Module Specification

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Avionics and Communications Systems
Code AERO250
Coordinator Prof JF Ralph
Electrical Engineering and Electronics
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2019-20 Level 5 FHEQ Second Semester 15


To develop an understanding of basic communication systems, avionic systems, including radar, navigation and aircraft vision systems.

Pre-requisites before taking this module (other modules and/or general educational/academic requirements):


Co-requisite modules:


Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Be able to demonstrate their analytical skills to the design of simple avionic systems, indluding radio communications, radars and elementary EMC engineering

(LO2) Be able to demonstrate the use of the Friis and Radar Equations, as well as the concepts of noise and interference

(LO3) Be able to demonstrate their familiarity with, and ability to manipulate, the decibel notation that is used extensively in radar and radio systems

(LO4) Be able to demonstrate a familiarity with basic intertial and GPS navigation systems

(LO5) Be able to demonstrate an understanding of aircraft vision systems

(S1) Independent learning



1-2 Introduction : Communication systems; analogue and digital systems; signal bandwidth; signal to noise ratio; channel capacity; trade-offs in communication system design; modulation.

3-5 Amplitude Modulation: General idea of AM modulation; DSB-LC, DSB-SC, SSB and VSB modulations; modulation index, bandwidth and spectrum; AM demodulation; comparision of different AM systems in terms of power efficiency and bandwidth.

6-7 Angle Modulation: Frequency modulation (FM) and phase modulation (PM); narrow-band FM and PM; Carson's rule; modulation index, bandwidth and spectrum; generation and demodulation of FM signals.

8 Sampling: Sampling theorem; signal reconstruction; aliasing.

9 Digitisation & Quantisation: Signal digitisation and quantisation for aerospace systems.

10 Pulse Modulation: Quantising, encoding and line coding; pulse code modulation (PCM); pulse amplitude modulation, pluse width modulation and pulse phase modulation (PAM, PWM an d PPM); comparison of different pulse modulation methods.

11 Digital Modulation: Digital data transmission; amplitude shift keying, frequency shift keying and phase shift keying (ASK, FSK and PSK), comparisons; M-ary modulation.

12 Multiplexing: Frequency division multiplexers (FDM); time division multiplexers (TDM), spread-spectrum.
13 Block diagrams of radio and radar systems.

14 The radio frequency spectrum, radar and radio communication.

15 Basic electromagnetic wave theory and propagation

16 Radiation patterns of representative antennas - gain, directivity and efficiency

17 The Friis equation and the radar equation
18 I maging Radar: SAR and DBS

19 Radar Cross Section of Basic Objects.

20 An introduction to inertial navigation and GPS.
21 Aircraft Vision Systems and Infrared Imaging.

22 Aircraft Data Buses.

23 EMC and Safety Critical Systems.

24 Review

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Lecture
Attendance Recorded: Not yet decided

Teaching Method 2 - Tutorial
Attendance Recorded: Not yet decided

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 24


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 114


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Assessment 1 There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. Assessment Schedule (When) :2  3 hours    100       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late

Reading List

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.