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E367-W2- Can you hear me? 1. Figure 1 below shows how the radio waves propagate through the atmosphere in different modes. Mode of Propagation (Ground) Surface wave Sky wave Space wave Abbreviation VLF MF HF VHF UHF and beyond Frequency 5 kHz - 10 kHz 300 kHz - 3MHz 3MHz - 30MHz 30 MHz- 300MHz 300MHz - 3GHz

Figure 1: Different modes of propagation

a) Discuss within your team which mode of propagation is suitable for long distance communication. Sky waves. b) How can we achieve long distance communication in aircrafts?


For example, the VHF communication system has an operating frequency range of (30 MHz - 300 MHz). Using the equation (v = f. ), the wavelength is calculated as shown. (Assume velocity of radio wave is 3.0 x108 m/s) Description Very High Frequency (VHF) High Frequency (HF) High Frequency (a) (b) (c) Frequency 30 MHz 300 MHz 3 MHz 30 MHz Wavelength = v/f= 10 m =1m 100m 10m

Determine the wavelengths for High Frequency? Compare the wavelengths you have calculated above. Do you think is it practical to have such a length for your antenna design? Its not practical as antenna of such length is too big. What hanppens if such antenna lenghths are installed on the aircraft? Too bulky and heavy, causes the aircraft unable to fly.


The aircraft HF communication system can transmit Amplitude Modulation (AM) signal.


Modulation is the process of impressing a low frequency information signal (m(t)) onto a higher frequency carrier signal. Sketch the frequency spectrum of the AM signal (Vout ) based on the following information. vC (t ) =10 cos( 2f C )t carrier frequency(fc )= 5.0 MHz vS (t ) = 5 cos( 2 m )t modulating signal (fm ) =1.0 kHz.. f 5.0MHz 4.999MHz 5.001 MHz


For the modulated signals shown below, match the modulated signal with its modulation type. Explain why do we need to modulate the signal before transmitting? Which figure below gives the best modulation, justify your answer. Modulated signal C -----a) 100% Modulation A -----B -----b) Over Modulation c) Under Modulation Types of modulation

Carrier frequency



Compare the advantages and disadvantages of AM and Single SideBand (SSB) transmissions as shown in Figure 2 (a) & (b)? (a)

AM signal Transmitter Receiver





Figure 2 (a & b): AM and SSB transmission

SSB: Advantage - SSB cuts the bandwidth in half and improves the efficiency to nearly 100%. Disadvantage - Expensive. AM : Advantage 6. Figure 3 shows a Tuned Radio Frequency receiver (TRF).


Figure 3 Tuned Radio Frequnecy Receiver

One of the major characteristics of any radio receiver is selectivity. It is the ability of the receiver to reject unwanted signal. a. Assume the value of an inductor (L) is 10 H , value of capacitor (C) is 8.37 nF and a Q-factor of 100, what is the bandwidth of a tuned circuit? What are some of limitations of TRF receiver? 7. Figure 4 shows the block diagram of a typical super heterodyne receiver.

Figure 4: Block diagram of Super heterodyne receiver

a. Name the type of filter circuit used (e.g. Low-pass, High-pass, Band-stop, and Band-pass)? Explain your choice. Band-pass. b. What are the functions of the Mixer and Local Oscillator (LO)? A mixer is a nonlinear or time-varying circuit or device that accepts as its input two different frequencies and presents at its output a mixture of signals at several frequencies. A local oscillator is an electronic device used to generate a signal normally for the purpose of converting a signal of interest to a different frequency using a mixer.

c. Explain the significant of the Intermediate frequency (IF) signal and function of the IF amplifiers? The intermediate frequency is created by mixing the carrier signal with a local oscillator signal. d. An envelope detector can be used to demodulate the input signal. What is function of the diode in the circuit ? How will the resistance value R affects the output signal?

e. 8.

What is the purpose of AGC (Automatic Gain Control)?

A HF communication receiver has an intermediate frequency (IF) of 455 kHz. Determine the local oscillator (LO) frequency when the receiver is tuned to 5.675 MHz. 6.025 MHz The block diagram of a typical aircraft HF system is shown in Figure 5. Briefly explain the purpose of the following components. a) HF antenna b) Antenna Tuning Unit c) Transceiver d) Control Panel Tune frequency, adjust volume etc.


Long wires

Grumman E2C aircraft

Figure 5 (Block Diagram of HF Comms system)


Figure 6 shows a typical SELCAL system.The acronyom SELCAL stands for Selective Calling

Figure 6: Typical SELCAL system

a) What is the function of the of SELCAL system. b) Each aircraft has its own unique SELCAL code. What is the function of the decoder of SELCAL system? c) How does the SELCAL system alert the flight crew?

Resources: Aircraft communications and navigation systems: principles, operation and maintenance Author: Mike Tooley and David Wyatt. TL693 TOO 2007 Aircraft digital electronic and computer systems : principles, operation and maintenance Author: Mike Tooley TL690 TOO 2007 Practical aircraft electronic systems: Author: Albert Helfrick TL693 HEL 1995 Principles of avionics : Author: Albert Helfrick TL695 HEL 2004