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A Comprehensive Suite Of Tools For Teaching Communications Courses

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Issues in Digital Signal Processing

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

11.33.1 - 11.33.13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/913

Download Count

86

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Paper Authors

biography

Robert Kubichek University of Wyoming

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Robert F. Kubichek has been with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Wyoming since 1991. His current research interests include communications and signal processing with applications to speech and remote sensing. E-mail: kubichek@uwyo.edu

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Thad Welch U.S. Naval Academy

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Thad B. Welch, Ph.D, P.E., is with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Wyoming in Fall 2004. His research interests include the implementation of communication systems using DSP techniques,DSP education, multicarrier communication systems analysis, and RF signal propagation. Commander Welch is a member of ASEE, IEEE, Tau Beta Pi, and Eta Kappa Nu. E-mail: t.b.welch@ieee.org

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Cameron Wright University of Wyoming Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-6029-1896

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Cameron H. G. Wright, Ph.D, P.E., is with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY. His research interests include signal and image processing, real-time embedded computer systems, biomedical instrumentation, and wireless/satellite communications systems. He is a member of ASEE, IEEE, SPIE, NSPE, Tau Beta Pi, and Eta Kappa Nu. E-mail: c.h.g.wright@ieee.org

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Comprehensive Suite of Tools for Teaching Communications Courses

Abstract

Both the U.S. Naval Academy and the University of Wyoming offer a wide variety of electrical engineering courses concerning communications. Additionally, required design courses offer opportunities for exposure to a wide variety of real-world communication systems and topics. Whether these courses are discussing the basics of analog and digital communications, or the details of advanced digital modulation schemes and error performance, until very recently, we have found it exceeding difficult to perform communications systems demonstrations and the subsequent signal analysis without a phenomenal amount of specialized hardware and personal effort. This all changed when both schools started using a National Instrument (NI) vector signal analyzer (VSA) and vector signal generator (VSG). Both of these functions are contained within a standalone PXI chassis. These hardware functions are enabled and controlled by LabView and the vast array of toolkits available from NI. This paper discusses the use of this hardware and software in both the lecture and design environment.

1 Introduction

Both the U.S. Naval Academy and the University of Wyoming offer a wide variety of electrical engineering courses concerning communications. This includes, but is not limited to, Introductory Communications Theory, Modern Communications Systems, Data Networks, Fiber Optics, and Wireless and Cellular Communications Systems. Additionally, required design courses offer opportunities for exposure to a wide variety of real-world communication systems and topics.

Whether these courses are discussing the basics of analog and digital communications, or the details of advanced digital modulation schemes and error performance, until very recently, we have found it exceeding difficult to perform communications systems demonstrations and the subsequent signal analysis without a phenomenal amount of specialized hardware and personal effort. This all changed when both schools started using a National Instrument (NI) vector signal analyzer (VSA) and vector signal generator (VSG). Both of these functions are contained within the standalone PXI chassis shown in Figure 1. These hardware functions are enabled and controlled by LabView and the vast array of toolkits available from NI.

The use of spectrum analyzers in the classroom is not new. Mehrl, et al.1 proposed a PC soundboard based audio-band spectrum analyzer, while Morrow, et al. introduced more powerful real-time DSP hardware-based spectrum analyzers.2 Although these systems are useful, their limited frequency range severely restricts the range of applications that can be studied.

Kubichek, R., & Welch, T., & Wright, C. (2006, June), A Comprehensive Suite Of Tools For Teaching Communications Courses Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/913

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