Wireless Communications Systems Design with MATLAB and USRP Software-Defined Radios

Course Highlights

This two-day course shows how to design and simulate single- and multi-carrier digital communications systems using MATLAB. Multi-antenna and turbo-coded communication systems are introduced, and different channel impairments and their modeling are demonstrated. Components from LTE and IEEE 802.11 systems will be used as examples. Students will build a radio-in-the-loop system using real-time hardware (RTL-SDR and USRP).

The target audience for this course includes system engineers and RF engineers who need a fast ramp-up on modern communication techniques and the radio-in-the-loop workflow.

Prerequisites

MATLAB® Fundamentals and knowledge of digital communications systems

Course Outlline

Day 1 of 2

Communication Over a Noiseless Channel

Objective: Modeling an ideal single-carrier communications system and becoming familiar with System objects.

  • Sampling theorem and aliasing
  • Complex baseband versus real passband simulation
  • Creating a random bit stream
  • System objects and their benefits
  • Modulating a bit stream using QPSK
  • Applying pulse-shaping to the transmitted signal
  • Eye diagrams and spectral analysis
  • Modeling a QPSK receiver for a noiseless channel
  • Computing bit error rate

Noisy Channels, Channel Coding, and Error Rates

ObjectiveModeling an AWGN channel. Using convolutional, LDPC, and turbo codes to reduce bit error rate. Error correcting codes from DVB-S.2 and LTE systems are used as examples. Accelerating simulations using multiple cores.

  • Modeling an AWGN channel
  • Using channel coding and decoding: convolutional, LDPC, and turbo codes
  • Trellis diagram and Viterbi decoding
  • Using Parallel Computing Toolbox to accelerate Monte Carlo simulations
  • Discussion of alternative acceleration methods: GPUs, MDCS, MATLAB Parallel Cloud

Timing and Frequency Errors and Multipath Channels

ObjectiveModeling frequency offset, timing jitter errors, and mitigation using frequency and timing synchronization techniques. Modeling flat fading, multipath channels, and mitigation using equalizers.

  • Modeling phase and timing offsets
  • Mitigating frequency offset using a PLL
  • Mitigating timing jitter using Gardner timing synchronization
  • Modeling flat fading channels
  • Channel estimation using training sequences
  • Modeling frequency selective fading channels
  • Using Viterbi equalizers for time-invariant channels and LMS linear equalizers for time-varying channels
  • Demonstration of a real-time demodulation of single-carrier broadcast using RTL-SDR

Day 2 of 2

Multi-carrier Communications Systems for Multipath Channels

ObjectiveUnderstanding motivation for multi-carrier communications systems for frequency selective channels. Modeling an OFDM transceiver with a cyclic prefix and windowing. System parameter values from IEEE 802.11ac and LTE will be used.

  • Motivation for multi-carrier communications
  • Introduction to Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM)
  • Generating OFDM symbols using the IFFT
  • Preventing inter-block interference using a cyclic prefix
  • Using windowing to reduce out-of-band emissions
  • Advantages and disadvantages of OFDM
  • Timing and frequency recovery methods for OFDM
  • Channel estimation using pilot symbols
  • Frequency domain equalization

Using Multiple Antennas for Robustness and Capacity Gains

ObjectiveUnderstanding alternative multiple antenna communications system. Modeling beamforming, diversity, and spatial multiplexing systems. Constructing a MIMO-OFDM system for wideband communications. MIMO modes of IEEE 802.11ac and LTE will be discussed.

  • Advantages and types of multi-antenna systems
  • Transmit and receive beamforming
  • Receive diversity techniques
  • Achieving transmit diversity using orthogonal space-time block codes
  • Narrowband multiple input-multiple output (MIMO) channel model
  • MIMO channel estimation
  • Spatial multiplexing using ZF and MMSE equalization
  • Wideband communications using an MIMO-OFDM system

Building a Radio-in-the-Loop System

Objective: Understanding the radio-in-the-loop development workflow. Using RTL-SDRs and USRPs as radio-in-the-loop development platforms.

  • Overview of the radio-in-the-loop workflow
  • MathWorks communications hardware support (RTL-SDR, USRP, Zynq-Based Radio)
  • Hardware alternative comparison (pros/cons table)
  • Different RIL transmit and receive modes (single burst, looped, streamed)
  • Build an end-to-end single-antenna multi-carrier communications system using a USRP
  • Demonstration of a 2x2 OFDM-MIMO over-the-air system using USRPs

 

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