04-801-L2   Software Defined Radios

Location: Africa

Units: 6

Semester Offered: Fall

Course description

A software-defined radio is one that implements some or all physical layer functions in software. Historically, radios were hardware-dependent and fixed to a specific signal waveform. Your modern smartphone implements several individual radios (2G, 3G, 4G, WiFi, GPS, FM radio, Bluetooth, etc). A software-defined radio would adapt to these different waveforms and receive all of them with one radio. In this course, we will study the end-to-end processes involved in radio transmitters and receivers (or transceivers) such as modulation/demodulation, coding/decoding, amplification, etc. Using a physical device to implement the front-end of the receiver, we will design the other processes in software; for example, we can design an FM software-defined receiver to receive existing FM radio signals in Kigali. We will also visualize spectrum occupancy by developing a simple spectrum analyzer in software that covers from very low to GHz frequency range.


None, but basic programming skills will be helpful.


Edwin Mugume