Modulation Techniques in Digital Communications
In the present world, communication plays a vital role in our lives. Literally, it’s impossible to imagine a life without communicating with one another via phone and without getting news from television and radios. This is the life that we have become accustomed to and it is characterized by simplification of every aspect of our lives. Vital information can be received easily within a short time from anywhere in the world. It’s as if we live in a village, and whatever happens on one side, the other sides receive the news almost instantly. For such a success in communication, there has been a lot of things that have been involved to ensure that information from one part of the country gets to the other end of the country. One factor that is key to receiving quality information is Modulation. What is it? How does it work? What are its advantages? This we will address in this specific content.
What is Modulation?
Modulation has to do with message signals. A signal can be a sound wave. An example is when you shout out to someone. Originally, such a sound wave can only travel for a short distance. Basically, a high-frequency signal will travel longer. Thus, we have to use a high-frequency signal if we want our message to travel a longer distance. Such a higher frequency signal, which aids the communication of the message signals, is known as a carrier signal. Modulation involves changing the frequencies of a carrier signal without tampering with the original information. A device responsible for Modulation is termed as a modulator. Demodulation on the other hand is the inverse of Modulation, and the device that is responsible for demodulation is called a demodulator. A modem performs both Modulation and Demodulation.
Why do we need Modulation?
The normal sound signals cannot travel a long distance. Thus, we need Modulation for the signals to travel a long distance since it also does not alter the original parameters of the signal.
Advantages of Modulation.
- With Modulation, the need for a larger antenna is reduced.
- Modulation increases the communication range.
- Helps to avoid mixing of signals
- It can accommodate transmissions of more than one signal from a source antenna.
Types of Modulation.
The two main types of signal modulation are digital modulation and analog Modulation. The latter is a form of Modulation commonly applied to an analog signal. In the analog signal modulation, three parameters can be altered, which include the frequency, amplitude, and phase. Hence the names frequency modulations, amplitude modulations, and phase modulations.
Digital modulations, on the other hand, is employed to improve communication and has several advantages over the analog modulation techniques. First, the bandwidth needed is available. Secondly, it provides better noise immunity. In most cases, digital Modulation involves converting an analog signal to a discrete one. Digital Modulation involves the transmission of binary signals. Like the analog Modulation, Modulation here involves altering parameters such as amplitude, phase, and frequency. Digital modulation is categorized based on keying and we have the following digital modulation techniques.
1. Frequency shift keying
Here the main parameter altered is frequency. It requires a large bandwidth, and like the amplitude shift keying modulation, it has less sensitivity to noise.
2. Amplitude shift keying
This modulation technique presents the binary data in digital signals in various forms by altering the amplitude signals. It is more appropriate for low bandwidths.
3. Phase shift keying.
Here the main parameter altered is the phase but the message signal always maintains the original message. This form of Modulation works by altering the sine and cosines of the signals. Its common application areas include RFIDs, wireless LANs, and Bluetooth communications. Phase shift keying can further be divided into two:
- Binary phase-shift keying. Other people might refer to it as the phase reversal keying. The sine waves of the carrier wave can take two-phase reversals i.e., 0 and 180 degrees.
- Quadrature phase-shift keying. Here the sine wave carrier takes the following phase reversal 0, 90, 180, and 270 degrees.
Modulation techniques in Matlab.
Matlab is a very versatile software that allows engineers and scientists to perform complex mathematical computations at ease. It also allows for Modulation and Demodulation. Using the communications toolbox in Matlab, one can perform all the different types of modulation.
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