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A PCMCIA IRIDIUM SATELLITE TELEPHONE WITH COMPUTER-BASED DATA ENCRYPTION

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000004649D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Mar-15
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2001-Mar-15
Document File: 2 page(s) / 6K

Publishing Venue

Motorola

Related People

Thomas M. Fox: AUTHOR

Abstract

The Iridium satellite communication system provides worldwide voice and data services using the Iridium handset or large L Band transceivers (LBT). The advent of the smaller third generation handset with reduced electronics' size, provides new packaging options for use on the satellite based infrastructure. This publication describes a device that permits the use of the Iridium network with a computer based Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) card. The computer supplies the power, voice/data connection and desired software enabled encryption. An RF connector supplies a connection to an externally located antenna for communication with the Iridium satellite system.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 95% of the total text.

A PCMCIA IRIDIUM SATELLITE TELEPHONE WITH COMPUTER-BASED DATA ENCRYPTION

by Thomas M. Fox

INTRODUCTION

The Iridium satellite communication system provides worldwide voice and data services using the Iridium handset or large L Band transceivers (LBT). The advent of the smaller third generation handset with reduced electronics' size, provides new packaging options for use on the satellite based infrastructure.

This publication describes a device that permits the use of the Iridium network with a computer based Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) card. The computer supplies the power, voice/data connection and desired software enabled encryption. An RF connector supplies a connection to an externally located antenna for communication with the Iridium satellite system.

IRIDIUM PCMCIA DESCRIPTION

Please refer to Figure 1 for the block diagram of the PCMCIA card. The major blocks include a PCMCIA controller, a field programmable gate array (FPGA), two bus interface chip (BIC) integrated circuits, the Iridium transceiver and the housing with connectors. The PCMCIA controller provides the correct interface for the card on the PCMCIA computer bus. It is a purchased integrated circuit that manages the computer interfaces for the AT command set, voice, data, ring, control and status.

The FPGA contains PCMCIA conversions for RS232, A Law speech compression, an intelligent peripheral controller and PCM highway data. These functions permit control of the Iridium transceiver and communications to and from the computer.

The BICs provide the A Law to data-speech control (DSC) bus conversion and the transceiver control via the intelligent peripheral function. These integrated circuits are also purchased integrated circuits.

The Irilite transceiver printed circuit cards are used as the air interface for the Iridium satellite network. The keypad, display and antenna sense are not needed for this implementation. The Irilite phone also has a super cap, to supply peak energy during transmit, that may not be needed.

A tradeoff between the peak energy needs and the PCMCIA connector pins current carrying capacity should be performed as part of the design.

An initial space study, as shown at the bottom of Figure 1, depicts the two Irilite printed circuit cards inside the housing with max height components to estimate package height. As depicted, the first estimate is O.5mm too thick. This is a second engineering tradeoff effort to shrink the package size to the Type IV PCMCIA standard of l8mm.

CONCLUSION

The PCMCIA Iridium transceiver is a logical extension of the efforts to produce a smaller, lighter satellite phone for the Iridium system. While specific software drivers need to be developed for the PCMCIA card, voice, data and fax can be transmitted from a PC over the Iridium network using the appropriate PC applications softw...