Real World Desktop Software Defined Radio using the RTL-SDR and MATLAB/Simulink

Stefano Olivieri, MathWorks
Wednesday, August 31, 16:00 - 18:00
Room: Mathias



One of the main goals of engineering education is to teach students how to deal with real-word problems. When developing their curricula, professors need to determine the right balancing between interesting and challenging topics so that students are encouraged to put into practice the theoretical concepts they have already learned.

This workshop aims to address such growing need for hands-on and project-based learning, by describing the built-in support for modelling, simulating and validating Simulink models for wireless communication systems.

We will present the fundamental principles behind the design of a generic PHY layer software defined radio (SDR) and demonstrate the first-principles implementation, design and real time operation of an SDR using off-the-air signal, live in the tutorial. We will use the ~$20 RTL-SDR USB device and build SDR-implemented AM and FM radio receivers, followed by implementations and demonstrations of digital QAM receivers. We will view all signals and build all components and designs from first-principles DSP theory using MATLAB/Simulink and run in real time on a standard Windows PC hosting MATLAB and drivers for the RTL-SDR.


Stefano graduated in Electrical Engineering at University of Bologna, Italy, in July 1995, and got a Master Degree in Information Technology at CEFRIEL, Polytechnic of Milan the same year.

He's been with MathWorks since 2005. After spending eight years as an Application Engineer in the field of Signal Processing and Communication Systems, supporting companies in the Communications, Electronics, Semiconductors and Aerospace and Defense industry segments, Stefano is currently working as an Education Technical Specialist to help universities effectively adopt MathWorks tools for teaching and research.

Before that, he worked with R&D labs in STMicroelectronics and Philips Research, where he dealt with the design and development of wireless communication and video processing systems. Stefano has also been Contract Professor with the University of Milano for three years, where he was teaching Transmission Theory for the Telecommunication Software Engineering Bachelor Degree.

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PhD in 3 minutes (3MT)

3MT videos were presented on-site
at 11am on Wednesday 
in the room Levente and Béla,
which is on the 1st floor
at the end of the ballroom foyer.

Videos are available on-line too


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