Wireless Communication Laboratory


This class approaches wireless communication from the perspective of digital signal processing (DSP). No background in digital communication is assumed, though it would be helpful.

The utility of a DSP approach is due to the following fact: wireless systems are bandlimited. This means that with a high enough sampling rate, thanks to Nyquist’s theorem, we can represent the bandlimited continuous-time wireless channel from its samples. This allows us to treat the transmitted signal as a discrete-time sequence, the channel as a discrete-time linear time-invariant system, and the received signal as a discrete-time sequence.

In this class, we take an experimental approach to wireless digital communication. We will use a well-known software-defined radio platform known as the USRP (universal software radio peripheral) where the radio can be programmed in software instead of implemented using hardware. The focus will be on the design, implementation, evaluation, and iterative optimization of a digital wireless communication link. 

Teaching and Learning methods: Lectures, lab. sessions and projects.

Course Policies: Attendance to the lab. sessions are mandatory.


Website: This course is heavily based on the course with the same name from Robert Heath (http://www.profheath.org/teaching/ee-371c-ee-381v-wireless-communications-lab/)




Course Outline

  • Bandlimited signals and sampling
  • Baseband/passband
  • Structure of a wireless transceiver
  • Introduction to the USRP
  • Baseband modulation and demodulation
  • Synchronization, Frequency offset estimation, and correction
  • Channel estimation and equalization

Mini projects to choose from

  • Build a spectrum analyzer
  • Build a QAM modulator/demodulator
  • Build a simple channel sounder
  • Synchronization, Frequency offset estimation, and correction
  • Build a simple OFDM modulator and demodulator including channel estimations

Learning Outcomes:

  • You will be able to compute power spectra of bandlimited signals.
  • You should be able to describe the design challenges associated with building a wireless digital communication link.
  • You should be able to define and calculate bit error rates for some common modulation schemes.
  • You should know the difference between binary phase shift keying and quadrature phase shift keying as well as how to implement them.
  • You should understand the connection between pulse shaping and sampling. You should know how to define excess bandwidth for a raised-cosine pulse.
  • You should understand how to obtain a sampled channel impulse response from a continuous time propagation channel.
  • You should understand how to train and estimate the coefficients of a frequency-selective channel.
  • You should understand the various kinds of synchronization required and how to compensate for different sources of asynchronicity.
  • You should be able to explain how to perform equalization using single carrier frequency domain equalization or OFDM modulation.

Nb hours: 27,00


  • Lab. reports (50% of the final grade) – Submitted through Moodle (one report per team, each team member submits the same report)
  • Final Exam (50% of the final grade) – Submitted through Moodle, multiple-choice questionnaire, about 1 hour.