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Comprehensive study of state of the art techniques

Signal Processing for Software Defined Radio

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Technical Training Short On Site Course Quote

This four day course is designed for RF system engineers and digital signal processing engineers who wish to enhance their understanding of this rapidly emerging technology. Our primary emphasis is on the theory and design of state of the art analog circuits and digital algorithms for software defined radio.

Day one starts with an overview of everything SDR from a simple USB radio to advanced SDR platforms. This introduction includes several examples of practical applications that rely on the SDR approach.

Day two presents an in-depth review of digital modulation, both basic and advanced, as well as RF propagation impairments, received signal equalization, multiple access techniques and forward error correction.

Day three focuses on SDR analog design. We start with analog radio signal processing and finish with a look at analog to digital converter (ADC) technology and applications. To keep things practical, we study and compare the design characteristics of some popular SDRs being sold today.

Day four considers many different choices for digital signal processing algorithms for SDR. We discuss several different tracking and estimation algorithms and their suitability for various applications. Day four also includes extensive use of Simulink and GNU radio to build digital receiver simulations. The emphasis is on going beyond the basics to obtain a practical and robust design.

All DSP code and models are provided on the class CD. Throughout the course, mostly intuitive explanations take the place of detailed mathematical developments. The emphasis is on providing the student knowledge and insight. Most topics include carefully described design examples, alternative approaches, performance analysis, and references to published research results. Extensive guidance is provided to help you get started on practical design and simulation efforts. Almost all material is referenced to a complete bibliography included on the class CD.

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    Dr. John M Reyland has 20 years of experience in digital communications design for both commercial and military applications. Dr. Reyland holds the degree of Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Iowa. He has presented numerous seminars on digital communications in both academic and industrial settings.

    Contact this instructor (please mention course name in the subject line)

What You Will Learn:

  • New digital communications requirements that drive the SDR approach.
  • Pros and cons of SDR development tools such as Simulink, GNU radio and Labview
  • Pros and cons of SDR hardware platforms such as Ettus, NooElec, Nutaq and Xilinx
  • Advanced SDR hardware architectures and components
  • SDR system design applications, advantages and disadvantages
  • Cognitive radio concepts and current applications
  • Advanced aspects of physical layer digital communications design
  • Many difficult to find practical design techniques From this course you will understand the SDR approach to digital radio design and become familiar with current standards and trends. You will gain extensive insight into the differences between traditional digital radio design and the SDR approach. You will be able to evaluate design approaches for SDR suitability and lead SDR discussions with colleagues. This course includes detailed and practical design demonstrations.

Course Outline:

  1. SDR Introduction. SDR definitions, motivation, history and evolution as well as an overview of SDR design approaches.

  2. SDR Major Standards. Software Communications Architecture (SCA) and Space Telecommunications Radio System (STRS). We look at the differences as well as the motivation, operational overview and details. Hardware abstraction concepts and structural components of both systems are discussed. The NASA SCAN SDR test is presented as a practical SDR example.

  3. SDR Architectures. Changes that the SDR approach has brought about in radio and computer architecture, interface design, component selection and other aspects. We study the characteristics and application of the computational elements of a typical SDR.

  4. SDR Enablers. We discuss how block diagram oriented simulation environments such as Simulink, GNU Radio and Labview facilitate SDR development. We also look at how these tools fit into both research and manufacturing environments.

  5. SDR Advantages/Disadvantages. Practical uses of both SDR and cognitive radio. What benefits are obtained and what other factors, such as cost and complexity are involved.

  6. Digital Modulation. We look at both basic and advanced linear and non-linear multilevel modulations. Techniques analyzed include OFDM and its application to LTE and 802.11a. We emphasis system design implications of bandwidth and power efficiency, peak to average power, error vector magnitude, error probability, etc.

  7. RF Channels. A wide range of RF channel impairments are studied and categorized. Techniques for coping with imperfect channels are discussed. A satellite link budget is described in detail. Topics covered also include antennas, RF spectrum usage, bandwidth measurement and multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) channels.

  8. Receiver Channel Equalization. We present a thorough treatment of Inter-symbol interference, group delay, linear and nonlinear equalization, as well as time and frequency domain equalizers.

  9. Multiple Access Techniques. Frequency, time and code division techniques as well as carrier sensing, wireless sensor networks and beam steering are among the topics discussed.

  10. Source and Channel Coding. Source and channel coding, sampling, entropy, data compression, voice coding, block and convolution coding, turbo coding, space-time coding and trellis coding. The source coding theorem and Shannon’s capacity theorem are both described and applied to provide a thorough but concise treatment of this important topic.

  11. Receiver Analog Signal Processing.We discuss RF components and conversion structures for SDR, frequency planning, automatic gain control as well as high speed, high dynamic range analog to digital conversion techniques and bandpass sampling. An example is presented of an SDR radio front end that supports rapid reconfiguration for multiple signal formats.

  12. Receiver Digital Signal Processing. All the DSP algorithms for a complete practical digital receiver are discussed. This includes algorithms for quadrature downconversion, matched filtering, packet synchronization, automatic gain control, carrier and symbol tracking and equalization. Functioning simulations of this receiver, implemented in both Simulink and GNU radio are presented. In addition we present practical algorithms for both FIR and IIR parallel processing for high data rate FPGA implementations.


    Tuition for this four-day course is $2090 per person at one of our scheduled public courses. Onsite pricing is available. Please call us at 410-956-8805 or send an email to