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ELEN420 - Communication Systems

Course Details

Course Code: ELEN420 Course ID: 4605 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

The course covers statistical communication theory including amplitude, frequency, and pulse code modulation; description of random process by auto-correlation and power spectral density functions, sources and properties of electrical noise and its effect on communication systems, the effects of modulation, detection and filtering on signal information content, and bandwidth and signal-to-noise ratio. Topics include: a review of signals and systems, power spectral density, amplitude modulation, angle modulation, pulse modulation, a review of probability and random variables, and an introduction to digital transmission systems. NOTE: This course requires the student to purchase additional materials that are not covered by the book grant. Please refer to the Course Materials section for additional details. (Prerequisites: ELEN310, ELEN325, and MATH303 or MATH328)


Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
07/27/21 - 12/31/21 01/03/22 - 04/24/22 Winter 2022 Session A 16 Week session

Current Syllabi

After completing the course, the student should be able to accomplish these Learning Objectives (LO):

  1. Discuss the characteristics of signals in time and frequency domains.
  2. Evaluate different modulation and demodulation techniques.
  3. Explain sampling and signal conversion from analog to digital.
  4. Analyze the characteristics of digital data transmission.
  5. Apply probability and random processes to communication signals and systems.
  6. Analyze the performance of signal transmission in channels corrupted with noise.
  7. Describe spread spectrum techniques and their use in practical systems.

Instructor announcements: Weekly announcements will appear on Monday of each week in the online classroom. The announcement will discuss the assignments for the week along with any other pertinent information for the week.

This is an upper level course; all students’ work is to be presented as such in terms of quality and content. The grading system will be based on your participation in the forums (24% of your total grade), twelve assignments (30% of your grade), four Matlab projects (30% of your grade) and 8 quizzes (16% of your grade).

Reading Assignments: Please refer to the Course Outline section of this syllabus for the weekly reading assignments.

Week 1 Self-introductions: During Week 1 forum, each student must post a self-introduction (bio) to the class. This self-introduction is a requirement by the University, and is due by mid-night of Sunday of Week 1. Your response must be 250-300 words (a requirement) and include the following information.

  1. Your name
  2. Your university major or program
  3. Where you are in the program of study
  4. Your academic goals, to include why you are taking this class
  5. Information that you would like to share about yourself

Weekly Forums: There will be sixteen weekly forums (1.5% each), counting 24% of the final grade. The forums will consist of specific questions to be answered, broad questions to be discussed, or polls for students to post their questions on the topics covered in that week. In each forum, a student is required to contribute an initial post (1%), and at least replies to classmates (0.5%).

Weekly Assignments: There will be twelve weekly assignments (2.5% each) during the course worth a total of 30% of the total grade. Each assignment will typically cover one chapter in the textbook. For all problems requiring mathematical calculations, all work must be shown.

Quizzes: There will be eight timed quizzes (2% each), counting 16% of the final grade. Quizzes will be open book, and open note. Quizzes will be timed, and non-proctored. Students must complete each quiz within its time limit.

Matlab projects: There will be four project-assignments using Matlab (7.5% each), counting 30% of the final grade.

NameGrade %
Assignments 30.00 %
Week 1 Assignment 2.50 %
Week 2 Assignment 2.50 %
Week 4 Assignment 2.50 %
Week 5 Assignment 2.50 %
Week 7 Assignment 2.50 %
Week 8 Assignment 2.50 %
Week 10 Assignment 2.50 %
Week 11 Assignment 2.50 %
Week 12 Assignment 2.50 %
Week 13 Assignment 2.50 %
Week 15 Assignment 2.50 %
Week 16 Assignment 2.50 %
Forums 24.00 %
Wk1 Forum 1.71 %
Wk2 Forum 1.71 %
Wk3 Forum 1.71 %
Wk4 Forum 1.71 %
Wk5 Forum 1.71 %
Wk6 Forum 1.71 %
Wk7 Forum 1.71 %
Wk8 Forum 1.71 %
Wk9 Forum 1.71 %
Wk10 Forum 1.71 %
Wk11 Forum 1.71 %
Wk12 Forum 1.71 %
Wk13 Forum 1.71 %
Wk15 Forum 1.71 %
Labs 30.00 %
Week 3 Matlab project 7.50 %
Week 6 Matlab project 7.50 %
Week 9 Matlab project 7.50 %
Week 14 Matlab project 7.50 %
Quizzes 16.00 %
Week 02 Quiz 2.00 %
Week 04 quiz 2.00 %
Week 06 quiz 2.00 %
Week 08 quiz 2.00 %
Week 10 quiz 2.00 %
Week 12 quiz 2.00 %
Week 14 quiz 2.00 %
Week 16 quiz 2.00 %
Book Title: Modern Digital and Analog Communication Systems, 4th edition
Author: Lathi
Publication Info: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195331455
Book Title: MATLAB and Simulink Student Suite-Not covered by the APUS Grant - available to purchase at
Publication Info:
Book Title: NI Student Software Suite - access instructions provided inside the classroom
Author: National Instruments
Publication Info: National Instruments
ISBN: 779252-3501
Book Title: Additional required items are available to order from the APUS Bookstore. If you buy these items from other vendors, you may not receive all the parts you need for your course. These items (as noted) are not covered by the APUS Book Grant.
Author: N/A
Publication Info: N/A
Book Title: You must validate your cart to get access to your hard copy materials. If needed, instructions are available here -
Author: N/A
Publication Info: N/A

Book Title:Modern Digital and Analog Communication Systems, 5th ed - the VitalSource e-book is provided inside the classroom
Publication Info:VS-Oxford University Press
Unit Cost:$173.22
Electronic ISBN:9780190686901
Electronic Unit Cost:$120.00
Book Title:NI Student Software Suite - free access provided inside the classroom; if DVD is needed, purchase instructions are available here: (DVD not covered by the APUS Book Grant)
Publication Info:National Instruments
Author:National Instruments
Unit Cost:$63.00
Book Title:MATLAB and Simulink Student Suite-Not covered by the APUS Grant - available to purchase at
Electronic Unit Cost:$99.00

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.