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electromagnetic radio waves from one point to another. It is now necessary to consider the various techniques which may be employed to superimpose intelligence on to the basic radio wave. When this is done the radio wave is termed the carrier wave, and the intelligence is said to be modulated on to it One way of modulating a carrier wave to convey intelligence is to vary the amplitude of the carrier wave in sympathy with the modulating wave form which is at a lower frequency (the intelligence ). This technique is known as amplitude modulation. Another way of modulating a carrier wave to carry intelligence is to vary the frequency of the carrier wave in sympathy with the modulating intelligence. This technique, logically, is known as frequency modulation. The third modulation technique which is considered is pulse modulation. Amplitude Modulation For convenience the various sub-divisions of Amplitude Modulation (AM) are coded, and the particular codes which are pertinent to this syllabus are discussed below. Unniodulated Carrier Wave As the name suggests, unmodulated (or continuous) carrier wave is simply a radio wave which is transmitted as a constant amplitude and a constant frequency, and therefore carries no intelligence. In other words the wave is unmodulated. This type of signal is ideal for direction finding equipment such as the ADF, althought it is obviously necessary to superimpose a morse identifier onto the wave from time to time, so that the operator knows which transmitter he is tuned into. The designation normally given to this type of signal is NON. As unmodulated carrier wave is illustrated at Figure 1
Fig: 1 Unmodulated Carrier Wave
Keyed Carrier Wave Kcycd for interrupted carrier wave is the simplest form of modulation. Here the radio signal continuously transmitted but is switched on and of' at desired intervals, seeFigure 2. The primary use of keying is to convey intelligence using the Morse code. The designation given to this type of signal is AIA. It is principally employed on long range NDBs. the advantage being that all of the power is contained in the carrier wave, and none in the modulating wave,
Fig: 3 Simple Amplitude Modulation . real amplitude modulation where the amplitude of the carrier wave consistently varies in sympathy with the intelligence wave form. The intelligence normally used for this type of transmission would be a simple steady audio frequency tone.see later) must be incorporatcd into the receiver to make the Morse audible. Range for a given transmitter power output is therefore enhanced. as it were. however the disadvantage is that a BFO (Beat Frequency Oscillator) . Fig: 2 Keyed Carrier Wave Simple Amplitude Modulation Now to. see Figure 3. The significance of simple amplitude modulation is thatthe modulating wave form is constant in amplitude and constant infrequency.since there isn't one.
or the modulated carrier wave itself. If you check any short range NDB in the COMS section of the Aeronautical Information Publication you¶ll find that it given as NONA2A. The human voice produces a complex waveform which is often modulated on to a carrier wave as intelligence. which in this case is achieved by keyed amplitude modulation. if you have a microphone and an oscilloscope handy you can prove the complexity of the wave form. The A2A which is tacked onto the end is the NDB idenyifier. using a steady audio tone. Complex Amplitude Modulation The modulating waveform in the previous paragraph wassimple in nature.By keying either the modulating signal. which occurs between the ident sequences. The designation given this type of transmission is either A2A with an NDB (where it is keyed to achieve station identification) or A8W in ILS (where the depth of modulation is made to vary across thetransmitted lobes). The NO)N is the continuous carrier wave. Voice modulation is shown schematically at Figure 4 Fig: 4 Complex Amplitude Modulation . The human voice pruduces a complex modulating waveform in that it is varying in both amplitude (a shout as against whisper) and in frequency (a groans as against scream). the audio tone can be used to convey simple morse ident. that is to say constant in amplitude and in frequency. and which gives the ADF receiver a nice steady signal for direction finding. You may well be either groaning or screaming right now.
Depth of Modulation Before processing on to frequency and pulse modulation techniques it is necessary to consider briefly depth of modulation as it applies to both simple and complex modulated signals. or. If the amplitude of the modulating voltage is higher than the carrier voltage. Quite simply. causingdistortion of the modulated waveform. and J3E when used in HF communication (normally on single side band networks). m will be greater than 1. Fig: 5 Depth of Modulation Overmodulation and Distortion The modulation index should be a number between 0 and 1. In this case maximum amplitude of the modulated carrier wave is 10 volts and the minimum amplitude of the modulated carrier wave is 3 volts Depth of Modulation % = 10 .This type of signal is designated A3E when used in VHF communications. the intelligence . it is normal to reduce the percentage depth of modulation when extreme range reception is required. The carrier wave (as always with amplitude modulation) is varying in amplitude in sympathy with the modulating wave. Since it is the power contained in the carrier wave at its lowest amplitude which governs the range of the signal. Depth of Modulation % = Amplitude of Modulating Waveform Amplitude of the Carrier Wave (before Modulation) x 100 An alternative formula for determining the depth of modulation is: Depth of Modulation % = Maximum Amplitude ± Minimum Amplitude Maximum Amplitude + Minimum Amplitude x 100 Figure: 5 shows a simple amplitude modulated carrier wave. the depth of modulation is the amplitude of the modulating waveform to the amplitude of the carrier wave prior to modulation. expressed as a percentage.3 10 + 3 x 100 = 7 13 x 100 = 54 % . If the distortion is great enough.
or m = 1. For example. Automatic circuits called compression circuits solve this problem by amplifying the lower-level signals and suppressing or compressing the higher-level signals. The ideal condition for AM is whenVm =Vc. Distortion caused by overmodulation also produces adjacent channel interference. Distortion of voice transmissions produces garbled. The result is a higher average power output level without overmodulation. with no distortion. Normally. . but the modulating voltage is much greater than the carrier voltage. resulting in a condition called overmodulation. Distortion of video signals produces a scrambled and inaccurate picture on a TV screen. This prevents overmodulation and distortion. 6. at different times during voice transmission voices will go from low amplitude to high amplitude. Distortion produces a nonsinusoidal information signal. or unnatural sounds in the speaker. Simple distortion is illustrated in Figure. the waveform is flattened at the zero line. Here a sine wave information signal is modulating a sine wave carrier. these harmonics also modulate the carrier and can cause interference with other signals on channels adjacent to the carrier.signal becomes unintelligible. no distortion will occur. Obviously. which gives 100 percent modulation. Preventing overmodulation is tricky. The received signal will produce an output waveform in the shape of the envelope. If the amplitude of the modulating signal is less than the carrier amplitude. which in this case is a sine wave whose negative peaks have been clipped off. Fig: 6 Distortion of the envelope caused by overmodulation where the modulating signal amplitude Vm is greater than the carrier signal Vc . the amplitude of the modulating signal is adjusted so that only the voice peaks produce 100 percent modulation. As you can see. According to Fourier theory. harsh. This results in the greatest output power at the transmitter and the greatest output voltage at the receiver. any nonsinusoidal signal can be treated as a fundamental sine wave at the frequency of the information signal plus harmonics.
frequency modulation is also widely used for communications where it is resilient to variations in signal strength. Now wideband FM is still regarded as a very high quality transmission medium for high quality broadcasting. Edwin Armstrong. AM predominated and FM was not used. As an example the signal may have a deviation of 3 kHz. The amplitude of the modulating waveform is represented by the amount by which the frequency of the carrier wave changes and the frequency of the modulating waveform by the rate of change of the carrier wave frequency. the frequency of the carrier wave is made to vary in sympathy with the modulating wave form (the intelligence). . frequency modulation has been in use for many years. Since its first introduction the use of frequency modulation. However. As FM did not perform well under these conditions. it was thought that a narrower bandwidth was required to reduce noise and interference. The amount by which the signal frequency varies is very important. an American engineer looked at the use of wideband FM for broadcasting and introduced the idea against the trend of the thinking of the time. In this case the carrier is made to move up and down by 3 kHz. FM. It is also possible to vary the frequency of the signal to give frequency modulation or FM. see Figure 7. It can be seen below that the frequency of the signal varies as the voltage of the modulating signal changes. FM. and FM is also used for a variety of forms of two way radio communications. and many other forms of vehicle. being used in taxis. However its advantages were not immediately apparent.Frequency Modulation FM is widely used for a variety of radio communications applications. FM broadcasts on the VHF bands still provide exceptionally high quality audio. however. and it is especially useful for mobile radio communications. FM. This is known as the deviation and is normally quoted as the number of kiloHertz deviation. When pure frequency modulation (FM) techniquesare employed the amplitude of the carrier wave normally remains constant. frequency modulation basics The most obvious method of applying modulation to a signal is to superimpose the audio signal onto the amplitude of the carrier. In the early days of wireless. FM has grown enormously. However this is by no means the only method which can be employed.
The modulation index is equal to the ratio of the frequency deviation to the modulating frequency. D = (Max deviation frequency) / (Max modulation frequency) For a VHF FM sound broadcast transmitter the maximum deviation is 75 kHz and the maximum modulation frequency is 15 kHz giving a deviation ratio of 5. This is given by the deviation ratio and is obtained by inserting the maximum values into the formula for the modulation index. .Fig: 7 Frequency Modulation Modulation Index and Deviation Ratio In just the same way that it is useful to know the modulation index of an amplitude modulated signal the same is true for a frequency modulated signal. However when designing a system it is important to know the maximum permissible values. The modulation index will vary according to the frequency that is modulating the transmitted carrier and the amount of deviation.
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