Impact of an RF Receiver on Communication System Performance

This example shows how to use the RF Blockset™ Circuit Envelope library to measure the effect of thermal noise on the bit error rate (BER) of a communications system and to verify the result by comparing to a Communications Toolbox™ reference model.

RF Receiver System Architecture

The Modulator and Channel subsystems consist of Communications Toolbox blocks that model:

  • A QPSK-modulated waveform of random bits

  • A raised cosine pulse-shaping filter for spectral limiting

  • Free-space path loss

The RF receiver subsystem, shown in light blue, consists of:

  • An Inport block, which assigns the input waveform to the specified RF carrier. To ensure that the RF Blockset model has the same available power as the reference model, the Source type parameter is set to Power.

  • A cascaded RF amplifier and RF mixer with specified noise figure and gain.

  • An Outport block, with the Source type parameter set to Power.

  • Note the presence of an S-parameter block preceding the Mixer. This block ensures that the only frequency entering the mixer will be the carrier at 2.1 GHz.

The reference system, shown in red, consists of:

  • A Communications Toolbox Receiver Thermal Noise block that adds noise to the signal according to the value calculated by the Friis Equation

  • A Gain block that models the combined gain of the RF receiver

Communications Toolbox filters and demodulators process the received signal.

Circuit Envelope Simulation of the RF Receiver

  1. Type open_system('RFReceiverImpactExample') at the Command Window prompt.

  2. Select Simulation > Run.

Error Rate Calculation blocks compute the BER for the system and reference. To observe the BER as it approaches steady state, increase the total simulation time. For this example, the steady-state bit error rate is 0.12.

Computing RF Receiver Noise Figure

To model noise in the RF Blockset circuit envelope environment:

  • In the Configuration block dialog, select Simulate noise.

  • Specify the Noise figure (dB) parameter of RF Amplifier and RF Mixer blocks in your system. The following specifications for the RF receiver in this example produce a combined noise figure of 6.3218 dB (as per the Friis Equation): LNA gain of 20 dB, LNA noise figure of 6 dB, and RF mixer noise figure of 15 dB.