Applied RF Engineering II - Signals and Propagation Online

Course 271

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Part of our NEW Applied RF Engineering Certification

Summary

The process of coding information onto an RF carrier is a key aspect that enables modern wireless transmission. An RF/wireless engineer needs to understand how information can be represented as changes to the properties of a carrier, as well as the impediments that the carrier faces going from the transmit antenna to the receive antenna. Although the topic is complex, many key concepts are remarkably simple to understand and help to demystify assumptions concerning frequency, range, and bandwidth requirements for example. Furthermore, understanding the basic modulation types serves as a foundation for understanding how today's elaborate commercial standards work, by seeing them as the combination of familiar building blocks alongside other more advanced techniques.

Lab exercises in the course using Octave/Matlab allow the student to explore relationships between time and frequency domains, as well as providing some bonus familiarity and competence with basic DSP algorithms. Some basic modulation signals are explored, and the basic principles of OFDM signal generation are demonstrated.

Learning objectives

Upon completing the course you will be able to:

  • work with DSP tools to create basic waveforms
  • view relationships between time and frequency domains
  • interpret the basic relationship between frequency and path loss
  • identify basic antenna performance metrics
  • evaluate wireless standards based on common signal building blocks

Target Audience

This course is intended for students with an engineering background or equivalent practical experience. The material covered is similar to the RF Technology Certification part II. This course includes "lab" sessions using Octave/Matlab examples to create basic signal types and explore their properties in the time and frequency domains. Octave is an open source program that is freely available for download on multiple computer platforms.

Outline

Review

Wave Parameters
 • amplitude • frequency • phase

Propagation and Antennas

Propagation
 • fading • fading models • indoor attenuation factors • multipath • diversity • doppler • "the channel" • workbook
Antennas
 • near/far fields • basis for 1/2 wavelength • effective area

Time and Frequency

Time/Frequency Relationships
 • rectangular pulse • sinc funciton • LAB: Explore rectangular pulse, spectrum, phase changes for timing
Signal Conditioning
 • truncated sinc spectrum • raised cosine filter • baseband filtering • LAB: Create pulse train, apply baseband filtering • sampling, sampling rate • A/D bits vs. dynamic range • Nyquist sampling rate • Shannon capacity

Modulation

Analog Modulation
 • AM • FM • PM
Digital Modulation
 • Modulation types: ASK, PSK, QAM • phasor diagrams • I-Q axes • SNR requirement vs. number of bits/symbol • IQ modulator • LAB: create/plot basic digitally modulated waveforms

Impairments and Testing

Instrumentation
 • vector signal analyzer (VSA) • span/sampling frequency relationship • resolution/record length
Measurements
 • data displays: constellation, eye diagram, error table • impairment types: phase or amplitude based • IQ modulator impairments • LAB/DEMO: use VSA software to view imparments on recorded signals

Coding and Multiple Access

Coding
 • error detection • error correction • effect on SNR requirements
Multiple Access
 • FDMA • TDMA • MIMO • OFDMA • LAB: create rudimentary OFDM waveforms using IFFT