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Sample Answers for the question on Data Transmission a) Describe how radio and microwave communications systems can

be extended through the use of satellites. Explain the difference between geosynchronous and LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellites.


Radio/Microwave do not bend round the earth, so satellites are needed for long distances Satellite contains a transponder (combined receiver and transmitter), it accepts an incoming radio transmission, amplifies it and transmits the signal back at a slightly different angle than it arrived (e.g. providing a connection across an ocean) Satellites are expensive so each will deal with many customers on different frequencies (multiple transponders + sharing of a single channel) Geosynchronous - orbit is synchronous with the earths rotation so viewed from the ground the satellite appears to remain at exactly the same point in the sky. Altitude is approx. 20,000 miles (High Earth Orbit). Angular separation (4-8) required for satellites operating on the same frequency, so limited number of satellites can be launched at HEO. LEO Approx. 200-400 mile altitude, satellites can be seen moving across the sky orbit typically is 1.5 h. Problems of limited availability satellite can only be used during the time its orbit passes between 2 stations Max. utilisation requires complex tracking and communication between the satellites

b) You are setting up a network for a small company, which has seven computers, two printers, and one scanner that need to be connected. All equipment is located on one floor in a relatively small area. Costs must be kept at a minimum, and the network doesnt need to be especially fast. Which transmission medium would you recommend and why?


Given that costs must be kept at minimum and network does not need to be especially fast the most appropriate medium is Twisted Pair cable Copper wires are shielded and then twisted together. This minimizes both EM radiation and susceptibility to radiation Typical bit rates are in the order of 1-100 Mbps over short distances TP is cheap and easy to install, hence the most widely used cable in networking apps Suggestion for radio waves (with appropriate description) would also be accepted

c) RS-232 standard defines a mechanism for transmitting characters across short distances. More formally, RS-232 defines a standard for serial, asynchronous communication. What is meant by the terms serial and asynchronous?


Serial the bits travel on the wire one after the other Asynchronous the sender can transmit a character at any time and delay arbitrary long before sending another, furthermore the sender and receiver do not coordinate before transmission.

d) Draw a diagram, with explanation, to show the change of voltage over time when RS-232 transmits the following sequence of seven bits: 1011010. Never leaves 0 volts on the wire - an idle line is the same as a 1 bit Sender and receiver agree how long a bit lasts - receiver uses a local timer A 0 start bit signifies the start of a character and is followed by 7 data bits A minimum gap of 1 bit between characters (a phantom stop bit of 1)


e) With the aid of diagrams compare and contrast amplitude modulation, frequency modulation and phase-shift modulation. Amplitude modulation change amplitude of the carrier according to the data


Frequency modulation - slightly change frequency of the carrier according to the data

Phase shift changes the timing of the carrier and can send several bits per cycle (FM and AM require at least one wave cycle to send a bit)

f) What is a modem? Briefly describe the operation of a dial-up modem.


Hardware that takes bits and applies modulation is a modulator Hardware that takes a modulated wave and extracts bits is a demodulator Full duplex communication requires a combined modulator-demodulator (MODEM) at both ends Dial-up modems work with the existing phone system - mimic telephones - use a carrier that is an audible tone - use a single voice channel (2 wire circuit) and co-ordinate to achieve full duplex communication

g) Explain how ADSL (Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line), which uses the two-wire local loop from telephone companies, achieves much higher data rates (e.g. 1.5 Mbps) than dial-up modems.


ADSL uses the two-wire local loop from telephone company end office to homes. However whereas normal telephone lines are limited to the frequency range of human voices (0-3400 Hz), DSL uses the entire bandwidth of the local loop. DMT (Discrete MultiTone) divides the data into 247 separate channels, each 4 KHz wide (equivalent of 247 modems connected to your computer at once) Channel 0 is used for voice. Usually 80-90% of the rest of the channels are used for downstream communication (Asymmetrical DSL) giving 1.5 Mbps However, capacity decreases with connection distance, limit 18,000 feet (5,460 m)