Advances in Agriculture, Sciences and Engineering

Research, Vol 3, No 9 (2013)

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Font Size: Advances in Agriculture, Sciences and Engineering Research HTTP://WWW.EJOURNAL.SEDINST.COM Science Education Development Institute, 2013 Volume 3 (9) Sept: 1151 - 1157, 2013 Printed in Nigeria ISSN: 2276 - 6723

MODULATION AND DEMODULATION TECHNIQUES IN POWERLINE CARRIER

Anyaka, Boniface Onyemaechi, Akuchu, Tohlah Terry And Mbunwe, M. J

Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
BONIFACE.ANYAKA@UNN.EDU.NG ABSTRACT Advances in digital communications have made it possible to access the internet by simply plugging your computer to the wall socket in your home. Power line communications (PLC) technology exploits the widespread electric power infrastructure to provide high-speed broadband multimedia services to and within the home or office. Until recently, a fundamental obstacle to the prevalent adoption of PLC technology has been the lack of an international standard issued by globally recognized standardization body. This obstacle has been removed by the approval of the IEEE 1901 standard for Broadband over power line networks opening a new era in the PLC industry. Nonetheless, the characteristics of electrical power grids present some technical challenges for high-speed data communications. Noise at a power outlet is the

1157. Among those communication technologies. The first applications of PLC date back about hundred years ago. for instance. It was also important for power supply utilities to have a proper communication link to maintain the operation of high-voltage PLs. Sciences and Engineering Research: Volume 3 (9) Sept: 1151 . is being tremendously demanded and becoming a necessity for homes and businesses. Power line communications. Broadband INTRODUCTION In the past several years. the demand for broadband multimedia applications has significantly increased and continues to grow at a rapid pace.[3] A variety of technologies are currently in use for broadband connectivity to and within homes and offices. Broadband internet access. HomePlug AV and HomePlug BPL). Most of the PLC products available in the market now are based on the HomePlug standard with its variant (HomePlug 1. multimedia services. KEYWORDS: Advances in digital communications. the attention in the past decade or so has been focused on using PLC for fast internet access as well as other broadband multimedia services. 2013 Recently. It is believed that the publication of the IEEE standard 1901-2010 will constitute a significant milestone in the history of PLC and will contribute largely to the development and adoption of PLC applications. However. PLC exploits already-existing electrical networks to deliver high-speed broadband communications. The driving advantage of PLC is that it uses an infrastructure that is much more ubiquitous that any other wired infrastructure hence does not require new wiring [4]. The concept of using power lines (PL) for communication services is not one that has just emerged. In addition to solving the last-mile connectivity issue. Advances in Agriculture. when analog communications were employed for remote metering and home automation. voice over IP and home entertainment services to virtually every power socket in residential or business premises.0. the first IEEE standard for broadband over power line networks has been approved and was published in February 2011[6]. However. PLC uses the in-building electrical wiring as a local area network providing highspeed networking that includes broadband internet access. [5] PLC offers a competitive and cost-effective alternative for internet access and LAN applications. power line communications (PLC) is receiving a huge amount of research interest and presents a very attractive multimedia connectivity solution to the last-mile problem. .sum of noises produced by different appliances connected to the line producing impulsive noise and other narrow-band interference. large expansion and widespread adoption of this technology has so far been limited by the lack of a universally agreed-on standard issued by a globally recognized standardization body.

During the occurrence of impulsive noise. To enable high-speed PLC over power lines. periodic impulsive noise asynchronous to the mains frequency. instantaneous Bit-error rate (BER). The basic principle of OFDM is to split high-speed data symbols into slow data streams which then modulate multiple narrowband orthogonal subcarriers simultaneously. multi-carrier and spread spectrum are of interest for PLC engineers and researchers [9]. Moreover. It is generally the result of switching transients in power appliances. Impulsive noise forms one of the key challenges for PLC systems. Among those. the problem of multipath can be completely eliminated in OFDM. depending on the channel delay spread. Five types of noise are often found in PL channels [8]: colored background noise. This solves the frequency selectivity issue associated with PLC networks. OFDM offers robustness as well as simple implementation which make this technique a favored candidate for PLC. OFDM can be fruitfully combined with adaptive modulation techniques that allow individual subcarriers to have different constellation sized. With the addition of a cyclic time guard. [10]. This reduced the effect of multipath by enlarging the symbol duration so that. the power spectral density (PSD) of this type of noise can be up to 50 dB higher than the background noise [9]. transmit powers. The first three types are almost stationary and are classified as background noise. . multipath fading and noise. it is crucial for high-speed PLC to select a modulation technique that can stand against such peculiarities. A number of modulation techniques. PL cables suffer from considerable frequency-dependent attenuation that increases with high frequencies and can be severe for long-distance communications. orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) stands as an excellent candidate for PLC. The noise at any power outlet is the sum of noises produced by different appliances connected to the line plus the background noise on the line. this technology conveys communication signals through a medium that was never designed for telecommunication functions. Another persistent impairment for PLC systems is the noise generated by internal and external sources that are either connected or in close proximity to the PLC transmission medium. Besides. periodic impulsive and asynchronous impulsive noise.Despite the advantages forward by PLC. The most important factors that affect communication over power lines are attenuation. Power lines differ significantly in their structure and physical characteristics from usual communication mediums such as fiber optic coaxial cables [7]. adaptive loading algorithms that can efficiently exploit the available spectrum and optimize the performance have to be introduced. including single-carrier. Due to the presence of impulsive noise and other undesirable characteristics of PL grids. Subchannels that are affected by fading or narrowband interferers can carry fewer bits or even be zeroed in extreme cases or if the sub-bands are used by wireless operators. the effect of impulsive noise is minimized because the received OFDM signal in addition to the added noise is divided by the number of subchannels through the discrete Fourier transform (DFT) operation in the receiver. giving rise to multipath fading. narrowband noise. impedance mismatching is commonly present in PL networks causing enormous reflections of the signal. only a small portion of the symbol is affected. The last two types have a time-varying random behavior and are often classified as impulsive noise. channel code and so forth. Understanding those properties is essential for the design of PLC systems. Typical impulses of this type have short durations ranging from some microseconds up to a few milliseconds and are characterized with very high amplitudes.

the transmit power in PLC systems is limited to relatively low levels. communication over power lines was restricted to low-speed functions such as remote metering and operations management that serve the needs of power supply utilities. on account of the tremendous demand for high-speed broadband multimedia communications. The properties of power line networks and the vulnerability to various types of noise calls for a proper selection of modulation schemes to be used in PLC systems. that are designed to combat single errors. the reliability of PLC systems can be improved by the utilization of forward error correction (EEC) methods. The PLC channel is a time varying channel with frequency selectivity. to tackle errors caused by burst disturbances. Due to the occurrence of busty impulsive noise in PL channels. 3. 2013 Principle of Power Line Communication The basic principle of power line communications (PLC) is to use the existing electrical power line networks for telecommunication purposes. This limited scope of power line functions changed recently.1157. Due to electromagnetic compatibility issues. Three major issues must be taken into account when selecting a modulation scheme for PLC [11]: 1. interleaving need to be employed to reduce the channel memory and help coding schemes. Until recently. Advances in Agriculture. 2.Under harsh channel conditions. Sciences and Engineering Research: Volume 3 (9) Sept: 1151 . . MODULATION TECHNIQUES FOR PLC SYSTEMS Power Line Carrier Systems have to combat hostile channel conditions seldom found in other well-known communication channels. The susceptibility to different types of noise including impulsive noise with relatively high noise power leading to lower SNR. Over the years power line networks have served as a medium of transmission and distribution of electricity signals.

amplitude modulation and frequency modulation are used. The unit Advances in Agriculture. Amplitude Modulation (AM) . Modulation is a technique that enables information to be transferred as changes in an information carrying signal. some of the candidate modulation schemes for PLC systems are discussed Figure 1: Modulation methods for power line communications [6]. Sciences and Engineering Research: Volume 3 (9) Sept: 1151 . Modulation is used both for analog and digital information. In analog transmission of information.In this section.1157. in the case of analog information. it is effected continuously (soft transitions). 2013 performing modulation and the corresponding demodulation is called modem. it is effected step by step (state changes). In the case of digital information.

Amplitude Modulation (AM) is the simplest form of modulation. An angle-modulated signal is represented by: s (t) = Accost [wc t +&#952. and to transmit TV images in cable-TV networks. m (t) = the modulating signal Dp = phase sensitivity of the phase modulator . and certain mobile communication systems. That is because amplitude modulation results in two sidebands. The amplitude of the carrier wave is varied in accordance with some characteristic of the modulating signal (which may be analog or digital). the sound channel for TV. the frequency above the carrier frequency is called the upper sideband and the frequency below is called the lower sideband. The bandwidth of an AM signal is twice the bandwidth of the modulating signal. m (t) = the modulating signal wc = the carrier frequency Ac = constant. The following equations represent an AM signal: s (t) = Ac [1+m(t)] coswct Where. Frequency Modulation (FM) and Phase Modulation (PM) Frequency modulated is used for broadcasting on the FM band (hence the term FM). Phase modulation and frequency modulation are special cases of anglemodulation signaling. (t) ] For PM. There are single side Band (SSB) modulation techniques that suppress one of the sideband and the resulting SSB-AM signal has the same bandwidth as the modulated signal. the phase is directly proportional to the modulating signal: θ (t) = Dp m(t) Where. specify power level Amplitude modulation is used to transmit analog voice (300-3400Hz) modulated on radio frequencies around 450 MHz in the mobile radio system NMT 450.

θ (t) = Df Where. Thus the spectrum shows what frequencies are present in the signal over all time.For FM.The instantaneous frequency is the frequency that is present at a particular instant of time and should not be confused with the term frequency as used in the spectrum of the FM signal. the phase is proportional to the integral of m (t). Advances in Agriculture.1157. Sciences and Engineering Research: Volume 3 (9) Sept: 1151 . Amplitude and Frequency Modulation [6] . Figure 4 illustrates the concept of AM and FM. Df = frequency deviation constant The reason for calling it frequency modulation lies in the fact that the instantaneous frequency varies about the assigned carrier frequency fc directly proportional to the modulating signal m (t). 2013 Figure 2.

frequency or phase shift conveys digital information. 2. in effect. Sciences and Engineering Research: Volume 3 (9) Sept: 1151 . PM. analog transmission of digital information. Digitally modulated bandpass signals are generated by using AM. 400 Hz) or a limited radio frequency band.1157. such as amplitude or phase shift. 3. Amplitude-shift modulation Frequency-shift modulation. and Phase-shift modulation In many cases. or QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) signaling. In the modulation process. a bit or a group of bits is translated into rapid state changes. Shift Modulation Figure 3 shows how amplitude. The basic modulation methods are: 1. Digital transmission is. For digital modulated signals. Figure 3. 2013 .Digital transmission of information Modulation makes it possible to transmit digital information (1s and 0s) on analog carriers (such as radio and light waves). Shift Modulation for digitally transmitted information [6] Advances in Agriculture. the purpose of modulation is to squeeze in as many bits per hert as possible. FM. onto a bandpass-filtered telephone line (300-3. for example. the modulating signals. m (t) is a digital signal given by some binary or multilevel line code.

Power line Carrier (PLC) communication systems is a relatively recent and rapidly evolving technology. Powerline is inherently the most attractive medium for home networking due to its universal existence in homes. The potential for powerline to act as a backbone for home networking is great. the transmission bandwidth. In phase-shift modulation. The differential variant permits less complicated demodulation equipment and is therefore more common. . and +270 for 1). In comparison.Frequency-shift modulation is also called frequency-shift keying (FSK). and +180o for 1) relative to a nominal phase (One that is known both by the transmitted and the receiver). or absolutely. another name for phase-shift modulation is phase-shift keying (PSK). in which case each modulation state is represented by a specific phase (0o for 0. Similarly. aimed at the utilization of the electricity powerlines for the transmission of data. the phone line suffers from too few connection points and wireless from congestion at 2. That is.4GHz as well as interference. the abundance of AC outlets and the simplicity of the power plug. On-off keying (OOK) is a form of AM signal and is therefore sometimes also called Amplitude Shift Keying (ASK). B t of the OOK signal is Bt = 2B where B is the bandwidth of the modulated signal. and no carrier represents a binary zero. The figure below explains the concept. +90o for o. Enabling data communication over powerlines is a careful combination of various approaches. provided that the powerline is able to provide reliability. with certain modifications and enhancements pertaining to the resilient and hostile nature of powerline for transmission of data. The approach is to let the carrier wave represent a binary one. the phase is shifted differentially relative to the previous phase (for example. Figure 4: On/off modulation of light in an Optical fibre [6] CONCLUSION The transmission of data over electric power line presents various challenges. the required bandwidth of an OOK signal is 2 times the bit rate. An uncomplicated variant of amplitude modulation is used for optical fibre transmission: light on (full amplitude) or light off (no amplitude). security and robustness to meet the requirements of the most demanding applications. Since OOK is an AM-type signaling.

IT. Broadband Wireless Access Systems. Technical Report. Apr.KTH.1. No. Nov. 2003.ORG. June 2003 [7] M. Dostert. Zimmermann and K. pp.1 (2001. Vol.1.PDF. and its Applic.ABB. (ISPLC 1999) .REFERENCES [1] Powerline Telecommunications (PLT): Reference Network Architecture Model. 944-948. White Paper. IEEE Trans. Power Line Commun. No. Technical Specifications. [9] S. 45-51. Vol. HTTP://WWW.1 (2002-05) [3] Data communications over Power lines. [8] M. pp. ETSI TR 102 049 V1. Zhidkov. 50. accessed March 2003 [6] Khurram Hussain Zuberi. accessed July 2003 Advances in Agriculture.02) [2] Powerline Telecommunications (PLT). Commun. IEEE Trans. HTTP://WWW. [4] HomePlug Powerline Alliance. Impulsive noise suppression in OFDM based communication systems. A multipath model for the powerline channel. Dostert. 49.1157. A multi-path signal propagation model for the power line channel in the high frequency range. Consumer Electronics. Mar. 1999. Cogency Semiconductor Inc. pp. project Report. 4. 2002. Sciences and Engineering Research: Volume 3 (9) Sept: 1151 . 553-559. ETSI TS 101 896 V1. Proc. . HTTP://WWW.SE/BROADBAND_WIRELESS_ACCESS_SYSTEMS.HOMEPLUG. PLT Phase 1. 4.of the Intl Symp.DE/PLC. ABB New Ventures GmbH. Quality of Service (QoS) requirements for in-house systems. 2013 [5] Powerline System Overview. Zimmermann and K.

Vol. Powerline Communications. Coding and modulation for a horrible channel.org/ [08 Dec.ieee. Biglieri and P. Analysis and modeling of impulsive noise in broad-band powerline communications. Performance comparisons with OFDM systems of identical system specifications are made via extensive computer simulations under different realistic channel parameters and data rates. NJ. Torino. 92-98. IEEE Trans. pp. 1. Multicarrier orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) has been proposed as the dominant modulation format for power-line communications (PLC). The proposed SCCP-assisted scheme is found to be an attractive alternative modulation technique for broadband PLC . Zimmermann and K. [12] M. pp. In this paper. 2001. [13] E.Compat. No. Feb. 249-258. May 2003 Achieving reliable high-speed communications over the power line requires robust modulation and equalization techniques to mitigate various hostile channel impairments. vol 41. Other salient features of the SCCP technique for PLC applications are discussed. 2002. we study a single-carrier cyclic prefix (SCCP)-assisted PLC system that employs block data transmission similar to OFDM and propose two frequency-domain equalizers based on the zero forcing and minimum mean-square error criteria. Electromagn. Dostert. 5.. Magazine. Dostert. Commun.[10] IEEE Standards Association. [11] K. Prentice-Hall. 44. The results show that the SCCP-assisted scheme outperforms the OFDM counterpart in most cases through higher frequency diversity exploitation while maintaining almost identical computational complexity. 2010]. No. Available: http://standards.