June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Electrical and Computer
24.1283.1 - 24.1283.13
Ultra Low-Cost Software-Defined Radio: A Mobile Studio for Teaching Digital Signal ProcessingSoftware-defined radio (SDR) is being used by many institutions as a teaching tool to illustrateand explore concepts presented in signal processing and communication courses. The inherentflexibility of SDR coupled with the ability to capture, visualize, and process real-world signalsprovides numerous benefits in classroom and laboratory settings. Furthermore, exposure to SDRis increasingly important for students wishing to pursue careers in the telecommunication,networking, and radar fields. An undergraduate laboratory can be outfitted with relatively high-performance SDRs at a reasonable cost.It was recently discovered that USB digital television tuners can be used as SDR receivers.Since this discovery, the tuners have been successfully used in a wide variety of applications. Ata cost less than $20, these so-called “RTL-SDR” devices set a new price point for SDRtechnology that is particularly attractive within an educational context.This paper presents the use of these low-cost SDRs and supporting software for teaching digitalsignal processing (DSP) concepts to undergraduate electrical and computer engineering students.The proposed approach creates an interactive learning environment based on mobile studiopedagogy. A series of studio projects have been developed, each of which requiresimplementation and testing of DSP algorithms on data received by student-owned SDRs. Datasources include signals of opportunity as well as instructor-generated test signals. The result is amobile learning environment in which students can visualize and apply abstract theoreticalconcepts, implement real-time algorithms, and rapidly test their designs using real-world data.
Prust, C. J., & Holland, S., & Kelnhofer, R. W. (2014, June), Ultra Low-Cost Software-Defined Radio: A Mobile Studio for Teaching Digital Signal Processing Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23216
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