806 frequencies are assigned every 25 kHz and the 821 MHz band is assigned every 12.5 kHz. - VHF Band. Narrowband operation is supported in the VHF band. In VHF trunking, channel assignments on the control channel can be made in 12.5 or 25 kHz increments on a per system basis. - UHF Band. Narrowband operation is supported in the UHF band. In UHF trunking, channel assignments on the control channel can be made in 12.5 or 25 kHz increments on a per system basis.

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Topic 2: Radio Bandwidth Programming


Introduction The selection of the IF bandwidth or filter for subscriber radios is selected via RSS. At the system level, a selection must be made for narrowband or wideband. If the 800 MHz band is selected, there is another option for 806 and 821 wideband/narrowband. The systemwide setting is for trunked systems and conventional channels in the radio. If multiple systems are enabled in the radio, the default is wideband operation. If narrowband is selected for one system, the user will be prompted for domestic or European narrowband IF. All sites and roaming subscribers must use the same IF bandwidth. Subscribers and non-simulcast sites will always transmit ASTRO using narrow pulse modulation. An ASTRO receiver can successfully demodulate the transmitted signal with any IF bandwidth selected. Narrow pulse does not infer narrowband operation. Simulcast subsystems will typically transmit using wide pulse modulation to achieve remote site separation comparable to analog. Wide pulse modulation requires wideband operation and IF to operate correctly. If narrowband and simulcast is required, narrow pulse must be selected. Certain limitations on site separation must be adhered to in simulcast. If subscribers are to roam between simulcast and non-simulcast sites, the subscriber must be set for a wide IF bandwidth. When using a wide IF bandwidth, subscribers will have less adjacent channel protection.

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Offset and On-Center Migration Channel splitting converts existing 25 kHz analog channels into two 12.5 kHz digital channels. This can be accomplished either through Off-Set or On-Center migration. Offset Migration With Off-Set migration, two 12.5 kHz channels may be placed in the same space here one 25 kHz channel previously existed. The new digital 12.5 kHz channel centers are offset 6.25 kHz from the original 25 kHz channel center. On-Center Migration With On Center migration, one of the new digital 12.5 kHz channels is placed on the original 25 kHz channel center. The other digital 12.5 kHz channel is offset 12.5 kHz from the original 25 kHz channel center.

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