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 Engineering Book reviews

Electronic Warfare Receivers and Receiving Systems.

Author, Richard A Poisel.

This Electronic Warfare book covers the areas of communication signal intelligence and interception. Although aimed at system designers, it does offer a very good grounding in the area of receivers, modulation and more complex techniques at a level that most RF engineers will understand.

The book covers basic receiver principles, signal and modulation systems, the RF stages, small signal amplifiers, mixing and mixers, IF amplification, IF filters, narrowband receivers, compression receivers, digital receivers, sampling and ADCs, digital filters, digital demodulation, DACs, direct digital converter, spread spectrum techniques, intercept receivers and direction finding receivers.

Although each chapter is not completely standalone, it is very easy to identify specific areas of interest, and assuming the reader has a general understanding of RF theory, the content can be used as both a general and an Electronic Warfare-specific reference.  As would be expected, the mathematics is complex but all the equations are built from basic principles and the terms are clearly explained so that the derivations can be worked out. The coverage of a variety of filtering and digital techniques is extremely useful in these days of Software Defined Radio systems and digital signal conditioning.

Although classified as Electronic Warfare, this book would be a good addition to the library of any RF engineer wanting to improve their understanding of current receiver techniques and procedures. On the other hand, this book would not be suitable for complete RF novices as much of the terminology is used with only a quick explanation or sometimes none at all. However, as a presentation of receivers, the problems associated with signal and data capture and the problems inherent to any RF system, I find this book outstanding.  I have three types of books in my library: ‘look pretty but are never read’ to impress visitors, ‘useful but rarely looked at’ and ‘now onto the third copy’ because I’ve worn out the previous two.  This book, in my opinion, falls into the latter category and I anticipate it being carried around for reference when running courses in case of difficult questions.  Gaddon are currently looking to use this book as part of the set books on their ECM communications course.

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Reviewed by Ian White, Director RF engineering, Gaddon Ltd

Nov 2014

Page updated 01/12/14 Site produced by Gaddon Ltd 2014