Development of an Undergraduate Communications Simulation Laboratory
This paper describes the implementation of a new course in communications through the creation of a computer-based laboratory for modeling and simulating communication systems. The lecture course in a typical Electrical Engineering (EE) curriculum, along with this laboratory, provide a totally integrated delivery system for teaching a wide spectrum of topics ranging from transmission/reception concepts and applications to performance analysis of fiber optic networks. The laboratory is easily implemented by constructing a PC-based computer network supporting several simulation tools. Students are able to access a variety of software packages for analysis of different communication systems. The topics covered in the laboratory can be divided into three categories: communication signals, fiber optic and wireless links, and communication networks. Senior and graduate students are the primary users of this laboratory. Typically, this laboratory can be utilized as a supplement to the existing communication courses or be taken as an elective course.