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RTL-SDR Presentation
DATASET SEPTEMBER 2015

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1 AUTHOR:
Alexander Sergienko
Petersburg State Electrotechnical University
15 PUBLICATIONS 16 CITATIONS
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Available from: Alexander Sergienko


Retrieved on: 21 March 2016

Software-Defined Radio
in MATLAB/Simulink
with RTL-SDR Hardware
Alexander Sergienko
Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University LETI
Department of Theoretical Fundamentals of Radio Engineering

ICCTPEA-2014, St. Petersburg,


June 30 July 4, 2014

Software-Defined Radio Concept


 Ultimate dream
Analog-to-Digital
Converter

Software

Antenna
..., 0, 1, 0, 0, 1, 0, 1, 1, ...

 Current reality
Analog-to-Digital
Converter
Antenna

Analog Processing
(Filtering, Frequency
Conversion, etc.)

Software

Professional SDR Hardware


 Good performance
 High price (~ $ 3,000)
 Legal limitations on the

use of radio transmitters


 Form factor not
convenient for some
applications
 Example: NI USRP

Realtek RTL2832U Demodulator


 Released by Realtek in 2010
 Main function: demodulation of digital

television signals (DVB-T standard)


 SDR mode: officially intended for reception
of FM broadcasting and DAB (demodulation
performed in software by device drivers)
 Since 2012, widely used by radio amateurs
as a cheap SDR-platform RTL-SDR
 Retail price: from $7

Exterior of RTL-SDR devices

RTL-SDR: basic parameters


 ADC resolution: 8 bits
 Sampling rate: up to 3,2 MHz
 Frequency range is defined by tuner chip:


Widest range: Elonics E4000




52B1100 and 1200B2200 MHz

Mostly used now: Rafael Micro R820T




24B1766 MHz

 Drivers exist for all major operating systems:




Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Android

MATLAB/Simulink Support
 Introduced by MathWorks in January 2014
 Support package available for download from

the MathWorks site


 System requirements:


MATLAB R2013b or later

 Simulink support:


Block RTL-SDR Receiver

 MATLAB support:


System object comm.SDRRTLReceiver

Support by Simulink
USB port number
Carrier frequency
Gain
Sampling rate
Frequency correction
Turn on Lost samples
output port
Turn on Latency output port
Output data type
Number of samples per frame

Support by MATLAB
>> h = comm.SDRRTLReceiver

>> S = info(h)

h =

S =

System: comm.SDRRTLReceiver
Properties:
RadioAddress:
CenterFrequency:
EnableTunerAGC:
SampleRate:
OutputDataType:
SamplesPerFrame:
FrequencyCorrection:

'0'
102500000
true
250000
'int16'
1024
0

The following values show radio settings, not


the property
values of RTL-SDR receiver System object. For
more information,
type 'help comm.SDRRTLReceiver'.
RadioName:
RadioAddress:
TunerName:
Manufacturer:
Product:
GainValues:
RTLCrystalFrequency:
TunerCrystalFrequency:
SamplingMode:
OffsetTuning:
CenterFrequency:
SampleRate:
FrequencyCorrection:

'Terratec T Stick PLUS'


'0'
'E4000'
'Realtek'
'RTL2838UHIDIR'
[1x14 double]
28800000
28800000
'Quadrature'
'Disabled'
102500000
250000
0

MATLAB/Simulink Examples
 List of examples:

Spectral Analysis
 Frequency Offset Calibration
 FM Monophonic Receiver
 FM Stereo Receiver
 FRS/GMRS Receiver


 Every example is implemented in two forms:

Simulink model
 MATLAB script


FM Broadcasting Signals
Spectrogram, center frequency 91,0 MHz

GSM Signals
Signal Fading

25

Signal Magnitude

20

15

10

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

Time, seconds

0.7

0.8

0.9

DVB-T2 Signals
1

0.9

0.9

0.8

0.8

0.7

0.7

Normalized
CF

CF

Normalized

Correlation function

0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3

0.5
0.4
0.3

0.2

X: 2.188
Y: 0.1234

0.2
X: 3.584
Y: 0.05783

0.1
0
-1

0.6

-0.5

0.5

1.5
t,

2.5

3.5

0.1
4

0
-20

-15

-10

t, ms

OFDM Symbol
Duration
(3,584 ms)

X: 6.25
Y: 0.122

Multipath Nature
of Impulse
Response

-5

0
,

t, s

10

15

20

Possible Signals to Process


 Identification beacons on vessels (AIS) and

planes (ADS-B)
 430 MHz devices (wireless sensors, car
remote controls, etc.)
 Weather information from satellites
 GNSS (GPS, GLONASS) (External amplifier
required)
 Radio astronomy signals (External amplifier
required)

Educational Use:
UC Berkeley, DSP Course

Conclusion
 Combination of RTL-SDR USB hardware and

MATLAB/Simulink software can serve as a


cheap SDR platform for educational
purposes:
Lecture demonstrations
 Laboratory assignments
 Course projects
 Promotion of technical creativity,
popularization of wireless engineering, etc.