NEETS Module 17 — Radio-Frequency Communications Principles
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, 1-1 to 1-10
1-11 to 1-20
, 2-1 to 2-10
2-11 to 2-20
, 2-21 to 2-30
2-31 to 2-37
, 3-1 to 3-10
3-11 to 3-20
, 3-21 to 3-30
3-31 to 3-40
, 3-41 to 3-47
4-1- to 4-10
, 4-11 to 4-21
5-1 to 5-10
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Figure 3-28.—Components of a sine wave.
Figure 3-29, view A, illustrates, the fundamental principle of TDY. Let's look at an example. Assume that a 3,000-hertz
tone is applied to each of the six channels in the transmitter. Assume also that the rotating switch turns fast enough
to sample, in turn, each of the six channels 2.4 times during each cycle of the 3,000-hertz tone. The speed of rotation
of the switch must then be 2.4 ´ 3,000 or 7,200 rotations per second. This is the optimum sampling for a practical
Figure 3-29.—Fundamental principle of time-division multiplexing.
When the transmitter and receiver switches are synchronized, the signals will be fed in the proper sequence to
the receiver channels. The samples from transmitter channel one will be fed to receiver channel one. In this way,
many channels of audio are combined to form a single output (multiplexed) chain. Time spacing occurs between the components
of the separate channels. The chain is transmitted (via wire or radio path) to distant demultiplexing receivers. Each
receiving channel functions to select and reconstruct only the information included in the originally transmitted
In most present day applications, electronic switching is used as the sampling component. The
main advantage to electronic sampling is the longer life of an electronic switch when compared to an electromechanical
switch. We use a mechanical system in our example to make this concept easier for you to see.
look at figure 3-29, view B, where channel one is shown sampled four times. (This is the output of channel one in
our transmitter.) Figure 3-29, view C, shows all six channels being sampled four times during each cycle. (This is
the output of the rotating switch in our transmitter.) What you see here is a continuous, time-sharing waveform.
More than six channels (perhaps 24 or more) may be used. As we increase the number of channels, the width of each
sample segment must be reduced. The problem with reducing the width of the pulse is that the bandwidth (BW) necessary
for transmission is greatly increased. Decreasing the pulse width decreases the minimum required rise time of the
sampling pulse and increases the required bandwidth. When you increase the number of channels, you increase the BW.
The BW is also affected by the shape of the sampling pulse and the method used to vary the pulse.
Common methods of time-division multiplexing include PULSE AMPLITUDE MODULATION (pam), PULSE WIDTH or PULSE
DURATION MODULATION (PWM or PDM), PULSE POSITION MODULATION (ppm), and PULSE CODE MODULATION (PCM). We have been studying
an example of pulse amplitude modulation. (These methods of TDM were discussed in NEETS, Module 12, Modulation Principles.)
FREQUENCY DIVISION.—Frequency division multiplexing (FDM), unlike TDM, transmits and receives
for the full 360 degrees of a sine wave. FDM used presently by the Navy may be divided into two categories. One category
is used for voice communications and the other for TTY communications.
The normal voice speaking range
is from 100 to 3,500 hertz. During single channel AM voice communications, the audio frequency amplitude modulates
a single RF (carrier frequency). However, in voice FDM, each voice frequency modulates a separate frequency lower
than the carrier frequency (subcarrier frequency). If these subcarrier frequencies are separated by 3,500 hertz or
more, they may be combined in a composite signal. This signal modulates the carrier frequency without causing excessive
In figure 3-30, the output of channel one is the voice frequency range of 100 to 3,500
hertz. The output of channel two is the combination of a different voice frequency with a subcarrier frequency of
4,000 hertz. The output of channel three is another voice frequency. This voice frequency combined with a subcarrier
frequency of 8,000 hertz gives you an output frequency range of 8,100 to 11,500 hertz. The overall BW for the composite
modulation package shown is 100 to 15,500 hertz. Each separate channel occupies its own band of frequencies. The composite
signal is used to modulate the carrier frequency of the transmitter.
Figure 3-30.—Block diagram of a frequency-division multiplexing system.
Multichannel broadcast and ship/shore terminations use TTY FDM. With this system, each channel of the composite
tone package of the broadcast is assigned an audio frequency. By multiplexing TTY circuits, up to 16 circuits may
be carried in any one of the 3,000 hertz multiplexed channels described above. Don't confuse the two types of multiplexing.
In the first case, 3,000 hertz audio channels have been combined. In the second case, a number of dc TTY circuits
are converted to tone keying and combined in a single 3,000-hertz audio channel. Figure 3-31 illustrates a 16-channel,
TTY-multiplexing system. The output of the dc pulsed circuits is converted to audio keying. Each channel has a separate
audio center frequency. Channel frequencies range from 425 hertz for the lowest channel to 2,975 hertz for the highest
channel. A mark in an individual TTY loop keys an audio tone 42.5 hertz below the center frequency. A space
in the input signal keys an audio tone 42.5 hertz above the center frequency. Let's look at an example. The mark and
space frequencies for channel one are calculated as 382.5 hertz and 467.5 hertz, respectively (425 ± 42.5). Combining
these keyed tones into a composite signal results in a tone package within a standard 3,000-hertz bandwidth. By occupying
no more than 3,000 hertz of the audio spectrum, the output signal is suitable for transmission via radio or landline.
Figure 3-31.—Block diagram of modulator units.
Q28. What is the function of a tone terminal set?
Q29. What are the two types
Q30. What is the purpose of multiplexing?
FACSIMILE (fax) is a method of transmitting still images over an
electrical communications system. The images, called "pictures" or "copy" in fax terminology, may be weather maps,
photographs, sketches, typewritten or printed text, or handwriting. Figure 3-32 shows a facsimile transceiver. You
must realize that the still image serving as the fax copy or picture cannot be transmitted instantly in its entirety.
Three distinct operations are performed. These are (1) scanning, (2) transmitting, and (3) recording or receiving.
Figure 3-32.—Facsimile transceiver.
Scanning consists of subdividing the picture in an orderly manner into a large number of segments. This process
is accomplished in the fax transmitter by a scanning drum and phototube arrangement.
The picture you
want to transmit is mounted on a cylindrical scanning drum. This drum rotates at a constant speed and at the same
time moves longitudinally along a shaft. Light from an exciter lamp illuminates a small segment of the moving picture
and is reflected by the picture through an aperture to a phototube. During picture transmission, the light crosses
every segment of the picture as the drum slowly spirals past the fixed lighted area.
The amount of light
reflected back to the phototube is a measure of the lightness or darkness of the segment of the picture being scanned.
The phototube changes the varying amounts of light into electrical signals. These are used to amplitude modulate the
constant frequency output of a local oscillator. The modulated signal is then amplified and sent to the radio circuits.
Signals received by the fax receiver are amplified and actuate a recording mechanism. This recorder makes a permanent
recording (segment by segment) on paper. The paper is attached to a receiver drum similar to the one in the fax transmitter.
The receiver drum rotates synchronously with the transmitter drum. Synchronization of the receiver and transmitter
is done to reduce distortion. Synchronization is obtained by driving both receiver and transmitter drums with synchronous
motors operating at the same speed. Drum rotation continues until the original picture is reproduced. The recording
mechanism may reproduce the picture photographically by using a modulated light source shining on photographic paper
or film. It may also reproduce directly by burning a white protective coating from specially prepared black recording
The receiver drum is FRAMED with respect to the transmitter drum by a series of phasing pulses
that are transmitted just before transmission. The pulses operate a clutch mechanism that starts the
scanning drum in the receiver. This ensures proper phasing with respect to the starting position of the
scanning drum in the transmitter.
Figure 3-33 is a block diagram of the equipment necessary for radio
facsimile operation. View A shows the receiving system. This system consists of a standard radio receiver, a frequency-shift
converter, and a facsimile recorder. View B shows two systems for transmitting TIF signals. The upper row of blocks
is for carrier-frequency shift transmission. This system consists of a facsimile transceiver, a keyer adapter, a frequency
shift keyer and a transmitter capable of FSK emission. The lower row of blocks is for audio-frequency shift transmission
and uses a fax transceiver, a radio modulator, and an AM transmitter.
Figure 3-33.—Radio facsimile systems.
SECURITY, QUALITY MONITORING, AND SAFETY
Security, quality monitoring, and safety are important areas that you must be aware of. If the fundamentals are
followed, you will see higher quality communications. You will also help meet the communications goals of the Navy.
Let's find out what these fundamentals are and what they will do for you.
Compromising emanations (CE) are, generally referred to as TEMPEST. These signals may be unintentional, data-related,
or intelligence-bearing. If intercepted or analyzed, these signals could disclose classified information. TEMPEST
problems are associated with material transmitted, received, handled, or otherwise processed by electrical information
processing equipment or systems. Any electrical information processing device may cause problems. Even your electric
typewriter or a large, complex data processor may emit interceptable compromising emanations. Some countermeasures
taken to ensure against TEMPEST problems are listed below:
· Design of equipment in which CE is suppressed
installation criteria that limits interaction between classified and unclassified signal lines, power lines, grounds,
equipment, and systems
· Low level keying and signaling
Shielded enclosures for equipment installations
· Proper shipboard grounding of equipment,
including ground straps
Transmission security includes
all measures designed to protect transmission from interception, traffic analysis, and imitative deception. Every
means of transmission is subject to interception. In radio transmission, it should be assumed that all transmissions
Speed Versus Security
Three fundamental requirements of a military communications
system are reliability, security, and speed. Reliability is always first. Security and speed are next in importance
and, depending on the stage of an operation, are interchangeable. During the planning phase, security is more important
than speed. During the execution phase, speed sometimes passes security in importance.
When a message is transmitted by radio, the originator may know some of
those who are receiving it, but will never know all of those who are receiving the message. You must assume
that an enemy receives every transmission. Property prepared messages using modern cryptographic systems may prevent
an enemy from understanding a message. However, they can still learn a lot. For example, as time for a planned operation
approaches, the number of messages transmitted increases. An enemy then knows that something will occur soon, and
their forces are alerted. Strict radio silence is the main defense against radio intelligence.
of radio traffic is not the only indicator used by an enemy. Statistical studies of message headings, receipts, acknowledgments,
relays, routing instructions, and services are also used by an enemy. Communications experts can often learn much
about an opponent from these studies. Direction finders are another aid the enemy can use to determine where messages
Radiotelephone networks are operated
so frequently that many operators tend to be careless. There are too many instances of interception of vhf and uhf
transmissions at distances of many thousands of miles. You may have occasion to work on or around this type of equipment.
If you are ever required to bring any transmitter on the air for any purpose, you must be familiar with and use all
the correct procedures.
Q31. The transmission of still images over an electrical communications
system is known as what?
Q32. The term TEMPEST refers to what?
What are the three fundamental requirements of a military communications system?
of the above requirements is most important?
SHIPBOARD COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS QUALITY MONITORING (QMCS)
In recent years
the volume of shipboard communications has increased greatly. This expansion has led to the shipboard installation
of sophisticated equipment. Factors such as frequency accuracy and dc signal distortion are critical to the operation
of communications systems. These systems demand precise initial lineup and monitoring to ensure satisfactory operations
are maintained. System degradation is often caused by many small contributing factors. When these factors are added
together, the system becomes unusable.
When you perform
scheduled, logical checks that ensure continuous, optimum performance of shipboard communications systems, you are
doing SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE. In many cases this maintenance prevents outages before they occur. Some of the scheduled
checks will include the following:
· Transmitter/receiver frequency
· Transmitter power out
· Receiver sensitivity/bandwidth
· Primary power (voltage, current, cycles)
Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)
Many complex Many complex electronic systems
are installed aboard Navy ships. In modern ships, complex systems with higher power and greater sensitivity are being
crowded into a restricted and corrosive area. Figure 3-34 is a Spruance class destroyer with its crowded (compact)
communications environment. The ability of these systems to perform their individual functions without interference
is known as ELECTROMAGNETIC COMPATIBILITY (EMC). EMC is concerned with the structure of the ship and its electrical
and electronic system. Compact environment is a major limitation to the effectiveness of a total ship system concept.
Figure 3-34.—Total ship.
Operation of a total ship system in this unique shipboard environment presents a challenge to all concerned.
You must always consider the effects that motion, temperature variations, and exposure to adverse elements will have
on the performance of the total ship system. This is particularly true on those system components that are mounted
On board ship, you will find much attention is given to keeping the topside cosmetically and
mechanically shipshape. It is equally important to keep it electronically shipshape. Minor mechanical problems, such
as loose connections, broken bond straps, or rusty junctions can cause serious communications problems. These sources
of electromagnetic radiations reduce receiver performance and are known as ELECTROMAGNETIC INTERFERENCE (EMI). Sources
of EMI can be divided into the following broad categories:
· Functional. EMI can originate from
any source designed to generate electromagnetic energy and which may create interference as a normal part of its operation.
The interference may be unintentional or caused by other on board or adjacent platform systems. This interference
also may be intentional or caused by electronic countermeasures (ECM).
· Incidental. EMI
can originate from man-made sources. These are sources not designed specifically to generate electromagnetic energy
but which do in fact cause interference. Examples of incidental EMI sources include power lines, motors, and switches.
· Natural. EMI can be caused by natural phenomena, such as electrical storms, rain particles,
and solar and interstellar radiation. It is recognized by the following audible noises:
impulses of high intensity that are caused by nearby electrical storms
– Steady rattling or cracking
caused by distant electrical storms
– Continuous noise of precipitation static caused by electrically
charged rain drops
– A steady hiss at high frequencies caused by interstellar noise
· Hull-generated. EMI can be caused by the interaction of radiated signals with elements
of the hull and rigging of a ship. (The functional signals themselves do not cause interference.)
following areThe following are two general methods by which EMI is transmitted:
energy from one equipment is coupled to interconnecting cables or components of another equipment. This energy is
conducted via the wiring in the shielded enclosure that protects sensitive circuits. You will find proper design,
adequate isolation, and shielding of cables and equipment can control this problem.
is beamed directly from the transmitting antenna, or source, to the victim receiving antenna. When this interference
is picked up by a receiver, you have two solutions. Interfering energy can be eliminated at the source or you can
filter, or blank it out at the victim equipment. Filtering is far less desirable. Interference may be on the same
frequency as the desired signal and will not be eliminated without affecting the reception of all desired signals.
Most unprotected shipboard receivers are susceptible to EMI over a frequency range much wider than their normal bandpass.
Off-frequency rejection rarely excludes strong, adjacent-channel signals. These signals enter the receiver and degrade
receiver performance by being processed along with the desired, tuned signal. Usually, the presence of EMI will be
apparent to you. It has a bad effect. Upon the desired signal quality, such as that in CROSS-MODULATION where a spurious
response occurs when the carrier
of a desired signal intermodulates with the carrier of an undesired signal. Extremely strong, off-frequency
signals may even burn out the sensitive front-end stages of a receiver. EMI also can degrade overall receiver performance
in a less noticeable way. It does this by desensitizing the receiver front end. The noise level is raised and effectively
lowers the signal to noise ratio and thus the sensitivity. This causes a decrease in desired signal amplification.
For these reasons, shipboard receive systems are designed to include protective circuitry between the antenna and
receiver to filter out off-frequency signals. This prevents or limits interference, desensitization, or burnout. Depending
upon the system, these protective devices may include filters, multicouplers, preselectors, and so forth. These devices
can minimize interference caused by inadequate frequency separation or poor physical isolation between transmit and
Q35. What is the purpose of QMCS?
Q36. What is
Q37. What are the two EMI transmission methods?
Radio-frequency (RF) transmitting systems with high-power transmitting tubes and high-gain
antennas have increased the possibility of injury to personnel working in the vicinity.
radiation hazard exists when electronic equipment generates a strong enough electromagnetic field to fall in a category
· Causes harmful or injurious effects to humans and wildlife
· Induces or otherwise couples currents and/or voltages of magnitudes large enough to initiate
electroexplosive devices or other sensitive explosive components of weapons systems, ordnance, or other explosive
· Creates sparks large enough to ignite flammable mixtures or materials that must be handled
in the affected areas These hazardous situations can be caused by a transmitter or antenna installation. These generate
electromagnetic radiation in the vicinity of personnel, ordnance, or fueling operations in excess of established safe
levels. Sometimes the existing electromagnetic radiation levels increase to a hazardous level. When personnel, ordnance,
or fueling evolutions are located in an area that can be illuminated by electromagnetic radiation, hazardous situations
Electromagnetic radiation is hazardous to personnel in two ways. It can cause RF burns; and
it can cause biological, thermal, and neurological effects to personnel (RADHAZ). Because of the differences in characteristics
and safety precautions required for each of the two types, they will be discussed separately.
An RF burn
hazard is a hazardous condition caused by the existence of radio frequency (RF) voltages in places where they are
not intended to be. Any ship with high-power HF transmitters is susceptible. Potentially hazardous voltages have been
found in many areas. Some of these areas are lifelines, vertical ladders, ASROC launchers, gun mounts, rigging for
underway replenishment, and boat davits. Another of these areas is on aircraft tied down on carrier and helicopter
Whether or not an induced voltage creates an RF burn hazard depends on whether personnel
will come into contact with the object being energized. Generally, only the voltage between an object and the deck
is important. The RF burn occurs when a person comes into contact with a source of RF voltage in a
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