ECEN 4652/5002 - Communications Lab
Peter Mathys, Spring 2013
Course Description and Requirements
- Class: W 3:00-4:15 am, ECEE 265
- Lab: T 3:00-4:50 pm and open lab times, ECEE 287
- Instructor: Professor
ECEE 1B67, 303-492-7733, Fax: 303-492-2758, e-mail:
- Office Hours: MWF 1-3 pm, and by appointment.
- Pre/Corequisite: ECEN 4242, Communication Theory
- Credit Hours: 3
The essence of any communication system is the generation
and reliable detection of signals which carry information
over a noisy channel with bandwidth and power limitations.
A distinction is usually made between analog and digital
communication systems, depending on whether the transmitted
information is in digital or analog form. Most physical
channels, such as wires, optical fibers or free-space
electromagnetic wave propagation are analog in nature and
must use waveforms (which are continuous in time and
amplitude) at their inputs and outputs. Increasingly, however,
digital signal processing (DSP) is used to produce these
waveforms at the transmitter and to process them at the
receiver. There are several reasons for this. First and
foremost the use of programmable digital hardware is cheaper
because the same hardware design can be used with different
software to implement many different communication systems.
Moreover, no costly adjustments due to tolerances and aging
of analog components are needed. Second, such parameters
as the response of filters, the bandwidth of the generated
waveforms and the phase and frequency stability of oscillators
can be controlled much more precisely in a digital environment.
Third, sophisticated algorithms for synchronization, data
compression, cryptography, and error control coding can be
implemented quite easily using intelligent digital signal
processing hard- and software.
This laboratory course is an introduction to the most common
techniques that are used to build both analog and digital
communication systems using a modern digital signal processing
approach. Digital communication systems are introduced by looking
first at baseband transmission methods such as pulse amplitude
modulation (PAM), partial response (PR) signaling, and pulse code
modulation (PCM). Next, using amplitude modulation (AM), several
aspects and implementation issues of moving the spectrum of an
analog or digital baseband signal to the passband of a transmission
channel and back at the transmitter and receiver are discussed.
Many of these techniques are then shown to be useful as well in
the context of phase and frequency modulation (PM and FM). The
combination of AM, FM, PM and PAM or PCM finally leads to the
most commonly used digital modulation systems such as frequency
shift keying (FSK), phase shift keying (PSK) and more general
2-dimensional signal constellations using quadrature amplitude
modulation (QAM). In the majority of cases the goal of a
communication system is to transmit information reliably
as fast as possible within a given channel bandwidth and
power constraint. A different approach, which will be studied
towards the end of the semester, is called spread spectrum
communication. As the name indicates, the spectrum of the
information signal is spread out over a large range in such
systems. This is advantageous to combat intentional and
unintentional jamming between many users who share a common
portion of the radio frequency spectrum.
- Course Coverage:
- Matlab Refresher, Representation of Signals in the Time Domain,
Power and Energy
- Review of Fourier Transforms, Power Spectral Density, Filters
- Sampling Theorem, Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM), Pulse
Code Modulation (PCM)
- Nyquist's Criterion, Intersymbol Interference (ISI), Eye Diagrams,
Bit Error Rate (BER)
- Clock Extraction, Time Division Multiplexing (TDM)
- Partial Response (PR) Signaling, Maximum Likelihood (ML)
Sequence Detection Using Viterbi Algorithm
- Double Sideband (DSB) Amplitude Modulation (AM) with
Suppressed or Transmitted Carrier (SC or TC), Coherent and Non-Coherent
- Frequency Division Multiplexing (FDM), Mixers, Superheterodyne
- Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM), Complex Lowpass Signals,
Single Sideband (SSB) AM
- Binary and Quaternary Phase Shift Keying (BPSK and QPSK), QAM
- Phase and Frequency Modulation (PM and FM), Narrowband FM,
Frequency Shift Keying (FSK)
- Course Requirements:
- Attend class.
- Lab Experiments (60%): Weekly, lab reports are due on
Wednesdays 11:59 pm in D2L dropbox.
Note: The lab experiments and the lab reports are
- Peer grading of lab reports (20%).
- Quizzes (20%): Approximately
bi-weekly, on material covered in class and/or labs.
- Note: All lab reports are individual efforts! Identical
copies of reports, parts of reports, and Matlab files will not be
- Click here for the Lab Report Format
- Course Goal: Learn
how to generate and process analog
and digital communication signals using digital signal processing
algorithms. Observe and interpret the impact of channel impairments
such as noise, power limitation and finite bandwith on different
communication methods and signals.
©2000-2013, P. Mathys.
Last revised: 01-16-13, PM.