AskDefine | Define demodulation

Dictionary Definition

demodulation n : (electronics) the reception of a signal by extracting it from the carrier wave

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. The inverse of the effect of modulation, or applying a signal to a carrier.
    A radio transmitter applies modulation a carrier wave and the receiver applies demodulation it to recover the message.

Extensive Definition

Demodulation is the act of removing the modulation from an analog signal to get the original baseband signal back. Demodulating is necessary because the receiver system receives a modulated signal with specific characteristics and it needs to turn it to base-band.
There are several ways of demodulation depending on what parameters of the base-band signal are transmitted in the carrier signal, such as amplitude, frequency or phase. For example, if we have a signal modulated with a lineal modulation, like AM (Amplitude Modulated), we can use a synchronous detector. On the other hand, if we have a signal modulated with an angular modulation, we must use an FM (Frequency Modulated) demodulator or a PM (Phase Modulated) demodulator. There are different kinds of circuits that make these functions.
An example of a demodulation system is a modem, which receives a telephone signal (electrical signal) and turns this signal from the wire net into a binary signal for the computer.

AM Demodulation

An AM signal can be rectified without requiring a coherent demodulator. For example, the signal can be passed through an envelope detector (a diode rectifier). The output will follow the same curve as the input baseband signal. There are forms of AM in which the carrier is reduced or suppressed entirely, which require coherent demodulation. For further reading, see sideband.

FM Demodulation

There are several ways to demodulate an FM signal. The most common is to use a discriminator. This is composed of an electronic filter which decreases the amplitude of some frequencies relative to others, followed by an AM demodulator. If the filter response changes linearly with frequency, the final analog output will be proportional to the input frequency, as desired. Another one is to use two AM demodulators, one tuned to the high end of the band and the other to the low end, and feed the outputs into a difference amp. Another is to feed the signal into a phase-locked loop and use the error signal as the demodulated signal.

PM Demodulation

QAM Demodulation

demodulation in Czech: Demodulace
demodulation in German: Demodulation
demodulation in Spanish: Desmodulación
demodulation in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Dismodulation
demodulation in Dutch: Demodulatie
demodulation in Japanese: 復調
demodulation in Turkish: Demodülasyon
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