# Step-By-Step Guide to Transmission Schemes: AM, FM, and PM in MATLAB

October 05, 2023
Dr. Sarah Thompson
United States of America
Signal Processing
She is a distinguished expert in the field of electrical engineering and signal processing, specializing in MATLAB modulation techniques. With a Ph.D. from Stanford University and a strong academic background, She has been at the forefront of research.

In the world of telecommunications and signal processing, modulation plays a crucial role in transmitting information efficiently and reliably. Amplitude Modulation (AM), Frequency Modulation (FM), and Phase Modulation (PM) are three fundamental modulation schemes that facilitate the transmission of data over various communication channels. In this blog, we will delve into the theoretical aspects of these modulation techniques and explore how they can be implemented in MATLAB to help you complete your Signal Processing assignment. Furthermore, we will compare their advantages and disadvantages to help university students gain a deeper understanding and be better equipped to solve assignments related to these topics.

## Amplitude Modulation (AM)

Amplitude Modulation (AM) is a modulation technique used in telecommunications and broadcasting to transmit information by varying the amplitude of a high-frequency carrier signal in accordance with the information signal. In MATLAB, the implementation of AM is conceptually straightforward and involves several key steps:

1. Generate a Carrier Signal: To begin, a carrier signal is created. This carrier signal is typically a high-frequency sinusoidal waveform generated using mathematical functions like sin. This high-frequency signal serves as the carrier wave upon which the information signal will ride.
2. Generate the Information Signal: The information signal is a waveform that carries the data you want to transmit. It could represent audio, video, or any other form of data. This signal is created independently and represents the variations in the message you intend to transmit.
3. Modulate the Carrier Signal: AM modulation is achieved by multiplying the carrier signal by the information signal. This process effectively causes the amplitude of the carrier signal to vary in accordance with the amplitude of the information signal. As a result, the carrier signal takes on the shape of the information signal, encoding the data into the amplitude variations.
4. Plot the Modulated Signal: To visualize the modulated signal, you can use MATLAB's plot function. The plot will display how the amplitude of the carrier signal changes over time, reflecting the encoded information.

1. Simple Implementation: One of the notable advantages of AM is its simplicity in both modulation and demodulation processes. This simplicity makes it suitable for low-complexity systems and applications where computational resources are limited.
2. Efficiency in Power Consumption: AM is relatively power-efficient compared to other modulation techniques like Frequency Modulation (FM) and Phase Modulation (PM). This characteristic makes it suitable for battery-operated devices and applications where power conservation is crucial.
3. Amplitude Demodulation: Demodulating AM signals is straightforward. The original information signal can be easily recovered by detecting and extracting the variations in the amplitude of the received AM signal. This simplicity in demodulation contributes to AM's robustness in signal recovery.

1. Susceptible to Noise: AM signals are particularly vulnerable to noise and interference. Variations in the carrier signal's amplitude can be easily distorted by external factors, leading to signal degradation. This makes AM less suitable for applications in noisy environments.
2. Limited Bandwidth Efficiency: AM has limited bandwidth efficiency, meaning it occupies a relatively wide bandwidth to transmit information. This inefficiency restricts the data rate it can effectively transmit within a given frequency range. As a result, AM may not be suitable for high-speed data transmission.
3. Low Spectral Efficiency: In AM, the entire bandwidth of the carrier signal is used to transmit information. This approach results in lower spectral efficiency compared to modulation techniques that use the available bandwidth more efficiently. Consequently, AM may not be the best choice when optimizing spectrum usage is a priority.

Amplitude Modulation (AM) is a modulation technique that encodes information by varying the amplitude of a carrier signal. While it offers simplicity in implementation and amplitude demodulation, it has drawbacks such as susceptibility to noise, limited bandwidth efficiency, and lower spectral efficiency. Understanding these advantages and disadvantages is crucial for making informed decisions when choosing modulation techniques for specific communication scenarios.

## Frequency Modulation (FM)

Frequency Modulation (FM) is a modulation technique widely used in telecommunications, broadcasting, and various other applications. It involves varying the frequency of a carrier signal in accordance with the amplitude of the information signal. In MATLAB, implementing FM follows a series of key steps:

1. Generate a Carrier Signal: The first step in FM implementation is creating a carrier signal. This carrier signal is typically a high-frequency sinusoidal waveform generated using mathematical functions like sin. It acts as the carrier wave upon which the information signal is modulated.
2. Generate the Information Signal: The information signal represents the data you intend to transmit. It could be an audio signal, video signal, or any other form of data that varies in amplitude over time. The information signal is generated independently and carries the message to be transmitted.
3. Modulate the Carrier Signal: FM modulation is performed by utilizing the fmmod function in MATLAB. This function takes the carrier signal, the information signal, and modulation parameters as inputs to produce a modulated signal. In FM, the frequency of the carrier wave is altered based on the amplitude variations of the information signal.
4. Plot the Modulated Signal: To visualize the modulated FM signal, you can use MATLAB's plot function. The plot displays how the frequency of the carrier signal changes over time, which corresponds to the encoded information.

1. Resistance to Amplitude Noise: FM exhibits resistance to amplitude noise, making it particularly robust in noisy environments. Unlike AM, where variations in amplitude can lead to signal distortion, FM remains relatively unaffected by such disturbances.
2. High-Quality Audio Transmission: FM is widely used in broadcasting, especially for radio transmissions, due to its ability to deliver high-quality audio signals. The resistance to amplitude noise contributes to the clarity and fidelity of the received audio.
3. Wider Bandwidth: FM signals can carry more information per unit of bandwidth compared to AM. This results in better spectral efficiency, allowing more channels to be accommodated within the available frequency range.

1. Complex Implementation: Implementing FM modulation and demodulation requires more complex circuitry and signal processing compared to AM. This added complexity can be a drawback in certain applications, particularly those with limited resources or stringent size constraints.
2. Bandwidth Requirements: FM signals demand a wider bandwidth compared to AM for the same amount of information transmission. This limits the number of channels that can be accommodated in a given frequency range, which may be a concern in crowded radio spectrum environments.
3. Limited Range: FM signals have a limited transmission range, especially in comparison to AM signals. Additionally, they can be more susceptible to obstacles and terrain variations, which can further restrict their range.

Frequency Modulation (FM) is a modulation technique that varies the carrier signal's frequency with the amplitude of the information signal. Its advantages include resistance to amplitude noise, high-quality audio transmission, and better spectral efficiency. However, it requires more complex implementation, wider bandwidth, and has limitations in terms of range and obstacle tolerance. Understanding these trade-offs is essential when choosing modulation techniques for specific communication applications.

## Phase Modulation (PM)

Phase Modulation (PM) is a modulation technique used in various communication systems to encode information by varying the phase of a carrier signal in accordance with the amplitude of the information signal. In MATLAB, implementing PM involves the following key steps:

1. Generate a Carrier Signal: As with other modulation techniques, PM starts by creating a carrier signal, typically a high-frequency sinusoidal waveform generated using mathematical functions like sin. This carrier signal serves as the carrier wave upon which the information signal's phase will be modulated.
2. Generate the Information Signal: The information signal represents the data you intend to transmit and can take the form of audio, video, or any other data that varies in amplitude over time. It is generated independently and carries the message to be transmitted.
3. Modulate the Carrier Signal: MATLAB's pmmod function is used to perform PM modulation. This function takes the carrier signal, the information signal, and modulation parameters as inputs to produce a modulated signal. In PM, the phase of the carrier wave is altered based on the amplitude variations of the information signal.
4. Plot the Modulated Signal: To visualize the modulated PM signal, you can use MATLAB's plot function. The plot will display how the phase of the carrier signal changes over time, reflecting the encoded information.

1. Improved Spectral Efficiency: One of the primary advantages of PM is its superior spectral efficiency compared to AM. PM allows for more data to be transmitted within a given bandwidth, making it suitable for applications where optimizing spectral resources is crucial.
2. Robust to Amplitude Variations: PM is less affected by amplitude variations in the signal. Unlike AM, where variations in amplitude can lead to distortion, PM remains relatively robust in the presence of such variations. This property makes it suitable for certain applications where signal fidelity is important.

1. Complex Demodulation: Demodulating PM signals can be more complex compared to AM or FM. The process of extracting the original information signal from the phase-modulated carrier signal may require more sophisticated circuitry or signal processing algorithms.
2. Susceptible to Noise: Similar to AM, PM is sensitive to noise and interference, which can result in signal degradation, particularly in noisy environments.
3. Limited Use Cases: PM is less commonly used in practical applications compared to AM and FM. It has a more specialized role in communication systems and may not be the preferred choice for many standard broadcasting or telecommunications scenarios.

Phase Modulation (PM) is a modulation technique that encodes information by varying the phase of a carrier signal. It offers advantages such as improved spectral efficiency and robustness to amplitude variations but comes with disadvantages including complex demodulation, susceptibility to noise, and limited use cases. Understanding these trade-offs is essential when considering PM for specific communication applications.