Signal Processing for Software Defined Radio

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Signal Processing for Software Defined Radio

4-Day Course

$2190 per person


This four-day course is an in-depth investigation into 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. Day two presents an in-depth review of digital modulation, both basic and advanced, as well as RF propagation impairments, received signal equalization, coding theory and multiple access techniques. Day three focuses on SDR analog design starting with analog radio signal processing and finishing with a look at theory and application of analog to digital converter (ADC) technology. Finally, day four considers SDR digital signal processing algorithms including theory and application of various acquisition, tracking and estimation algorithms.

On each day we illustrate the material with SDR hardware and/or software demos. The focus is on currently available low-cost implementations such as the USRP (Universal Software Radio Peripheral) and the RTL-SDR. Most of the digital algorithm code can be used directly in your own SDR design.

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. In addition to the class slides and extensive bibliography, all DSP code and models are provided on the class CD.

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View Sampler Slides For 2016

View the GNU Radio Wiki

  • How to make use of the latest SDR RFICs (Radio Frequency Integrated Circuit).
  • Pros and cons of SDR software development tools such as Simulink and GNU radio.
  • Pros and cons of SDR hardware platforms such as Ettus, Nutaq and Xilinx.
  • SDR system design applications.
  • Cognitive radio concepts and current applications.
  • Advanced aspects of physical layer digital communications design.
  • Many difficult to find practical design techniques.
  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.

If this course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses and you are interested in attending this or another course as an open enrollment, please contact us at (410) 956-8805 or Please indicate the course name, number of students who wish to participate. and a preferred time frame. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a 3-5 month lead time. For on-site pricing, you can use the request an on-site quote form, call us at (410) 956-8805, or email us at


Dr. John M. Reyland Dr. John M Reyland has 25 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.

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