4.3Even an antenna of the size of 3 km, will not be able to take care of the entirespectrum of the signal because for the frequency components around 1 kHz, thelength of the antenna would be
. Hence, what is required from the point of view of efficient radiation is the conversion of the baseband signal into anarrowband, bandpass signal. Modulation process helps us to accomplish this;besides, modulation gives rise to some other features which can be exploited for the purpose of efficient communication. We describe below the advantages of modulation.
1. Modulation for ease of radiation
Consider again transmission of good quality audio. Assume we choose thecarrier frequency to be 1 MHz. The linear modulation schemes that would bediscussed shortly give rise to a maximum frequency spread (of the modulatedsignal) of 40 kHz, the spectrum of the modulated signal extending from (1000 -20) = 980 kHz to (1000 + 20) = 1020 kHz. If the antenna is designed for 1000kHz, it can easily take care of the entire range of frequencies involved becausemodulation process has rendered the signal into a NBBP signal.
2. Modulation for efficient transmission
Quite a few wireless channels have their own appropriate passbands. For efficient transmission, it would be necessary to shift the message spectrum intothe passband of the channel intended. Ground wave propagation (from the lower atmosphere) is possible only up to about 2 MHz. Long distance ionosphericpropagation is possible for frequencies in the range 2 to 30 MHz. Beyond 30MHz, the propagation is line of sight. Preferred frequencies for satellitecommunication are around 3 to 6 GHz. By choosing an appropriate carrier frequency and modulation technique, it is possible for us to translate thebaseband message spectrum into a suitable slot in the passband of the channelintended. That is,
modulation results in frequency translation.