The University of Auckland

Project #127: Design of linear amplifiers using analog and digital methods

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Description:

Analog electronics isn’t particularly popular these days, but I have always been keen to combine analog and digital electronics to improve the performance of analogue amplifiers, in a similar way that “analogue” engines perform better with a digital engine management system.

The aim of this project would be to design an electronic system that will automatically measure the non-linear nature of a supposedly “linear” amplifier and with this knowledge attempt to pre-distort the input signal so that the resulting output signal has less distortion. With the low cost of digital electronic components, it may be possible to improve the performance of low-cost (and hence not very good) amplifiers.

The system will require an input signal with low (or accurately known) distortion. These sorts of signal can be generated precisely using digital means. The amplifier output will need to be accurately digitised so that the distortion effects of the amplifier can be measured. Once the distortion in known (that is, modelled in some way) then this effect can be inverted and “applied” to the input signal before it reaches the amplifier. Using the same distortion measurement system already developed it will be easy to measure and assess the improvement in performance of the combined circuitry.

The project will test my skills in analog and digital circuit design, signal processing, and mathematical modelling.

Outcome:

Research Components

Prerequisites

None

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Supervisor

Co-supervisor

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Lab

Lab allocations have not been finalised