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Types of Signals:

(i) Analog Signal:

An analog or analogue signal is any continuous signal for which the time
varying feature (variable) of the signal is a representation of some other time
varying quantity, i.e., analogous to another time varying signal.
For example, in an analog audio signal, the instantaneous voltage of the
signal varies continuously with the pressure of the sound waves.

(ii) Digital Signal:

A digital signal is a signal that is, or represents, a sequence
of discrete values. A logic signal is a digital signal with only two possible
values, and describes an arbitrary bit stream.
Digital electronics a digital signal is a pulse train (a pulse amplitude
modulated signal), i.e. a sequence of fixed-width square-wave electrical
pulses or light pulses, each occupying one of a discrete number of levels of

Modulation: Demodulation:

In modulation, a message signal, which contains the information, is used to

control the parameters of a carrier signal, so as to impress the information
onto the carrier.
The Messages:
The message or modulating signal may be either: analogue denoted by
Digital denoted by d(t) i.e. sequences of 1's and 0's
The message signal could also be a multilevel signal, rather than binary; this
is not considered further at this stage.
The Carrier:
The carrier could be a 'sine wave' or a 'pulse train'.
Consider a 'sine wave' carrier:
vc t = Vc cos c t + c
If the message signal m(t) controls amplitude gives AMPLITUDE
If the message signal m(t) controls frequency gives FREQUENCY
If the message signal m(t) controls phase- gives PHASE MODULATION PM or
Demodulation is the act of extracting the original information-bearing signal
from a modulated carrier wave.
A demodulator is an electronic circuit (or computer program in asoftware-
defined radio) that is used to recover the information content from the
modulated carrier wave.
There are many types of modulation so there are many types of
demodulators. The signal output from a demodulator may represent sound
(an analog audio signal), images (an analog video signal) or binary data
(a digital signal).

Amplitude modulation (AM)

Amplitude modulation (AM) is a modulation technique used in electronic
communication, most commonly for transmitting information via
a radio carrier wave.
In amplitude modulation, the amplitude (signal strength) of the carrier wave
is varied in proportion to the waveform being transmitted. That waveform
may, for instance, correspond to the sounds to be reproduced by a
loudspeaker, or the light intensity of television pixels.
This technique contrasts with frequency modulation, in which
the frequency of the carrier signal is varied, and phase modulation, in which
its phase is varied.
Frequency Modulation:
In telecommunications and signal processing, frequency modulation (FM) is the
encoding of information in a carrier wave by varying the instantaneous frequency of
the wave. This contrasts with amplitude modulation, in which the amplitude of the
carrier wave varies, while the frequency remains constant.
In analog frequency modulation, such as FM radio broadcasting of an audio
signal representing voice or music, the instantaneousfrequency deviation,
the difference between the frequency of the carrier and its center frequency,
is proportional to the modulating signal.

Comparison of AM & FM:

Modulation Amplitude Modulation Frequency Modulation

AM method of audio transmission FM radio was developed in
Origin was first successfully carried out the United states in the
in the mid 1870s. 1930s, mainly by Edwin
In AM, a radio wave known as the In FM, a radio wave known
"carrier" or "carrier wave" is as the "carrier" or "carrier
Modulating modulated in amplitude by the wave" is modulated in
differences signal that is to be transmitted. frequency by the signal that
The frequency and phase remain is to be transmitted. The
the same. amplitude and phase remain
the same.
AM has poorer sound quality FM is less prone to
Pros and cons compared with FM, but is cheaper interference than AM.
and can be transmitted over long However, FM signals are
distances. It has a lower impacted by physical
bandwidth so it can barriers. FM has better
havemore stations available in sound quality due to higher
any frequency range. bandwidth.
AM radio ranges from 535 to 1705 FM radio ranges in a higher
Frequency range KHz (OR) Up to 1200 bits per spectrum from 88 to 108
second. MHz. (OR) 1200 to 2400 bits
per second.
Twice the highest modulating Twice the sum of the
Bandwidth frequency. modulating signal frequency
requirments In AM radiobroadcasting, the and the frequency deviation.
modulating signal has bandwidth If the frequency deviation is
of 15kHz, and hence the 75kHz and the modulating
bandwidth of an amplitude- signal frequency is 15kHz,
modulated signal is 30kHz. the bandwidth required is
Zero crossing Equidistant Not equidistant
modulating signal
AM is more susceptible to noise FM is less susceptible to
Noise because noise affects amplitude, noise because information in
which is where information is an FM signal is transmitted
"stored" in an AM signal. through varying the
frequency, and not the
2. Radio
Radio is the radiation (wireless transmission) of electromagnetic energy
through space.
The biggest use of radio waves is to carry information, such as sound, by
systematically changing (modulating) some property of the radiated waves,
such as their amplitude,frequency, phase, or pulse width.
When radio waves strike an electrical conductor, the oscillating fields induce
an alternating current in the conductor. The information in the waves can
be extracted and transformed back into its original form.
Radio systems need a transmitter to modulate (change) some property of the
energy produced to impress a signal on it, for example using amplitude
modulation or angle modulation (which can be frequency
modulation or phase modulation).
Radio systems also need an antenna to convert electric currents into radio
waves, and vice versa. An antenna can be used for both transmitting and
The electrical resonance of tuned circuits in radios allow individual stations to
be selected. The electromagnetic wave is intercepted by a tuned
receiving antenna.
A radio receiver receives its input from an antenna and converts it into a
form usable for the consumer, such as sound, pictures, digital data,
measurement values, navigational positions, etc. Radio frequencies occupy
the range from a 3 kHz to 300 GHz, although commercially important uses of
radio use only a small part of this spectrum.

Transmitter and modulation:

Radio transmitter:
Each system contains a transmitter, This consists of a source of electrical
energy, producing alternating current of a desired frequency of oscillation.
The transmitter contains a system to modulate (change) some property of
the energy produced to impress a signal on it. This modulation might be as
simple as turning the energy on and off, or altering more subtle properties
such as amplitude, frequency, phase, or combinations of these properties.
The transmitter sends the modulated electrical energy to a
tuned resonant antenna; this structure converts the rapidly changing
alternating current into an electromagnetic wave that can move through free
Frequency modulation varies the frequency of the carrier. The instantaneous
frequency of the carrier is directly proportional to the instantaneous value of
the input signal. FM has the "capture effect" whereby a receiver only receives
the strongest signal, even when others are present.
Digital data can be sent by shifting the carrier's frequency among a set of
discrete values, a technique known asfrequency-shift keying. FM is commonly
used at Very high frequency (VHF) radio frequencies for high-
fidelity broadcasts of music and speech (see FM broadcasting). Analog TV sound is
also broadcast using FM.
An antenna (or aerial) is an electrical device which converts electric
currents into radio waves, and vice versa. It is usually used with a radio
transmitter or radio receiver.
In transmission, a radio transmitter supplies an electric current oscillating at
radio frequency (i.e. high frequency AC) to the antenna's terminals, and the
antenna radiates the energy from the current as electromagnetic
waves (radio waves). In reception, an antenna intercepts some of the power
of an electromagnetic wave in order to produce a tiny voltage at its
terminals, that is applied to a receiver to be amplified. Some antennas can
be used for both transmitting and receiving, even simultaneously, depending
on the connected equipment.
Once generated, electromagnetic waves travel through space either directly,
or have their path altered by reflection, refraction or diffraction.
The intensity of the waves diminishes due to geometric dispersion
(the inverse-square law); some energy may also be absorbed by the
intervening medium in some cases.
Noise will generally alter the desired signal; this electromagnetic
interference comes from natural sources, as well as from artificial sources
such as other transmitters and accidental radiators.


Electrical resonance of tuned circuits in radios allow individual stations to be

selected. A resonant circuit will respond strongly to a particular frequency,
and much less so to differing frequencies. This allows the radio receiver to
discriminate between multiple signals differing in frequency.

Block Diagram of Radio communication


Receiver and

The electromagnetic
wave is intercepted by a
receiving antenna; this structure captures some of the energy of the wave
and returns it to the form of oscillating electrical currents. At the receiver,
these currents are demodulated, which is conversion to a usable signal form
by a detector sub-system. The receiver is "tuned" to respond preferentially to
the desired signals, and reject undesired signals.
A radio receiver receives its input from an antenna, uses electronic filters to
separate a wanted radio signal from all other signals picked up by this
antenna, amplifies it to a level suitable for further processing, and finally
converts through demodulation and decoding the signal into a form usable
for the consumer, such as sound, pictures, digital data, measurement values,
navigational positions, etc.

3. Television
A television, commonly referred to as TV, telly or the tube, is
a telecommunication medium used for transmitting sound with moving
images in monochrome (black-and-white), or in colour, and in two or three
It can refer to atelevision set, a television program, or the medium
of television transmission.
Television is a mass medium,
forentertainment,education,news and advertising.
Figure shows a simplified block representation of a TV transmitter and receiver.

According to the Block Diagram of Black and White Television Sets In a typical
black and white television receiver, the signal from the antenna is fed to
the tuner. Two channel selector switches one for the VHF (very-high-
frequency) channels 2-13 and the other for the UHF (ultra-high-frequency)
channels 14-69 -are used.
They connect circuits that are tuned to the desired channels and, also
discriminate against signals from undesired channels. These circuits also
form part of an amplifier, designed to add as little snow to the signal as
The amplified signals from the desired channel are then passed to the mixer,
which transposes all the signal frequencies in the channel to different values,
called intermediate frequencies.
The output of the tuner consists of all the signals in the desired channel, but
the intermediate channel is fixed in the frequency band from 41 to 47 MHz,
no matter what channel is tuned in. This is kind of like those cable television
"set top" converters, that, regardless of what channel youre watching,
always convert it to "channel 3" for your TV set.
From the tuner, the 41-47 MHz channel with all picture and sound information
present is passed successively through several additional amplifiers (from
two to four intermediate frequency, or IF, amplifiers), which provide most of
the amplification in the receiver. Their amplification is automatically
adjusted, being maximum on a weak signal and less on a strong signal. So
far the receiver handles the signals in the channel just like they would be
received from the transmitter, except for the shift to intermediate
frequencies and the amplification.
The next stage is the video detector, which removes the high frequency
carrier signal and recovers the video signal. The detector also reproduces (at
a lower frequency) the sound carrier and its frequency variations.
The sound signal is then separated from the picture signal and passes
through a frequency detector, which recovers the audio signal. This signal is
amplified further and fed to the loudspeaker, where it re-creates the
accompanying sound. The picture signal from the video detector is used in
the normal fashion for display on the CRT of the television receiver.

4. FAX

Fax (short for facsimile), sometimes called telecopying or telefax, is the

telephonic transmission of scanned printed material (both text and images),
normally to a telephone number connected to a printer or other output
The original document is scanned with a fax machine (or a telecopier), which
processes the contents (text or images) as a single fixed graphic image,
converting it into a bitmap, and then transmitting it through the telephone
system in the form of audio-frequency tones.
The receiving fax machine interprets the tones and reconstructs the image,
printing a paper copy. Early systems used direct conversions of image
darkness to audio tone in a continuous or analog manner. Since the 1980s,
most machines modulate the transmitted audio frequencies using a digital
representation of the page which is compressed to quickly transmit areas
which are all-white or all-black.
At the sending end, there an optical sensor which read the paper line by line.
The white and black spots that the optical sensor reads are encoded they can
travel through a phone line. Usually, a modern fax machine also has a paper-
feed mechanism so that it is easy to send multi-page faxes. At the receiving
end, the information is decoded and sent to the printer which marks the
paper with black (or colour) dots (or prints).
The Fax Transmitter
When paper as graphical information is inserted into fax machine, it is
scanned rowbyrow. The Charge Coupled Device (CCD) converts this
information into proportional analog signals which is fed to A/D converter
circuit to produce a digital signal which is compressed before modulating a
carrier for transmission.

Charge Coupled Device Sensor Mechanism

The Charge Coupled Device (CCD) is a special integrated circuit

consisting of a flat, two dimensional array of small light detectors referred to
as pixels as shown in Figure. Each pixel acts like a bucket for electrons. A
CCD chip acquires data as light or electrical charge. During an exposure,
each pixel fills up with electrons in proportion to the amount of light that
enters it. The CCD takes this optical or electronic input and converts it into an
electronic signal.The electronic signal is then processed to either produce an
image or provide information.
The Fax Receiver
When the fax signal reaches receiver block through telephone line, it is
demodulated using demodulator within the modem. The data is fed to digital
data expansion block to recover the original data from the compressed form.
The signals are fed to a printer together with the control signals such as Line
Feed (LF).

5. Microwave

Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic

radiation with wavelengths ranging from one meter to one millimeter;
with frequencies between 300 MHz (100 cm) and 300 GHz (0.1 cm). This
broad definition includes both UHF and EHF (millimeter waves), and various
sources use different boundaries. In all cases, microwave includes the
entire SHF band (3 to 30 GHz, or 10 to 1 cm) at minimum, with RF
engineeringoften restricting the range between 1 and 100 GHz (300 and
3 mm).
The prefix micro- in microwave is not meant to suggest a wavelength in the
micrometer range. It indicates that microwaves are "small", compared to
waves used in typical radio broadcasting, in that they have shorter
wavelengths. The boundaries between far infrared, terahertz radiation,
microwaves, and ultra-high-frequency radio waves are fairly arbitrary and are
used variously between different fields of study.
Beginning at about 40 GHz, the atmosphere becomes less transparent to
microwaves, at lower frequencies to absorption from water vapor and at
higher frequencies from oxygen.
A spectral band structure causes absorption peaks at specific frequencies
(see graph at right). Above 100 GHz, the absorption of electromagnetic
radiation by Earth's atmosphere is so great that it is in effect opaque, until
the atmosphere becomes transparent again in the so-
called infrared and optical window frequency ranges.

Electromagnetic spectrum
Photon energy (eV Range width
Name Wavelength Frequency (Hz)
) (Bel)
< 0.02 nm > 15 EHz > 62.1 keV infinite
X-ray 0.01 nm 10 nm 30 EHz 30 PHz 124 keV 124 eV 3
10 nm 400 nm 30 PHz 750 THz 124 eV 3 eV 1.6
Visible 770 THz 400
390 nm 750 nm 3.2 eV 1.7 eV 0.3
light THz
400 THz
Infrared 750 nm 1 mm 1.7 eV 1.24 meV 3.1
300 GHz
Microwav 1 mm 1 m 300 GHz 1 GHz 1.24 meV 3
e 1.24 eV
1 mm 1.24 meV
Radio 300 GHz 3 Hz 8
100,000 km 12.4 feV

Microwave uses:

Microwave technology is extensively used for point-to-point

telecommunications (i.e. non-broadcast uses). Microwaves are especially
suitable for this use since they are more easily focused into narrower beams
than radio waves, allowing frequency reuse; their comparatively higher
frequencies allow broad bandwidth and high data transmission rates, and
antenna sizes are smaller than at lower frequencies because antenna size is
inversely proportional to transmitted frequency.
Microwaves are used in spacecraft communication, and much of the world's
data, TV, and telephone communications are transmitted long distances by
microwaves between ground stations and communications satellites.
Microwaves are also employed in microwave ovens and in radar technology.

6. Satellite
A communications satellite is an artificial satellite that relays and amplifies
radio telecommunications signals via a transponder; it creates
a communication channel between a source transmitter and a receiver(s) at
different locations on Earth.
Communications satellites are used for television, telephone, radio, internet,
and military applications. There are over 2,000 communications satellites in
Earths orbit, used by both private and government organizations.
Wireless communication uses electromagnetic waves to carry signals. These
waves require line-of-sight, and are thus obstructed by the curvature of the
Earth. The purpose of communications satellites is to relay the signal around
the curve of the Earth allowing communication between widely separated
In satellite communication, signal transferring between the sender and
receiver is done with the help of satellite. In this process, the signal which is
basically a beam of modulated microwaves is sent towards the satellite. Then
the satellite amplifies the signal and sent it back to the receivers antenna
present on the earths surface. So, all the signal transferring is happening in
space. Thus this type ofcommunication is known as space communication.
In satellite communication, signal transferring between the sender and
receiver is done with the help of satellite. In this process, the signal which is
basically a beam of modulated microwaves is sent towards the satellite. Then
the satellite amplifies the signal and sent it back to the receivers antenna
present on the earths surface. So, all the signal transferring is happening in
space. Thus this type ofcommunication is known as space communication.
Two satellites which are commonly used in satellite communicationare Active
and passive satellites.
Passive satellites:

It is just a plastic balloon having a metal coated over it. This sphere reflects
the coming microwave signals coming from one part of the earth to other
part. This is also known as passive sphere. Our earth also has a
passive satellite i.e. moon.
Active satellites:
It basically does the work of amplifying the microwave signals coming. In
active satellites an antenna system, transmitter, power supply and a receiver
is used. These satellites are also called as transponders.
The transmitters fitted on the earth generate the microwaves. These rays are
received by the transponders attached to the satellite. Then after amplifying,
these signals are transmitted back to earth.
This sending can be done at the same time or after some delay. These
amplified signals are stored in the memory of the satellites, when earth
properly faces the satellite. Then the satellite starts sending the signals to
earth. Some active satellites also have programming and recording features.
Then these recording can be easily played and watched. The first
active satellite was launched by Russia in 1957. The signals coming from
the satellite when reach the earth, are of very low intensity. Their
amplification is done by the receivers themselves. After amplification these
become available for further use.

The requirements for a satellite to be geostationary

1. Its revolutionary direction must be same as that of the earth, i.e. from west to

2. The time period of satellites revolution must be same to the time period of
the rotation of earth along its polar axis, which is equal to 24 hours.

3. The equatorial plane of earth must be coplanar with the orbital plane of the
satellites revolution.

The name given to the orbit of the geo-stationary satellites is synchronous

orbit. Due to this geo-stationary satellites are also called as geo-synchronous
satellites. Geo-synchronous orbit is at a height of nearly 36000km from the
surface of earth.
These orbits are capable of giving a successful communication link between
two stations present on the earth. These satellites can
handle communication up to large distances. But it is impossible for a single
geo-stationary satellite to cover the whole earth and provide
a communication link. Due to curvature of earth the stations will be out of
sight after covering some distance.
If we want to cover the whole earth then we have to put three satellites onto
the geosynchronous orbit. These satellites can cover the earth if all are
inclined at an angle of 120o to each other.

7. Fibre optic communication

Fibre-optic communication is a method of transmitting information from one
place to another by sending pulses of light through anoptical fibre. The light
forms an electromagnetic carrier wave that is modulated to carry
First developed in the 1970s, fibre-optics has revolutionized
the telecommunications industry and has played a major role in the advent
of the Information Age. Because of its advantages over electrical
transmission, optical fibres have largely replaced copper wire
communications in core networks in the developed world.
Optical fibre is used by many telecommunications companies to transmit
telephone signals, Internet communication, and cable television signals.
Researchers at Bell Labs have reached internet speeds of over
100 petabitkilometer per second using fibre-optic communication.
Higher bandwidth (extremely high data transfer rate).
Less signal degradation.
Less costly per meter.
Lighter and thinner then copper wire.
Lower transmitter launching power.
Less susceptible to electromagnetic interference.
Flexible use in mechanical and medical imaging systems

Fiber Lasers.
Automotive and many other industries.