Quantcast Communications pulse modulators

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To transmit intelligence using pulse modulation, you must provide a method to vary some characteristic of the pulse train in accordance with the modulating signal. Figure 2-40 illustrates a simple pulse train. The characteristics of these pulses that can be varied are amplitude, pulse width, pulse-repetition time, and the pulse position as compared to a reference. In addition to these three characteristics, pulses may be transmitted according to a code to represent the different levels of the modulating signal. To ensure maximum fidelity (accuracy in reproducing a modulating wave), the modulating signal has to be represented by enough pulses to restore the original wave shape. Logically, the higher the sampling rate (the more often sampled) of the pulse modulator, the more accurately the original modulating wave can be reproduced. Figure 2-41 illustrates the effectiveness of three pulse-sampling rates. View (A) shows a sampling rate of more than two times the modulating frequency. As you can see, this reproduces the modulating signal very accurately. However, the high sampling rate requires a wide bandwidth and increases the average power required of the transmitter. If less than two samples per cycle are made, you are not able to reproduce the original modulating signal, as shown in view (B). View (C) shows a sampling rate that is two times the highest modulating frequency. This is the minimum sampling rate that will give a sufficiently accurate reproduction of the modulating wave. The standard sampling rate is 2.5 times the highest frequency that is to be transmitted. This ensures the ability to accurately reproduce the modulating waveform. In military voice systems the bandwidth for voice signals is limited to 300 to 3,000 hertz, requiring a sampling frequency of 8 kilohertz. Although the pulse characteristic that is changed may vary for each type of pulse modulation, the sampling frequency will remain constant. We will now briefly discuss common types of pulse modulation.

Figure 2-40. - Pulse train.

Figure 2-41A. - Pulse sampling rates. MORE THAN TWO PULSE SAMPLES FOR EVERY WAVE

Figure 2-41B. - Pulse sampling rates. LESS THAN TWO PULSE SAMPLES FOR EVERY WAVE

Figure 2-41C. - Pulse sampling rates. TWO PULSE SAMPLES FOR EVERY WAVE

Pulse-Amplitude Modulation

Some characteristic of the sampling pulses must be varied by the modulating signal for the intelligence of the signal to be present in the pulsed wave. Figure 2-42 shows three typical waveforms in which the pulse amplitude is varied by the amplitude of the modulating signal. View (A) represents a sine wave of intelligence to be modulated on a transmitted carrier wave. View (B) shows the timing pulses which determine the sampling interval. View (C) shows PULSE-AMPLITUDE MODULATION (pam) in which the amplitude of each pulse is controlled by the instantaneous amplitude of the modulating signal at the time of each pulse.

Figure 2-42A. - Pulse-amplitude modulation (pam). MODULATION

Figure 2-42B. - Pulse-amplitude modulation (pam). TIMING

Figure 2-42C. - Pulse-amplitude modulation (pam). PAM

Pulse-amplitude modulation is the simplest form of pulse modulation. It is generated in much the same manner as analog-amplitude modulation. The timing pulses are applied to a pulse amplifier in which the gain is controlled by the modulating waveform. Since these variations in amplitude actually represent the signal, this type of modulation is basically a form of AM. The only difference is that the signal is now in the form of pulses. This means that pam has the same built-in weaknesses as any other AM signal - high susceptibility to noise and interference. The reason for susceptibility to noise is that any interference in the transmission path will either add to or subtract from any voltage already in the circuit (signal voltage). Thus, the amplitude of the signal will be changed. Since the amplitude of the voltage represents the signal, any unwanted change to the signal is considered a SIGNAL DISTORTION. For this reason, pam is not often used. When pam is used, the pulse train is used to frequency modulate a carrier for transmission. Techniques of pulse modulation other than pam have been developed to overcome problems of noise interference. The following sections will discuss other types of pulse modulation.

Q.20 What action is necessary to impress intelligence on the pulse train in pulse modulation? answer.gif (214 bytes)
Q.21 To ensure the accuracy of a transmission, what is the minimum number of times a modulating wave should be sampled in pulse modulation?answer.gif (214 bytes)
Q.22 What, if any, noise susceptibility advantage exists for pulse-amplitude modulation over analog-amplitude modulation? answer.gif (214 bytes)

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