Principles of Communications
No. of credits:
Medium of Instruction: English
Prerequisites (Course Code and Title) : MA2001 Multi-variable Calculus and Linear Algebra or
MA2149 Mathematical Analysis or
MA2170 Linear Algebra and Multi-variable Calculus
Precursors (Course Code and Title) : Nil
Co-requisites (Course Code and Title) : EE3210 Signals and Systems
Equivalent Course (Course Code and EE4940
Nil Exclusive Courses: (Course Code and
The course aims to introduce the principles of point-to-point communication. The objective is intended for the students to understand various modulation schemes for analogue- and digitalsignal transmission, and to analyse their performance in terms of signal-to-noise ratio, bandwidth requirement, and error performance.
2. Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs)
Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:
1. Evaluate analogue AM systems in both the time and frequency domains.
2. Describe the FM system in terms of its working principle and implementation.
Evaluate a single-tone FM signal in terms of its spectrum lines, bandwidth, and modulation index.
3. Explain the working principle of PCM and PAM systems in analogue-to-digital signal conversion, and evaluate their performance in terms of quantization level to SQNR, signal bandwidth, and system data rate.
4 Evaluate coherent BPSK, BFSK and QPSK schemes in terms of signal constellation, system bandwidth, and bit error performance.
Identify different types of transmission media. 5
3. Teaching and Learning Activities (TLAs)
CILO 1 Teaching activities are primarily based on lectures followed by basic examples to show students the basic skills. More drill problems are then carried out during tutorials through the use of more examples. These examples give students a step by step approach in a small class setting that promotes discussions.
CILO 2 Teaching activities are primarily based on lectures followed by practical examples to allow students to relate theory with practice. More practical examples and case studies are studied in detail during tutorials in a small class setting that promotes discussions. The laboratory will allow the students to get a better understanding by constructing a practical modulation and demodulation system.
CILO 3 Teaching activities are primarily based on lectures followed by simple examples to allow students to digest material learnt. Apart from further tutorial questions, take home questions on some representative digital communication methods are given to students to allow them time to practice these skills independently.
CILO 4 Teaching activities are primarily based on lectures followed by practical examples to allow students to relate theory with practice. More practical examples and case studies are studied in detail during tutorials in a small class setting that promotes discussions.
CILO 5 Teaching activities are primarily based on lectures to give students a knowledge base to support more advance courses. Concepts and ideas with explanations of simple examples will be given in lectures and reinforced during tutorials.
Timetabling Information -- – 3 hours of lab = 1 hours of Lect/ Tut, total contact hours should be
Pattern Large Class Activities
Type of assessment tasks
70% 2 hours
Remarks: To pass the course, students are required to achieve at least 35% in the course work and 35% in the examination.
Grading of Student Achievement:
Refer to Grading of Courses in the Academic Regulations
6. Constructive Alignment with Major Outcomes
How the course contribute to the specific MILO(s)
An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering.
An ability to design and conduct experiments as well as to analyze and interpret data.
An ability to function effectively and responsibly as a team member.
An ability to identify, evaluate, formulate and solve engineering problems.
An ability to communicate effectively.
Knowledge in contemporary issues and an awareness of the impact of engineering solutions in a broad, global and societal context.
An ability to use necessary engineering tools. 10
Fourier transform; bandwidth requirement; basic frequency properties of digital signals.
Digital Baseband Transmission for Analogue Signal
Formatting analogue information : sampling process, aliasing; pulse amplitude modulation and time division multiplexing; waveform representation of binary digits; Amplitude quantization : quantization noise, uniform and non-uniform quantizing; pulse code modulation (PCM), µ-law companding;
Amplitude modulation (AM) : generation and detection, signal to noise ratio; modulation index; spectral analysis; system bandwidth requirement; single-sideband modulation.
Frequency Modulation (FM) : narrowband and wideband FM, FM signal generation; spectral analysis of single-tone FM signals; average power and bandwidth; FM receivers.
Phase shift keying, frequency shift keying: generation, differential encoding, coherent & non-coherent detection, error performance in an additive Gaussian channel, bandwidth requirement.
Metallic cable: data rate and bandwidth limitation;
Optical fibre: light propagation, optical sources and detectors;
Satellite: orbit & subsystems, multiple access techniques;
Wireless Network: cellular phone, wireless LAN.
H. Stern and S. Mahmoud, Communication Systems Analysis and Design, (Pearson Prentice Hall
S Haykin: Communication Systems, (John Wiley & Sons, 4th Edition, 2001)
F G Stremler: Introduction to Communication Systems, (Addison-Wesley, 3rd Edition, 1990)
B Sklar: Digital Communications, Fundamentals and Applications, (Prentice-Hall, 2 nd
Online Resources (if any)