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ELEC5744: Foundations of Digital Comm Systems (2014 - Semester 1)

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Unit: ELEC5744: Foundations of Digital Comm Systems (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Lin, Zihuai
Session options: Semester 1
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
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.
Lecturer/s: Dr Lin, Zihuai
Timetable: ELEC5744 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

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
Design and analysis skills developed in context of communication system implementation. Design (Level 3)
Advanced system level design knowledge of modern communication systems. Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 3)
Fundamental knowledge of the techniques that underpin modern communication systems. Understanding of fundamental engineering design trade-offs. Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
Need to understand and follow lab procedures and conduct experiments under controlled conditions. Need to read and understand the text and the lecture notes. Need to do a significant amount of information search and research for the essay component of assessment. Information Seeking (Level 2)
Advanced research literature based skills in essay writing. Communication (Level 2)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table.

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.

Design (Level 3)
1. 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.
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 3)
2. Ability to demonstrate an understanding of modern modulation and equalization techniques.
3. Proficiency in scoring system design tradeoff issues, by using the various principles, techniques and materials as the drivers for particular case assessment.
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
4. Ability to demonstrate an understanding of coding concepts, including both source and channel coding.
Information Seeking (Level 2)
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.
Communication (Level 2)
6. Ability to describe the concepts and techniques in the design of digital communications systems to the extent of the material presented in the course
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Final Exam No 55.00 Exam Period 4, 6,
2 Lab Report Yes 35.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 3, 6,
3 Assignment No 10.00 Multiple Weeks 2, 3, 4,
Assessment Description: Lab Report: Lab reports

Final Exam: Final Exam

Assignment: Tutorial submissions

Essay: Essay
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 (Telecommunications) 2013, 2014
Master of Professional Engineering (Electrical) 2013, 2014

Course Goals

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

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Design (Level 3) Yes 11.67%
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 3) Yes 18.33%
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3) Yes 30.83%
Information Seeking (Level 2) Yes 0%
Communication (Level 2) Yes 39.17%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 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.