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Here's a quick tutorial it might help.
(I can't attache the file so I'll paste it in below.
Few subjects in RF design elicit as many blank looks as Eb/N0.
Read the article and associated links below to find out more about
this important subject!
What's All This Eb/No Stuff, Anyway?
By Jim Pearce (With Apologies to Bob Pease)
(This article originally appeared in the Fall 2000 issue of Spread
Spectrum Scene Online.)
Anyone who has spent more than ten minutes researching digital
communications has run across the cryptic notation Eb/No. Usually this
shows up when discussing bit error rates or modulation methods. You may
have a vague feeling that it represents something important about a
digital communication system, but can't really put a finger on what or
why. So let's take a look at just what this Eb/No thing is and why it's
First of all, how do you pronounce Eb/No? Most engineers that I know say
"E bee over en zero," though some of the more fastidious ones say "E sub
bee over en sub zero". At any rate, even though "No" is usually written
with an "Oh" instead of a zero, it is not pronounced as the word "no".
Eb/No is classically defined as the ratio of Energy per Bit (Eb) to the
Spectral Noise Density (No). If this definition leaves you with a empty,
glassy-eyed feeling, you're not alone. The definition does not give you
any insight into how to measure Eb/No or what it's used for.
Eb/No is the measure of signal to noise ratio for a digital
communication system. It is measured at the input to the receiver and is
used as the basic measure of how strong the signal is. Different forms
of modulation -- BPSK, QPSK, QAM, etc. -- have different curves of
theoretical bit error rates versus Eb/No as shown in Figure 1. These
curves show the communications engineer the best performance that can be
achieved across a digital link with a given amount of RF power.
bit error rate curve
Figure 1. BER vs Eb/No
(Thanks, Intersil for this figure)
In this respect, it is the fundamental prediction tool for determining a
digital link's performance. Another, more easily measured predictor of
performance is the carrier-to-noise or C/N ratio.
So let's pretend that we are designing a digital link, and see how to
use Eb/No and C/N to find out how much transmitter power we will need.
Our example will use differential quadrature phase shift keying (DQPSK)
and transmit 2 Mbps with a carrier frequency of 2450 MHz. It will have a
30 dB fade margin and operate within a reasonable bit error rate (BER)
at an outdoor distance of 100 meters. Hold on to your hat here! Remember
that when we play with dB or any log-type operation, multiplication is
replaced by adding the dBs, and division is replaced by subtracting the dBs.
Our strategy for determining the transmit power is to:
* Determine Eb/No for our desired BER;
* Convert Eb/No to C/N at the receiver using the bit rate; and
* Add the path loss and fading margins.
We first decide what is the maximum BER that we can tolerate. For our
example, we choose 10-6 figuring that we can retransmit the few packets
that will have errors at this BER.
Looking at Figure 1, we find that for DQPSK modulation, a BER of 10-6
requires an Eb/No of 11.1 dB.
OK, great. Now we convert Eb/No to the carrier to noise ratio (C/N)
using the equation:
fb is the bit rate, and
Bw is the receiver noise bandwidth.
So for our example, C/N = 11.1 dB + 10log(2x106 / 1x106) = 11.1 dB + 3dB
Since we now have the carrier-to-noise ratio, we can determine the
necessary received carrier power after we calculate the receiver noise
Noise power is computed using Boltzmann's equation:
N = kTB
k is Boltzmann's constant = 1.380650x10-23 J/K;
T is the effective temperature in Kelvin, and
B is the receiver bandwidth.
Our receiver has some inherent noise in the amplification and processing
of the signal. This is referred to as the receiver noise figure. For
this example, our receiver has a 7 dB noise figure, so the receiver
noise level will be:
N = -107 dBm.
We can now find the carrier power as C = C/N * N, or in dB C = C/N + N.
C = 14.1 dB + -107dBm = -92.9 dBm
This is how much power the receiver must have at its input. To determine
the transmitter power, we must account for the path loss and any fading
margin that we are building in to the system.
The path loss in dB for an open air site is:
PL = 22 dB + 20log(d/?)
PL is the path loss in dB;
d is the distance between the transmitter and receiver; and
? is the wavelength of the RF carrier (= c/frequency)
This assumes antennas with no gain are being used. For our example,
PL = 22 dB + 20log(100/.122) = 22 + 20*2.91 =
22 + 58.27 = 80.27 dB
Finally, adding our 30 dB fading margin will give the required
P = -92.9 + 80.27 + 30 = 17.37 dBm = 55 mW
Our result, 55 mW, is well within a reasonable power level for spread
spectrum links in the 2.4 GHz band. So we see that, in this example, our
100 meter range is a very reasonable expectation.
So, what is all this Eb/No stuff? Simply put, it's one of the "secrets"
used by top RF design engineers to evaluate options for digital RF
links, and is a crucial step in the design of systems that will meet
Intersil Tutorial on Basic Link Budget Analysis, by Jim Zyren and Al
Adobe Acrobat format -- 80K
Link Analysis with the Iridium System, MLDesign Technologies
Crosslink Channel Analysis (with the Iridium satellite), MLDesign
An Interesting Link Budget Analysis for the Mars Pathfinder
Williamson Labs Link Budgets using Satmaster Pro MK 4.0c