SIRIUS Satellite Radio Receiver

The SIRIUS satellite radio receiver helps the radio installed in your car, home or iPhone to work and provide entertainment, weather news, traffic updates etc. This receiver plays an important role in the Backseat TV package from SIRIUS and in supplying the marine weather data too. A powerful receiver will be able to tell the sailor about the probable storms along with entertaining him as well. But how does this receiver work? What is the technology behind it? Let us find out.

The core of the SIRIUS satellite radio receiver lies in a specially made application specific integrated circuit or ASIC known as the Baseband Integrated Circuit that is presently the STA240 manufactured by STMicroelectronics. This chip consists of 2 in-built micro processors produced from IP cores. Each baseband is recognized by an exclusive Electronic Serial Number, also called SIRIUS ID. 

The tuner is another crucial component of the SIRIUS satellite radio receiver. It is again a routine ASIC called the STA210. This tuner links to the antenna, and accepts the incoming satellite as well as terrestrial indications at 2.32 GHz and breaks them down into intermediate frequency signals at about 75 MHz. These signals are around -50dBm strong if the sky is clear. The IF indications are put into the STA240, which are then converted into digital form, demodulated, freed of mistakes, de-interleaved and decoded with the help of exclusive circuits on the chip. 

The baseband processor in the SIRIUS satellite radio receiver consumes 16 MB SDRAM memory to safeguard 4 seconds of one satellite signal so that it aligns with the next one for maximal-ratio combining. In the case of recent receivers where you can actually temporarily halt the live radio, a dual-port PSRAM is included to save up to one hour of the chosen channel. The processor in the baseband gives an output of digital audio using a Serial Peripheral Interface that is passed on to a D/A converter to create the analog audio signal. The head unit is the front-end of the receiver and is helpful for showing details like the song category, channel played, artist and song name. It also houses all the controls for a listener. These controls are incorporated by third-party developers of receivers that are compatible with SIRIUS radios by installing a microprocessor they wish.

Customers can choose from car radio systems, home entertainment products and portable home and car kits from SIRIUS. The SIRIUS satellite radio receiver is made up of 2 sections, the antenna and the receiver. The antenna does the job of grasping signals coming from the satellite, magnifies this signal and removes disturbance, if any. This signal is then communicated to the receiver section. If your car has a traditional radio, you can buy an adapter from SIRIUS so that it is able to accept satellite signals.

So this was all about the working of the SIRIUS satellite radio receiver and the science behind it. We do not realize all this when we are listening to the music on our SIRIUS radio!