COM455 - Communications Fundamentals

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Last revision date May 25, 2020 12:49:30 AM
Last review date Aug 3, 2020 12:15:08 AM

Subject Title
Communications Fundamentals

Subject Description
This is an overview course that provides coverage of major analog and digital communications topics, including both analog and digital modulation principles and the nature and behavior of pulse waveforms.

Credit Status
One subject credit in Electronics Engineering Technician, Electronics Engineering Technology, and Computer Engineering Technology programs.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Develop a set of functional specifications for amplitude-modulated (AM) and frequency-modulated (FM) analog communications systems, using appropriate mathematics and with reference to appropriate standards and component specification sheets

2. Use appropriate mathematics and a knowledge of electronics circuits to test simple amplitude and frequency-modulated analog communications systems to satisfy a given design specification

3. Characterize working amplitude and frequency-modulated analog communications systems using appropriate equipment and tools (including oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer)

4. Troubleshoot amplitude and frequency-modulated analog communication systems using appropriate tools and equipment, and applying knowledge of the principles and design of the system

5. Critically compare the characteristics and features of AM single and double, full and suppressed carrier signals and systems, using appropriate mathematics and a knowledge of electronics circuit theory

6. Characterize working digitally-modulated communications systems using appropriate equipment and tools (including oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer)

7. Critically compare the characteristics and features of a variety of digitally-modulated signals (including ASK, FSK, PSK and QAM) and systems, using appropriate mathematics and a knowledge of electronics circuit theory

8. Research and present a technical presentation to an audience of peers, and respond effectively to questions on the presented subject

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Execute mathematical operations accurately.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.