RF and Communications Fundamentals

Publish Date: Dec 31, 2013 | 85 Ratings | 3.82 out of 5 |  PDF

Overview

As part of the National Instruments Measurement Fundamentals Series, this set of tutorials helps you learn about a specific common measurement application topic through theory explanations and practical examples.

What You Learn

A wide range of systems and applications incorporate RF, microwave and wireless devices and signals, so advancing your fundamental knowledge is important for mastering many of today's test and measurement applications. This set of RF, communications and wireless tutorials provides you with essential information about analog and digital modulation, I/Q data, RF and microwave specifications, and performing spectral measurements.

Visit the Test System Development Resource Library to learn how to incorporate these measurements into an automated test system.

Table of Contents

  1.  Introduction to RF & Wireless Communications Systems
  2. RF and Microwave Spectral Analysis
  3. Analog Modulation
  4. Digital Modulation
  5. Communications Systems
  6. Modulation Measurements
  7. Communication Standards
  8. Understanding RF & Microwave Specifications
  9. RF & Communications Resources
  10. See Also - RF Fundamentals 3-Day Training Course

1.  Introduction to RF & Wireless Communications Systems

This tutorial is designed to introduce the basic concepts of RF and wireless communications.


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2. RF and Microwave Spectral Analysis


This set of tutorials will discuss several topics relating to spectral analysis. It covers typical spectral measurements such as power in-band, adjacent channel power as well as concepts such as dynamic range, resolution bandwidth, harmonic distortion as well as noise specifications.

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3. Analog Modulation


This set of tutorials will discuss several topics relating to analog modulation. It covers amplitude modulation (AM), frequency modulation (FM) and phase-locked loops (PLL).

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4. Digital Modulation


This set of tutorials will discuss several topics relating to digital modulation. It covers frequency shift keying (FSK), phase shift keying (PSK), quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) and discusses IQ data as they relate to digital modulation.


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5. Communications Systems


This set of tutorials will discuss several topics relating to communication systems. Some of the topics addressed include pulse-shape filtering, channel coding, OFDM and spread spectrum.

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6. Modulation Measurements


This set of tutorials will discuss several topics relating to modulation measurements. It covers error vector magnitude (EVM) and modulation error ratio (MER).

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7. Communication Standards


Communication applications range from simple RFID transponders and keyless entry systems to cell phones and cognitive radios. By using software-defined modular instruments, you can maximize your equipment investment by creating a test system that is both reusable and adaptable to changes in the test device. Some standards discussed include RFID, GSM/EDGE, ZigBee, AM, FM, RDS, XM, Sirius, Bluetooth, tire pressure monitoring (TMPS), 802.11 and spectral monitoring.



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8. Understanding RF & Microwave Specifications


This tutorial is a continuation and defines typical RF and microwave specifications found on devices and instruments. Terms such as Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR), Frequency Response, Modulation Error Ratio (MER), Error Vector Magnitude (EVM), Third-Order Intercept and more.

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9. RF & Communications Resources


Use this RF and communication resource for information ranging from general RF terminology to specific RF application development. Whether you are developing an advanced RF application, researching different RF test platforms, or simply needing information about RF and communications fundamentals, this document can help you.

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10. See Also - RF Fundamentals 3-Day Training Course

Engineers who are new to RF or looking for a a refresher course can attend a 3-Day National Instruments RF Fundamentals Training Course to explore traditional measurements, learn about digital and analog modulation, examine modern system-level tests such as BER, MER, and EVM, and more.

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