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An Open Ended Design Project For A First Communications Course

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Conference

2000 Annual Conference

Location

St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000

ISSN

2153-5965

Page Count

3

Page Numbers

5.106.1 - 5.106.3

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/8608

Download Count

67

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Paper Authors

author page

Thad Welch

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

Session 1432

An Open-ended Design Project for a First Communications Course

Thad B. Welch Department of Electrical Engineering U.S. Naval Academy, MD

Abstract The United States Naval Academy offers a junior level communications systems course that includes a significant amount of hardware design. A signals and systems class is the prerequisite for this course, during which the necessary fundamentals are developed to allow for an immediate discussion of higher order modulation schemes. The open-ended design project deals with designing, building, and testing a 16-QAM communications link. This project allows for a significant amount of design experience prior to starting the traditional senior-year design sequence.

1. Introduction The United States Naval Academy offers a junior level communications systems course1 that includes a significant amount of hardware design. This course is taught in a 3-2-4 format (three hr/wk of lecture, two hr/wk of lab, for four hours of total credit). This course represents the student’s sixth EE course and the beginning of their sixth semester in college. Signals and Systems2 is the prerequisite for this course, during which the necessary fundamentals are developed to allow for an immediate discussion of higher order modulation schemes.

The open-ended design project deals with designing, building, and testing a sixteen level quadrature amplitude modulation3 (16-QAM) communications link and allows for a significant amount of design experience prior to starting the traditional senior-year design sequence.

2. Design project discussion

The design project is presented to the students with only four specifications;

- the minimum data rate of approximately 1,000 bits/second (bps), - the need to be able to easily increase the data rate from 1,000 bps to at least 10,000 bps, - the signal constellation points must be at ±3 volts and ± 1 volt, and - pre-fabricated D/A converters may not be used.

Few specifications are provided in the hope that the students will re-examine the 16-QAM modulator from an implementation perspective. A simplified block diagram of a 16-QAM baseband modulator is provided in figure 1.

Welch, T. (2000, June), An Open Ended Design Project For A First Communications Course Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. https://peer.asee.org/8608

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