The evolution of wireless communication systems and networks in recent years has been explosive and is presently outstripping the ability of commercial organisations to recruit personnel equipped with the necessary skills to manage the introduction of the new emerging technologies in networks and wireless systems.
The course will develop a detailed technical knowledge of current practice in wireless systems and networks. You will benefit from both a theoretical and practical grounding in the course due to the availability of a fully working wireless laboratory in the School, allowing students to develop their skills in this field.
The course is comprised of the following modules:
Advanced Digital Communications
The aim of this module is to introduce students to more advanced topics in digital communication systems and to provide students with up-to-date knowledge of the techniques used in digital communication systems including more advanced topics in digital wireless communication systems. This module covers channel modelling, coding, digital transmission through wireless channels, advanced error control techniques, spread spectrum, multi-carrier digital transmission (OFDM and MIMO), and their applications in wireless and cellular mobile communication systems.
Advanced Mobile Systems
The aim of this module is to provide students with up-to-date knowledge on new technologies for mobile communication systems and to introduce the students to more advanced concepts in mobile communication systems. This module covers the fundamental principles of mobile communication systems and provides a practical understanding of the evolution of new technologies in mobile systems. It includes GSM/GPRS/UMTS, multiple access technologies, cellular systems, multipath fading, ad hoc networks, mesh networks and an introduction to WLAN and WiMAX.
Satelite and Optical Communications
This module covers the advanced topics in satellite and optical communications, which allow the students to gain knowledge in the most recent technologies in the field. Central to these concepts are satellite orbits, link budget analysis, multiplexing techniques, DVB-S, transponders, satellite networks, optical fibres (signal propagation and attenuation), optical sources, photo detectors and optical networks.
DSP for Communications
This module provides students with the confidence and capability to successfully map DSP algorithms used in Wireless Communication Systems to an advanced digital system such as a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) or Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). Students will be able to design real-time embedded systems for wireless communications using different design methodologies and advanced arithmetic techniques suitable for DSP and FPGA implementation. A range of DSP algorithms and applications will be studied and analysed such as FFT, CDMA, DWT, FIR filters.
Wireless Network Technologies
The aim of this module is to introduce students to the design and operation of wireless networks through concepts, terminologies, performance analysis and industrial standards. It introduces models and sub-systems of typical wireless networks (ie Wireless Local Area Network and Wireless Telecommunication Networks). It covers typical commercial wireless and mobile networks (eg wireless sensors, WiMAX, UWB, 2G/2.5G, 3G cellular), mobile networking protocols (eg Mobile IP, Wireless TCP), and wireless multimedia applications.
Wireless Communication Security
This module introduces the advanced theory that enables what is achievable through the use of cryptography and presents the practical techniques and algorithms that are currently important for efficient and secure communication over wireless networks. It looks into how security solutions are implemented on Wireless Local Area Networks and Metropolitan Area Networks, Mobile Telecommunications Networks and Bluetooth-based communications, and analyses the relative merits of the major types of cryptographic algorithms in current use and the contexts in which they are used.
This module introduces a range of formal methods and skills necessary to equip students to function effectively at the higher levels of project management. It covers the development of project management skills required for achieving practical business objectives.
Practical work is an important component of the course and gives students experience with relevant techniques and tools. Assignments are of a practical nature and involve laboratory work with relevant equipment, hardware and software systems, conducted in a hands-on workshop environment. Typical assignments are:
* Error control codec
* FFT and communication signal processing
* Source and channel coding, Digital modulation
* Predicting Wireless LAN (802.11) performance
* 3G Cellular planning and optimisation.
* Analysing MIMO systems
The dissertation is a stimulating and challenging part of the MSc programme. It provides the opportunity to apply the knowledge learnt in the taught part of the course and to specialize in one aspect, developing the students’ deep understanding and expertise in a Wireless Communication Systems related area of their choice. Students may carry out their project within the University, but industry-based projects are encouraged. For company-sponsored students, projects should be related to the company’s present and future enterprise. Industrial projects often lead to recruitment of the students by the collaborative companies, recent examples of which include BT, Siemens, 3Com, Worldcom, Nortel and Orange.ecent examples of which include BT, Siemens, 3Com, Worldcom, Nortel and Orange.