The mission of the Information Processing Group is to
provide leadership and expertise in information theory,
coding theory, and communications systems, in line with
the missions of JPL and NASA. Our work ranges from
fundamental research on performance limits to practical
details of infusing and supporting our technology on
The group conducts research and development in the
following broad areas:
- Channel coding.
Our goal is to design low complexity forward error
correcting codes that have performance near the
Shannon limit. We led the effort to standardize a
family of turbo codes for deep space communications.
We are currently developing low density parity check
codes, which may have even lower complexity. We also
have renewed an interest in coding for optical
- Data compression.
We have recently developed a progressive wavelet
image compression algorithm, ICER, which has been
implemented as the compression technology for
Mars Exploration Rover.
We are currently investigating techniques for
compressing hyperspectral image data.
The desire for higher data rates is leading to
spectral crowding, especially at X-band. We are
investigating a number of power efficient, spectrally
efficient coded modulation schemes to solve this
problem, and we are active participants in related
- Systems analysis.
We provide expertise in the end-to-end performance of
communications systems, including analysis of
statistical channel models, link continuity, radio
losses, and weather prediction.
We also consult with current or planned NASA missions, and
sometimes non-NASA projects, on
these topics when critical issues arise. We sometimes
play a role in the hardware development and
implementation of channel decoders and data
The Information Processing Group dates to 1960, and includes a number of
prominent former members.
Developing and analyzing channel codes for the Deep Space Network has been
a staple of the group from the beginning.