Spectrum of a sinusoid

Generating Signals and Viewing the Spectrum

One of the most common questions DSP beginners have is how to generate the signals (particularly, sinusoids) and view their spectrum. They have a rough idea what time domain and frequency domain are about but struggle to construct the first few lines of code that open the gates towards a deeper understanding of signals. For this reason, I produce below an Octave (or Matlab) code that you can simply copy and paste to view and modify the results. Keep in mind that the code has been written for an explanation purpose, not conciseness or optimization. As you progress towards developing

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Pulse Code Modulation (PCM)

Specifications of a Radio Receiver

When designing a radio receiver, a system architect has to deal with the issues such as dynamic range, noise floor and sensitivity of a radio receiver [1]. The ultimate purpose is computing a power budget to ensure that a minimum amount of signal power is available at the receiver during operation. This is not much different than how a country assigns an available budget into different sectors such as defense, education and health. Dynamic Range Dynamic range is the ratio of the largest signal level to the smallest signal level that the system can process in analog and digital stages.

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A machine press

Why the Constant e Arises in Complex Plane as a Rotation

In the tutorial on how complex numbers arose, we asked three questions. The first two were answered in the same article while the answer to the third question, repeated below, is explained here. Why is the expression $e^{i \theta}$ a rotation of 1 by $\theta$ radians on a unit circle? Is it possible to make sense out of a number like $2.71828^{\sqrt{-1}\cdot\theta}$? The constant e is a special number discovered by Jacob Bernoulli while studying compound interests. It appears in many other forms as well which are all related to each other but that topic is a complete account in

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Multiple objects at different speeds for an FMCW radar

FMCW Radar Part 2 – Velocity, Angle and Radar Data Cube

In Part 1 of FMCW radar series, we described how a radar estimates the range of one or more stationary targets. In Part 2, we talk about estimating the velocities of several moving targets and their directions through forming a structure known as the radar cube. Part 3 presents system design guidelines for an FMCW radar. In a wonderful 1991 paper "Wireless Digital Communication: A View Based on Three Lessons Learned", Andrew Viterbi summarizes the Shannon theory for digital communications in the form of 3 lessons, the first of which was the following. "Never discard information prematurely that may be

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(Top) An 8-PSK waveform. (Bottom) Two constellation diagrams: one at the Tx shown by thick red lines and the other at the Rx for a phase offset of 17 degrees shown by dotted purple lines

I/Q Signals 101: Neither Complex Nor Complicated

There was a recent discussion on GNU Radio mailing list in regards to the simplest possible intuition behind I/Q signals. Why is I/Q sampling required? Question: The original question from Kristoff went like this: “… when you mention `GNU Radio complex numbers’, you also have to mention I/Q signals, which is a topic that is very difficult to explain in 10 seconds to an audience who has never seen anything about I/Q sampling before.” Comment: According to Jeff Long: “This is a great thing to try to figure out. If we can come up with an answer that gives someone

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