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Chapter: Satellite Communication : Satellite Access

Analog - digital transmission system

1. Analog vs. Digital Transmission 2. Digital Data/Analog Signals

Analog - digital transmission system :


1. Analog vs. Digital Transmission:


Compare at two levels:


1. Data—continuous (audio) vs. discrete (text)

2. Signaling—continuously varying electromagnetic wave vs. sequence of voltage pulses.


Also Transmission—transmit without regard to signal content vs. being concerned with signal content. Difference in how attenuation is handled, but not focus on this.Seeing a shift towards digital transmission despite large analog base. Why?


Figure 3.2 basic communication systems


• Improving digital technology

• Data integrity. Repeaters take out cumulative problems in transmission.

• Can thus transmit longer distances.

• Easier to multiplex large channel capacities with digital

• Easy to apply encryption to digital data

• Better integration if all signals are in one form. Can integrate voice, video and digital data.


2. Digital Data/Analog Signals:

Must convert digital data to analog signal such device is a modem to translate between bit-serial and modulated carrier signals?


To send digital data using analog technology, the sender generates a carrier signal at some continuous tone (e.g. 1-2 kHz in phone circuits) that looks like a sine wave. The following techniques are used to encode digital data into analog signals.



Resulting bandwidth is centered on the carrier frequency.


• Amplitude-shift modulation (keying): vary the amplitude (e.g. voltage) of the signal. Used to transmit digital data over optical fiber.

• Frequency-shift modulation: two (or more tones) are used, which are near  the carrier frequency. Used in a full-duplex modem (signals in both directions).

• Phase-shift modulation: systematically shift the carrier wave at uniformly spaced intervals.


For instance, the wave could be shifted by 45, 135, 225, 315 degree at each timing mark. In this case, each timing interval carries 2 bits of information.


Why not shift by 0, 90, 180, 270? Shifting zero degrees means no shift, and an extended set of no shifts leads to clock synchronization difficulties.


Frequency division multiplexing (FDM): Divide the frequency spectrum into smaller subchannels, giving each user exclusive use of a subchannel (e.g., radio and TV). One problem with FDM is that a user is given all of the frequency to use, and if the user has no data to send, bandwidth is wasted — it cannot be used by another user.


Time division multiplexing (TDM): Use time slicing to give each user the full bandwidth, but for only a fraction of a second at a time (analogous to time sharing in operating systems). Again, if the user doesn’t have data to sent during his timeslice, the bandwidth is not used (e.g., wasted).


Statistical multiplexing: Allocate bandwidth to arriving packets on demand. This leads to the most efficient use of channel bandwidth because it only carries useful data.That is, channel bandwidth is allocated to packets that are waiting for transmission, and a user generating no packets doesn’t use any of the channel resources.

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