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Introduction to Software Defined Radio (SDR) – Hands On

September 25, 2017, to September 29, 2017
Continuing Education Center
Rohde & Schwarz USA Inc.

Charles J. Lord

Charles J. Lord, PE is an embedded systems consultant and trainer with over 40 years' experience in system design and development in medical, military, and industrial applications. For the last... More

Nothing has revolutionized radio communications in recent history like Software Defined Radio or SDR. Based on the simple principle of sampling RF energy with an analog to digital converter (ADC) and letting software perform tuning, selectivity, and demodulation, SDR is a complex beast that takes a good understanding of sampling, transforms, and RF principles. In this week’s course, we will look at the basics of receiver design, the principles and practice of SDR, and use a very inexpensive SDR module to get some hands-on appreciation and practice in performing our own SDR reception. We will then look at the high-performance circuits and methods used in today’s state of the art SDR for commercial and military communications.

September 29 – Day 5 – Commercial SDR Designs

In our final class, we will begin to look at how a commercial design can spring from the basic building blocks that we have investigated and experimented with this week. We will look at some common commercial SDR designs and applications as well as some of the test challenges we meet in the design...
September 29, 2017 - 2:00pm EDT

September 28 – Day 4 – Exploring SDR with the RTL-SDR, Part 2

For our penultimate class, we will build on our experience from the previous class and will see how we can write our own code and make our own basic ‘frequency-agile’ communications devices. We will also look at the different ways of accomplishing frequency discrimination and demodulation in...
September 28, 2017 - 2:00pm EDT

September 27 – Day 3 – Exploring SDR with the RTL-SDR, Part 1

In our third class, we will begin our ‘hands-on’ lab using the Adafruit Industries LLC 1497 RTL2832 with R820T Stick Kit. We will look at the origins of the RTL2832 and R820T chips and how the common radio dongle works and some of the forms that it is available in. We will then look at some of the...
September 27, 2017 - 2:00pm EDT

September 26 – Day 2 – RF and Radio Basics

To better prepare for the remainder of the week’s classes, we will take a day to learn (or review) the basics of RF and radio receiver design. We will look at front-end amplifiers, mixers, and demodulation methods in the traditional superheterodyne receiver and how it contrasts to SDR methods.
September 26, 2017 - 2:00pm EDT

September 25 – Day 1 – Intro to SDR

In this lead-off class, we will look at a brief history of software defined radio (SDR) and the basic building blocks and typical applications that have made this the fastest growing advance in radio receiving technology since the phase-locked loop.
September 25, 2017 - 2:00pm EDT
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