Communications and Network, 2013, 5, 266-270
http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/cn.2013.53B2049 Published Online September 2013 (http://www.scirp.org/journal/cn)
Research on An Improved PMF-FFT Fast PN Code
Ning-qing Liu, Bin Sun, Chun-meng Guan
Communication Research Center Harbin Institute of Technology Harbin, China
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Received July, 2013
To solve the problem of the large Doppler frequency offset in the LEO communication system, this paper studies a
rapid PN code acquisition method based on the PMF-FFT architecture, which searches the phase and frequency offset
and at the same time reduces the acquisition time. It presents an improved method equivalent to windowing function
and uses windowing process to overcome the attenuation of related peak envelope caused by partial matched filters.
Keywords: Doppler Frequency Offset; Rapid PN Code Acquisition Algorithm; PMF-FFT; Windowing
Doppler frequency offset, which makes it very difficult
for the receiver to seize the signals. Ordinary one-di-
mensional search cannot meet the requirements of the
rapid PN code acquisition, and thus two-dimensional
search method is being gotten more attention. M. Sust
has proposed a fast acquisition concept in the audio
CDMA system . In the paper, he analyzed the method
of using FFT compensation method to solve the problem
of large offset acquisition in the system, and the capture
structure he used was the prototype of PMF-FFT algo-
rithm. G.J.Povey, who first proposed this kind of algo-
rithm which was based on  and made an efficient
study and analysis [2-4], has gotten significant conclu-
sions, making great contributions to the later develop-
ment of the algorithm.
Reference  describes a non-coherent rapid acquisi-
tion system under the Doppler frequency offset. For the
first time, it gives the PMF-FFT acquisition model and
analyzes the probability of false alarm and detection
probability characteristic in the Gaussian channel. S. M.
Spangenherg proposed the windowing process of the
FFT input to reduce the Scalloping Loss. This paper fo-
cuses on windowing approaches and then improves the
structure of windows, improving the acquisition per-
formance of the algorithm. It also presents a structure
equivalent to windowing function, simplifying the im-
plementation. For some low-pass attenuation of the
matched filters, the window approach is also introduced.
2. Acquisition Algorithm Models Based on
the PMF-FFT Structures
2.1. Acquisition Theory
M. Sust etal first used the FFT compensation, increasing
the search range greatly in the frequency fields, which is
equal to the parallel searches. Then G.J.Povey developed
this method, systematically analyzed the acquisition al-
gorithm of the FFT auxiliary digital matched filters, and
showed the model based on both the digital part of the
matcher filters and the FFT, shown in Figure 1. Here
MX = KN, N is the length of PN code, while K is the
Supposing the sampling interval Ts=Tc/K, the initial
, the sampling signal after the down-conver-
When PN code obtains full synchronization,
Figure 1. Capture model based on PMF-FF T.
opyright © 2013 SciRes. CN
N.-Q. LIU ET AL. 267
Normalize (2), the normalized frequency response of
the FFT output of the k-th point
It is shown in Figure 1 that the input which is com-
pared with the preset threshold is the maximum output
value of the k-th FFT point. That is, for a fixed variable
fd, comparing these values of
(, )kf is the phase characteristic of the PMF-FFT.
(, )Gkf, then we
can get the related gains in the acquisition system.
means to get the integral results downward.
2.2. FFT Compensation Characteristic
Equation (4) can be divided into two parts, and the nor-
malized contribution of the partial matched filter of (4) is
And the contribution that the FFT makes to the related
FFT dFFT d
kf is the amplitude response, and FFT d
is the phase response.
For the moment, partial influence of the matched fil-
ters is not considered, and the following properties can
be deprived from (6):
1) Panning features
Change the form of (6), then
(1,)(,)Gk f GkfNT
Equation (7) indicates that the frequency response of
the kth FFT point is actually a 1/NTc units right shift of
the (k-1)th FFT point’s frequency response.
So the synchronization system based on the PMF-FFT
structure in Figure 1, can be extended M times in fre-
quency searching range, which is [0, M/(NTc)]. Therefore
the simultaneous capture algorithm based on the PMF-
FFT structure is not sensitive to the Doppler frequency
offset, and the system is still able to complete the simul-
taneous capture successfully.
2) Period feature
Because the FFT compensation factor km
W is a rota-
tion factor with a period of M, and is reflected as a peri-
odic function in frequency domain in (6), with the period
of M/(NTc). According to (6), it can be obtained:
3) Ax symmetric feature
It can be found that FFT d
(, )Gkf is an ax symmetric
function of fd, and on the axis of k/(NTc). Make simple
algebraic simplification to (6), then
4) Dual feature
Now consider the negative frequency, there is
(,)(, )Gkf G Mkf
, the capture system can
still work effectively, and produces the maximum related
output on the (M-k) FFT.
3. Scalloping Loss
The associated gain of each FFT point is similar to sinc(x)
function. At the crossover point, the associated gain out-
put appears on the trough, presenting the phenomenon of
the Scalloping Loss. Reference  proposes two solu-
tions, storage zeros and windowing, and makes a thor-
ough analysis to the former one. This paper focuses on
the study and improvement of the windowing method.
The main idea of this method is to increase the width of
the main lobe and increase the FFT peak output intersect-
tion of the two adjacent points, in order to reduce the
Now the window function is adapted to the united
The related gain is
FFT dFFT dFFTdFFT d
GkfA kfA kfA kf
Considering the panning features of the FFT compen-
sation, we can change the form of (13). That is
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CN
N.-Q. LIU ET AL.
FFT dFFT dFFTd
Gkf GkfGk f
Thus the weighted sum of three consecutive FFT
points according to (14) can get the same effect as win-
dowing and the structure is simpler. In Figure 2, there is
the comparison of the realization between windowing
and equivalent windowing. It can be seen that the
weighted sum of the FFT output is equal to the window-
ing process of the FFT input. They share the same im-
4. The Low-pass Decay of PMF
As to the discussion about the FFT compensation fea-
tures before, it is supposed to be all-pass without the in-
fluence of FFT. But actually PMF is a limited FIR with
the length of X and all the coefficients are one.
In fact, GFFT (k,fd) is the related gain envelop of the
PMF-FFT. When there is a large Doppler frequency off-
set, the attenuation of the PMF greatly influences the
peak of related gain. This paper uses the same method as
the windowed FFT input to perform the windowing
process to the sampled data entering the FFT, increasing
the width of the main lobe envelop in order to improve
the decay when the frequency is large, shown in Figure
5. The Improved Structure of the Algorithm
Thus, this paper makes a detailed analysis of the acquisi-
tion structure based on PMF-FFT, and discusses two
methods to overcome the Scalloping Loss. After com-
parison, adding zeros by windowing turns to be easier
and more effective. Therefore, this paper introduces
windowing and its equivalent method into the acquisition
system. For the influence on the related gain in the sys-
tem which is made by the low-pass characteristic of some
0500 10001500 20002500 3000 35004000 45005000
Figure 2. Simulation of equivalent window function method.
matched filters, this paper presents two effective solu-
tions, which are adaptive threshold method and window-
ing. These two methods can be combined in order to im-
prove the ability of acquiring PN code in large frequency
The improved PMF-FFT structure is shown in Figure
6. Algorithm Evaluation
Considering the non-coherent detection system, the am-
plitude statistical variables of M-point FFT output are
In the acquisition system in Figure 4, the statistical
variables R that is compared with the threshold is the
maximum value of M-point FFT output. Now the false
2.52.552.6 2.65 2.72.75 2.82.85 2.9 2.953
PMF-FFT Correlation peak gain
Figure 3. Effect of Amplitude-frequency response of PMF.
Figure 4. Block diagram of captures structure of Improved
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CN
N.-Q. LIU ET AL. 269
From (15), not only the threshold, but the number of
FFT points has connection with false alarm probability.
And the probability increases with the increasing values
of M. Therefore, the number of the chosen FFT points in
actual system is limited, and the false probability and the
searching range of the frequency offset are in contradict-
For the PMF-FFT capture system the detecting prob-
ability [4, 5] is
()2(, ),Pk QNSNRGkfc
Suppose the preset threshold c=30, at this time PFA =
3.9210-5, the information rate Rb=1kpbs, the period of
the PN code N=10240, the input SNR SNRin = -25 dB.
The relation between the detecting probability and the
Doppler offset before and after the improvement is
shown in Figure 5.
From Figure 5, the PMF-FFT algorithm expands the
right detecting probability in the frequency domain. And
the probability is bigger after windowing process than
before. So the windowing method improves the detecting
probability of the PN code acquisition.
This paper uses the single stay acquisition decision, so
the average acquisition time is
Here q is the number of code offset units to be
searched, q=KN; d
is single stay time. The stay time
will be Ts by using parallel matched filters, but it is at the
cost of huge hardware resource. So it is the serial way
that is chosen in this design and the stay time is XTs; k is
the number of decisions approving the happening of false
alarm. So false alarm penalty time is d
. If k = 10, the
relation between PMF-FFT algorithm and the Doppler
frequency offset before and after the improvement is
shown in Figure 6. Figure 7 shows the connection of
algorithm and the input SNR before and after improve-
05001000150020002500 3000 35004000 45005000
Figure 5. Relationships between probability of detection of
improved algorithm and Doppler shift.
0 1 234 56
Figure 6. Average capture time of original and improved
algorithm under Doppler shift.
-40 -35 -30 -25-20 -15 -10 -5 0 5
Figure 7. Average capture time of original and improved
algorithm under different SNR.
This paper analyses basic theory of the PMF-FFT PN
code acquisition algorithm. For the Scalloping Loss, it
focuses on the windowing function method and improves
the structure, reducing the influence of the Scalloping
Loss. What is more, it proposes an equivalent method
equipped with easier structure. For the loss brought by
PMF fixed low-pass properties, it chooses the windowing
process to the received data. Theoretical analysis results
show that, after windowing twice, the algorithm im-
proves detecting probability and reduces average acquisi-
tion time compared with the original one, improving the
capacity of resisting disturbance.
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ference on Satellite Systems for Mobile Communications
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N.-Q. LIU ET AL.
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Copyright © 2013 SciRes. CN