Development of Software Defined Radio Systems

  • Course Code ΨΣ-ΨΕΔ-310 Type of Course Mandatory [M]
  • Semester 2nd Semester FacultyΑ. Gkotsis, Κ. Maliatsos
  • ECTS Credits 7,5


The objective of this course is to introduce the students to the practical design, analysis and performance evaluation of wireless communication systems, using the software defined radio (SDR) technology. During the course, the students will have the opportunity to experiment with signals that are used in today’s wireless communication systems, such as LTE and Wi-Fi, by designing the corresponding transmitter and receiver digital processing chains. The signal generation and analysis blocks will be designed using software, whereas the transmission/reception will be realized using SDR hardware (digitizer boards) and general purpose computing platforms (linux-based desktop hosts).

The course consists of three parts. During the first part the students are familiarized with the SDR concept, the use of SDR hardware (Ettus USRP boards) and software management tools, as well as develop a baseline SISO-OFDM (Single-antenna Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) transceiver. In the second part, the students develop more complex blocks, extending the baseline transceiver in order to support MIMO (multi-antenna) techniques. In the third and final part the students are experimenting with existing open source wireless communication system implementations (e.g. OpenAirInterface), creating and testing an experimental private 4G network.

Course Contents

  • Part 1:
    • Introduction to Software Defined Radio (SDR),
      • SDR Architectures (Ideal, Practical etc.,) SDR systems, SDR transceiver components.
      • Introduction to the SDR hardware and management software used in the course
      • SDR technology applications: Cognitive Radios and Dynamic Spectrum Sharing.
    • Signals / Spectrum Analysis and Detection
      • Generation of basic signals (sine, square pulse) and implementation of basic signal processing procedures (filtering with sampling rate conversion
      • Basic principles of detection and estimation theory, statistical signal characterization, maximum likelihood detector/Bayesian, etc.
      • Energy detector, matched filter, filter-bank detector
    • Implementation of a baseline QPSK transceiver using Software
      • Familiarization with software code tools (MATLAB or C++).
      • Development of OFDM modulator and demodulator
      • Pilot and preamble insertion – Synchronization
      • Frequency offset estimation
      • Channel estimation and equalization
      • Over-the-air experimentation using SDR hardware – Performance Evaluation.
  • Part 2:
    • Baseline transceiver extension and experimentation with MIMO techniques
      • Implementation of MIMO in SDR hardware.
    • Receiver Diversity Techniques
      • Development of selection diversity
      • Development of Maximum Ratio Combining (MRC).
    • Transmitter Diversity Techniques
      • Space Time Block Coding using the Alamouti method.
  • Part 3:
    • Development of a 4G experimental network using existing open source software code (e.g. OpenAirInterface)
    • Familiarization with 4G systems. Experimentation with practical resources allocation methods.