Engineering and design

Analogue Communication and Propagation

Module code: H6107
Level 5
15 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Lecture
Assessment modes: Coursework, Unseen examination

In this module, you are introduced to key physical and engineering concepts in high frequency propagation that underpin the transmission and reception of analogue electromagnetic signals.

Your studies in this module cover:

  • Maxwell's equations, the electromagnetic wave equation, the Poynting vector
  • plane waves, phase and group velocity, skin depth
  • propagation along transmission lines, attenuation and distortion, characteristic impedance, reflections and standing waves
  • electromagnetic propagation in free space, line of sight communications and design using Fresnel zone, power budget in satellite links, tropospheric and ionospheric propagation
  • introduction to antennas and aerials (including dipole, Yagi-Ueda, arrays, dish, planar, patch, antennas for CP) radiation pattern, reciprocity theorem, antenna gain
  • analogue communication systems, modulation and demodulation systems (AM/FM/pulse), phase lock loops
  • physical sources and statistical properties of electrical noise, signal-to-noise ratio, noise figure, noise temperature
  • spectrum management and EMC, radio transmitter and receiver architecture.


Electronic Circuit & Systems Design
Engineering Mathematics 2
Engineering Maths 1A
Engineering Maths 1B

Module learning outcomes

  • Apply the physics of electric and magnetic fields to wave propagation in free space and on transmission lines
  • Determine the power requirements and transmission range of communication systems operating at microwave frequencies
  • Apply the principles of operation and design of antennas at various frequencies
  • Demonstrate understanding of factors affecting the performance of communication systems