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The Unexpected Challenge of Baseband I/Q Imbalance Compensation

Joel Goodman
Tactical Electronic Warfare Division, NRL
MTT & SPS Hosted Tech Talk

Date:  Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Time:  6:30 Reception and Dinner (Optional), Lecture 7:00

Place: TeqCorner, 1616 Anderson Road, McLean, Virginia, 22102

Directions: Map

Free parking.

All IEEE members and guests are welcome to attend. 

Cost: Lecture and reception free, optional Dinner $10

Please RSVP (Dinner only) to Roger Kaul, by November 30th


Direct conversion zero-and-low-IF radios are often an attractive architectural consideration, with advantages such as lower cost, reduced power, fewer components, and smaller size. However, imbalances between the in-phase (I) and quadrature (Q) channels result in unwanted distortions. Therefore, compensating for I/Q imbalances is immensely valuable in eliminating one of the significant issues plaguing analog components in radio frequency (RF) transmitters and receivers.

There are a number of papers that quantitatively describe algorithms to digitally mitigate I/Q imbalance. However, none of these papers describe the physical phenomenology that fundamentally limits digital I/Q compensation regardless of the signal processing being used. In this talk we quantitatively present the reason for the limited impact linear and nonlinear digital compensation has on I/Q imbalance, from both an RF/IF device and signal processing standpoint, and describe a technique to identify when baseband I/Q compensation will be adversely affected due to the RF/IF architecture of the front-end analog components.


Joel Goodman is a senior research engineer in the Tactical Eletronic Warfare Division of the Naval Research Laboratory. Prior to this, Joel was a technical staff member at MIT Lincoln Laboratory (MIT LL), most recently serving on the Chief Technology Officer's technical advisory group that allocates MIT LL IR&D funding for advanced research. Joel has been involved in developing algorithsm for data distribution in distributed sensor networks and algorithms for physical layer commnications, and most recently developing nonlinear signal processing algorithms for communications, SIGINT and RADAR appliations. Joel was an invited lecturer for an IEEE advanced signals processing symposium on the topic of nonlinear signal processing in 2008, was a recipient of the Eastman technical achievement award for his work on magnetic imaging systems, the 2008 MIT LL team excellence award for his work on nonlinear equalization, recipient of the 2012 NRI Alan Berman research Publications award and NRL Review award, a member of the organizing committee for IEEE GlobalSIP 2016, and is currently serving as Vice-Chair of the IEEE Northern Virginia Section. He has published a number of peer reviewed papers on the topic of nonlinear signal processing, as well as over 100 papers, patents and book chapters on the topics of communications, imaging, sensor networks and signal processing. Joel received his B.S and M.S in electrical enginering from Boston University in 1989.



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