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ELEC9515: Digital Communication Systems (2020 - Semester 1)

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Unit: ELEC9515: Digital Communication Systems (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: School of Electrical & Information Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Lin, Zihuai
Session options: Semester 1
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Prohibitions: ELEC5744.
Brief Handbook Description: The lecture starts with an overview of major components of a digital communication system and current technology. Then the following knowledge will be covered: efficient coding/representation of information source, channel coding of information to combat noise and interference, optimal received design, principles of incoherent systems, error probability calculations, solutions to problems caused by transmitting a signal through a bandlimited channel and caused by multipath, and spread spectrum systems. The lecture concludes with a discussion of future directions of digital communication systems.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Timetable: ELEC9515 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 13
2 Laboratory 2.00 1 6
3 Tutorial 2.00 1 6
4 Independent Study 5.00 1 13
T&L Activities: Laboratory: Hardware laboratories with TIMS equipment.

Tutorial: Tutorials

Independent Study: Self study and home study by students

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

(4) Design (Level 3)
1. Ability to describe the concepts and techniques in the design of digital communications systems to the extent of the material presented in the course
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 3)
2. Capacity to conduct lab experiments applying knowledge and principles and ensuring quality control in taking measurements to understand the influence of various factors on digital communications.
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 3)
3. Ability to demonstrate an understanding of modern modulation and equalization techniques.
4. Ability to demonstrate an understanding of coding concepts, including both source and channel coding.
5. Ability to recognise the limits of existing information and undertake knowledge development by drawing upon a range of sources and media formats to synthesise the information most relevant.
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
6. Proficiency in scoring system design tradeoff issues, by using the various principles, techniques and materials as the drivers for particular case assessment.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Final Exam No 55.00 Exam Period 1, 4,
2 Lab Report Yes 40.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 6,
3 Assignment No 5.00 Multiple Weeks 3, 4, 6,
Assessment Description: Lab Reports (40%)

There will be four labs, conducted in groups of 3-4 students each. Totally 12 groups

You need to attend lab to submit lab report

The first lab is optional

For other four labs, you are asked to hand in one report, each worth 10%

Completion of all modules,

Clarity, clear explanations and good understanding of experimental results


Closed Book Examination (55%)

The examination will feature 5~6 questions, each of which consists of a few parts.
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Prescribed Text/s: Note: Students are expected to have a personal copy of all books listed.
  • Communication Systems Engineering

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Introduction to Wireless Communication Systems
Week 2 Lab 1
Source Coding, Part 1
Week 3 Tutorial 1
Source Coding, Part 2
Week 4 Tutorial 2
Channel Coding, Part 1
Week 5 Channel Coding, Part 2
Lab 2
Week 6 Optimal Receiver Design
Tutorial 3
Week 7 Lab 3
Incoherent Systems, Error Probability Calculations Part 1
Week 8 Tutorial 4
Error Probability Calculations Part 2
Week 9 Lab 4
Transmission Through Bandlimited Channels
Week 10 Tutorial 5
Transmission on Fading Multipath Channels
Week 11 Spread Spectrum Systems
Tutorial 6
Week 12 Lab 5
Telecommunications –The Future?
Week 13 Review Questions
STUVAC (Week 14) Self Study and Exam Preparation
Exam Period Final Exam
Assessment Due: Final Exam

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Telecommunications) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Telecommunications) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Electrical) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Electrical) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 3) No 0%
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 2) No 0%
(4) Design (Level 3) No 40.83%
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 3) No 13.33%
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 3) No 30.83%
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 3) No 15%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.