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Teaching Communication Systems with Simulink and the USRP

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Software and Web-based Learning in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1243.1 - 25.1243.13



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Paper Authors


Joseph P. Hoffbeck University of Portland

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Joseph P. Hoffbeck is an Associate Professor of electrical engineering at the University of Portland in Portland, Ore. He has a Ph.D. from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indi. He previously worked with digital cell phone systems at Lucent Technologies (formerly AT&T Bell Labs) in Whippany, N.J. His technical interests include communication systems, digital signal processing, and remote sensing.

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Teaching Communication Systems with Simulink and the USRPThis paper discusses a system to demodulate and decode radio signals in real time using theuniversal software radio peripheral devices (USRP1 and USRP2) in combination with Simulinkin an undergraduate teaching environment. Several previous papers have shown the value ofusing real world radio signals to inspire and motivate students in traditional communicationsystems courses and laboratories. Recent versions of Simulink now support a direct connectionto the USRP2, and Simulink can connect to the USRP1 through an existing open source softwarepackage. This capability allows users to rapidly prototype radio systems that run in real time,which enables more realistic and interesting projects, laboratory experiments, anddemonstrations. To illustrate this capability, a Simulink model is presented that implements areal-time FM radio that demodulates and plays the audio signal, and it also decodes the digitalRBDS signal and prints out the RadioText messages which usually convey the name of the artistand song that is currently playing.

Hoffbeck, J. P. (2012, June), Teaching Communication Systems with Simulink and the USRP Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22000

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