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Wireless Communications

Teaching and research related to communications systems requires a flexible platform that scales from software design to hardware prototyping. The National Instruments platform combines intuitive software with precision measurement hardware to enable hands-on learning and pioneering research.

Though wireless communication has become a common man’s technology, the engineering curricula however, are not yet updated to include these wireless communications standards into the mainstream curriculum. The students need to know the underlying communication methods and measurements for protocols like 2G (GSM), 3G (WCDMA), 4G (LTE), Wi-Fi (WLAN) etc. in order to stay confident and relevant to the present day’s communication industry.

The NI RF / Wireless Measurements Lab  is an educational package that does precisely this. With NI RF / Wireless platform, the students can study wireless communications standards like WLAN, WCDMA, LTE, GSM etc. NI RF / Wireless platform includes a PXI based Vector Signal Generator and Analyzer. The analysis can be done either using interactive soft front panels, or using LabVIEW.

With interactive soft front panels, the students can learn the implementation details of the wireless protocols like the modulation scheme used, carrier frequencies used, number of channels used, multiplexing schemes, frame construction, ACLR specifications, modulation quality specifications etc.

  • Ready-to-teach communications systems courseware by Professor Bruce A. Black
  • 2 USRP-2900 software defined transceivers (70 MHz to 6 GHz)
  • Covers FM radio, GPS, GSM, Bluetooth, and ISM bands
  • Up to 56 MHz bandwidth with USB 3.0 connectivity
  • NI technical support and 1-year extendable warranty

List of Experiments

  • I-Q Representation of RF Signals
  • Implementation of AM, FM, BPSK, QPSK, QAM – Modulation & Demodulation
  • Baseband QAM Modem - Modulation and Detection
  • BER Measurement
  • Pulse Shaping & Matched Filtering
  • Synchronization - Symbol Timing Recovery
  • Channel Estimation & Equalization
  • Frame Detection & Frequency Offset Correction
  • OFDM Modulation and Frequency Domain Equalization
  • Synchronization in OFDM Systems
  • Channel Coding in OFDM Systems


Because of the flexibility of LabVIEW and high-quality NI hardware, we can innovate in teaching and research, making our students prime candidates for becoming next-generation leaders in wireless communications.”

Dr. Robert W. Heath, The University of Texas (Austin)