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In this paper, the authors propose a MultiLevel Coding (MLC) scheme suitable for satellite communications, where different QoS levels are required. They introduce a novel characterization of schemes based on mutual information, called Multi-Stage Decoder (MSD) charts, to aid in the design and evaluation of multilevel coding systems. This characterization method finds the optimal set of code rates for the MLC scheme for a set of required SNR operation points. On the other hand, fixing the code rates to find out the operation points of SNR is also possible. Performance of common mapping strategies used in MLC schemes, as block labeling and Ungerb?ck labeling, are evaluated using MSD charts.
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