At the crux of satellite communications, interference and noise have been the antagonists in building reliable, efficient communication links.
While noise limitations are dealt within improved hardware, interference can be dealt with at a level that goes beyond fundamental physics. A wholly man-made artifact, interference can be effectively planned for, mitigated, and now even excised with well-constructed, intelligent DSP-based algorithms.
Since I founded Glowlink Communications Technology with Jeffrey Chu, our President and CEO, this fundamental concept has driven our company’s product development and innovation roadmap.
Glowlink takes a three-pronged approach against unintended or aggressive interference at three different steps. First, during the planning of a communication link, careful modeling must be completed to ensure that interference from adjacent carriers, transponders, or even satellites are properly accounted. This step is crucial in ensuring that the communication link that is expected is indeed the link that is delivered.
Next, the spectrum of an active communication link is continuously monitored so that the presence of an interferer can be detected and geolocated. With this active spectrum monitoring, the operator is alerted when there is an aggressor in the spectrum and can perform geolocation to find the physical source of the aggressor.
Finally, with the announcement and delivery of our interference removal technology, Glowlink’s patented, unique, active interference removal technology offers users an offensive approach to dealing with interference. This breakthrough capability leverages DSP-based techniques to excise and eradicate in-band interference with no a priori knowledge, negating antagonistic interference and protecting the communication link.
The progress Glowlink has made over the past three years in expanding the firm’s products into a full suite that manages and eradicates interference in satellite communications has been exciting and satisfying to witness. Glowlink now offers a fully integrated commercial product line that addresses all approaches and steps against interference management. While competitors may have a product or two to compete with us, Glowlink is far and away the most capable in delivering a full suite of natively integrated products that are both cost-efficient and operationally interactive.
CSIR™ & GS380 Product Line
In March of 2013, Glowlink first introduced CSIR™ as a technology for the active, DSP-based removal of in-band interference with no a priori knowledge. This algorithm has been heralded as an innovative, novel approach to interference mitigation—using advanced signal processing algorithms to remove interference whether it be CW, modulated, stationary, sweeping, or hopping. As an active interference remover, CSIR™ is the capability to aggressively and actively remove in-band jamming or unintended interference signals.
Shortly after the introduction of CSIR™ and its multiple resulting patents, Glowlink released the GS380 product line as a shield for satellite communication links against interference. Having been fielded and tested, the commercially available GS380 product line has proven CSIR™’s capability to restore communication links that would otherwise have been brought down by interference. Glowlink’s GS380 product line is a stream-in stream-out, plug-and-play addition to a receive chain that delivers a new level of communication link reliability and resilience against interference.
A cutting edge algorithm and device, CSIR™ and the GS380 line are constantly being enhanced and iterated to address a broader set of implementations. CSIR™ and the GS380 line have been and will continue to be one of Glowlink’s most exciting, high-potential technologies. I look forward to the opportunities this technology will create for our customers.
SAMS™ — A Satellite Communication Link Planning Tool
Finding the market flooded with aging, over-priced or under-developed link planning tools, Glowlink has developed the Satellite Access Management System™, “SAMS™,” as a cost-effective transponder bandwidth planning tool centered on actual satellite operator needs.
Co-developed with our satellite operator customers, SAMS™ contains sophisticated and simple models for real-world factors affecting communication links. Glowlink has developed SAMS™ to model fixed and mobile antennas for a breadth of use cases that range from in-flight connectivity to wide-ranging ground networks. From limitations such as adjacent channel interference and non-linearity, to physical phenomena such as rain fade and scintillation, SAMS™ offers operators a tool to analyze and manage each carrier with an easy-to-use and expressive graphical interface.
Enabling operators to maximize link reliability and bandwidth efficiency, SAMS™ also provides advanced algorithms for optimizing satellite resource usage by suggesting power, bandwidth, and MODCOD settings. This optimization is performed on top of the predictive capabilities available for modeling carrier links, allowing operators to have an informed means of increasing bandwidth usage efficiency.
As a predictive tool, SAMS™ now has the ability to plug into our spectrum monitoring and geolocation products to give real-time planned versus actual feedback to the operator. The feedback provides real-time visibility for troubleshooting and plan refinement. This seamless integration comes standard with the product and delivers operational and cost efficiency to our customers.
Spectrum Monitoring & Geolocation
Perhaps Glowlink’s most recognizable products, the Model 1000 and Model 8000 represent Glowlink’s first innovations in the field of satellite communications. The first spectrum monitoring and geolocation devices respectively, the Model 1000 and Model 8000 are DSP-based devices that analyze, characterize, and geolocation carriers and interference.
Glowlink’s Model 1000 product line has grown to include multi-channel and ultra-wideband capabilities while maintaining patented capabilities unique to Glowlink’s products. In addition to characterizing carrier parameters such as spectral measurements and MODCOD type, the spectrum monitoring also leverages patented algorithms to give the operator key insight such as non-invasive transponder compression level measurement and interfering signal analysis.
These tools continue to improve with newer generations of hardware components, and with an industry-leading high dynamic range, ultra-wideband front end, the Model 1000 product line will continue to provide a higher level of performance than any other spectrum monitoring product on the market today.
Glowlink’s Model 8000 device has undergone several hardware upgrades to deliver a higher level of geolocation capabilities and accuracy. With a multi-channel acquisition scheme and high resolution front-end, the Glowlink Model 8000 has achieved the next-generation processing gain necessary to deliver single-digit kilometer accuracy of interference source location.
This new generation of hardware components is accompanied by innovative algorithmic improvements, namely Glowlink’s Single Satellite Geolocation, “SSG™,” capability. SSG™ removes the typical geolocation requirement for a usable adjacent satellite, which is far too commonly the impediment to running successful geolocation. With no a priori knowledge, SSG™ allows the operator to geolocate using only the satellite experiencing interference, making interference detection and geolocation as effective as possible.
In addition to the hardware improvements, Glowlink has focused on improving the user experience for the spectrum monitoring and geolocation GUI software. By automating several processes and integrating functionalities, geolocation and spectrum monitoring now launch with an intuitive and easy feel. Hand-in-hand with the device upgrades, the software GUI improvements deliver cutting edge geolocation accuracy and spectrum monitoring insight with maximum ease of use.
The innovations Glowlink continues to build into our products for the future speaks to the company’s motto—“Deliver on Promise”—and represents the firm's commitment to our customers as well as to driving innovation in satellite communications technology.
Michael Downey is the CTO and VP of Engineering at Glowlink Communications Technology, Inc. Holding multiple patents in the field of satellite communications, Mr. Downey takes an innovation-driven approach in solving the problems of the industry. Michael holds a Master’s Degree from Santa Clara University and is notably a former Mr. Jr. California.