2. The Physical Layer

  1. George F. Elmasry

Published Online: 16 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118445983.ch2

Tactical Wireless Communications and Networks: Design Concepts and Challenges

Tactical Wireless Communications and Networks: Design Concepts and Challenges

How to Cite

Elmasry, G. F. (2012) The Physical Layer, in Tactical Wireless Communications and Networks: Design Concepts and Challenges, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118445983.ch2

Author Information

  1. XPRT Solutions, Inc., A DSCI Company, NJ, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 SEP 2012
  2. Published Print: 28 SEP 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781119951766

Online ISBN: 9781118445983



  • additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN);
  • non-coherent demodulation;
  • physical layer;
  • power spectral density;
  • signal detection;
  • signal fading;
  • spread spectrum modulation;
  • tactical wireless radios


This chapter presents integral details to the physical layer, such as modulation technique, signal detection in the presence of noise, signal attenuation, fading models, the role of spread spectrum, and frequency hopping (FH) in tactical radios. The material in the chapter is intended to present the physical layer details as they apply to tactical wireless radios. The chapter reviews some of the important aspects of digital modulation over a point-to-point link or a multiple access medium. It discusses the simplest case: detecting a binary antipodal signal with equal energy, in the presence of additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN). The key objective of non-coherent demodulation is to reduce the frequency's uncertainty to a fraction of the symbol rate. The chapter focuses on the effect of signal fading without factoring in error control coding. The power spectral density describes the modulated signal in probabilistic terms that express the power distribution over frequency.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

Additive white Gaussian noise; demodulation; fading; military communication; signal detection; spread spectrum communication