Practical Digital Radio Design

Course Length:



This four-day course provides digital radio designers with an abundance of practical techniques and insights for optimal processing of modern communications signals. Algorithms for detection, tracking, estimation and error correction of digitally modulated data are illustrated by detailed simulations, most of which can be directly implemented in hardware.

This presentation is very comprehensive: the theoretical basis of digital radio topics such as digital modulation, RF propagation impairments, signal equalization, coding theory and multiple access techniques is followed by simulations and practical design guidance.

In addition to the various digital modem topics, we study the important implications of correct analog and mixed signal design. This includes analysis of the latest ADCs, DACs and RF integrated circuits used in state of the art digital radio. Modern high-performance interface techniques, such as JESD204, are also discussed.

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

Course Outline:

  1. 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, multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) channels and beamforming.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Receiver Analog Signal Processing. We discuss RF components, conversion structures, frequency planning, automatic gain control as well as high speed, high dynamic range analog to digital conversion techniques and bandpass sampling. A hardware demo focuses on the USRP interface to an AD9361 state of the art integrated RF front end chip. Other modern ADC interfacing techniques such as JESD204B are described in detail.
  7. QAM and OFDM Digital Signal Processing. DSP algorithms for complete practical digital receivers for both OFDM and QAM are analyzed and simulated. This includes quadrature downconversion, matched filtering, packet synchronization, carrier and symbol tracking and equalization. Functioning simulations, implemented in Simulink, are presented. In addition we discuss FPGA implementation and present practical algorithms for both FIR and IIR parallel processing for high data rate vector processing.


REGISTRATION:  There is no obligation or payment required to enter the Registration for an actively scheduled course.   We understand that you may need approvals but please register as early as possible or contact us so we know of your interest in this course offering.

SCHEDULING:  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.   To express your interest in an open enrollment course not on our current schedule, please email us at

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 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.

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

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