Investigation of Hamming, Reed-Solomon, and Turbo Forward Error Correcting Codes

Report No. ARL-TR-4901
Authors: Gregory Mitchell
Date/Pages: July 2009; 24 pages
Abstract: As data rate requirements for communications applications continue to increase and power requirements continue to fall, it becomes increasingly difficult to provide error-free communications over a noisy channel. Shannon's Limit provides the maximum error-free data rate achievable over an additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN) channel for a given signal to noise ratio (SNR). Forward error correcting (FEC) codes provide algorithms for encoding and decoding data bits, and help achieve data rates closer to Shannon's Limit. Three FEC codes are presented and their improvements in data rate are compared to tradeoffs in complexity and decoding lag. Different types of modulation are used to make comparisons in the performance of each FEC code.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: July 1, 2009