Understanding and Demodulating LTE Signals:
LTE-enabled devices such as cell phones and tablets are now ubiquitous, and LTE is becoming relevant to organizations outside the original cellular market. LTE provides substantially higher transmission speeds than 3G technologies. This improvement, though, comes at a cost in development and implementation complexity, in partbecause the LTE physical layer uses advanced communication technologies such as multiple input multiple output (MIMO) and turbo coders.
Demodulating LTE signals requires a thorough understanding of the LTE signal structure as well as advanced algorithms to extract information from the raw signal. The complexity of the standard and the algorithms and concepts involved make developing an LTE product very challenging. Analyzing a captured LTE signal, verifying an in-house implementation of an LTE system, and generating an LTE signal are tasks that require considerable effort and careful verification, and they benefit from a consistent design flow and environment.
This article explains how an LTE signal is structured and how information is retrieved from the signal. It then presents a workflow that uses LTE System Toolbox™ to acquire and demodulate an LTE downlink signal—from initial synchronization to the extraction of LTE parameters and data.