Software-defined Radio | Hackaday
“Revolution” is a term used with much less care than it probably should be, especially in areas such as electronics. It is understandable, however, that the changes in society that have resulted from the Transistor Revolution or the Computer Revolution, or rather the AI Revolution, have transformed, often for good and sometimes for evil. The common thread, however, is that once these revolutions took place, nothing was the same.
This is the case with software-defined radio (SDR) and digital signal processing (DSP). These two related areas may not seem as transformative as some of the other electronic revolutions, but when you think about it, they really changed the world of radio communications. SDR means that complex radio transmitters and receivers no longer have to be strictly applied to hardware as a set of filters, mixers, detectors and amplifiers; instead, they can be reduced to a series of algorithms running on a computer.
Together with the DSP, SDR led to huge changes in the radio frequency field, as powerful high-bandwidth radio tapes were built into devices almost as a follow-up thought. But concepts can be hard to wrap around, at least when you’re digging beyond the basics and really trying to learn how SDR and DSP work. Fortunately, Dr. Mark Lichtman, an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, literally wrote the book on the subject. PySDR: A Guide to SDR and DSP Using Python is a fantastic introduction to SDR and DSP that is aimed at those who want to learn how to put SDR and DSP to work in practical systems. Dr. Lichtman will stop by the hack chat to talk about his textbook, answer your questions about how best to learn about SDR and DSP, and discuss the next steps once you’ve mastered the basics.
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