in the audio frequency spectrum, 10-20,000 Hz. In na-
val communications the terms voice communications
and audio communications are sometimes used inter-
changeably. The audio signal is impressed upon the rf
carrier because it is impractical to transmit frequen-
cies in the audio range due to their excessive wave-
Three characteristics of the carrier wave may be
varied, or modulated, at an external signal rate: ampli-
tude, frequency, and phase. The following paragraphs
discuss each type of modulation.
Amplitude Modulation (AM)
Amplitude modulations the process of combining
audio frequency and radio frequency signals so that the
amplitude of the radio frequency waves varies at an
audio frequency rate.
Frequency Modulation (FM)
Frequency modulation is a process in which the
frequency of the carrier wave is made to vary. An FM
signal should remain constant in amplitude and change
Frequency-Shift Keying (FSK)
Frequency-shift keying is considered a form of
FM. It is a digital mode of transmission commonly
used in radioteletype applications. In FSK the carrier is
present all the time. In a keyed condition, the carrier
frequency changes by a predetermined amount called
the mark frequency. The unkeyed state is called a
Phase-Shift Keying (PSK)
Phase-shift keying is similar to FSK except that the
phase, not the frequency, is shifted. The primary ad-
vantage of PSK is that it can be accomplished in an am-
Pulse modulation is accomplished by varying the
characteristics of a series of pulses. This can be done
by varying the amplitude, duration, frequency, or posi-
tion of the pulses. It can also be done through coding.
Pulse modulation is especially suited for use with com-
munications systems incorporating time-division mu-
Remember, transmitters are generally divided ac-
cording to their type of modulation. In the discussion
below, we describe very briefly how each type oper-
ates to help you differentiate between them.
A basic CW transmitter is shown in figure 1-3. CW
is one of the oldest and least complicated forms of
communications. Two advantages of CW are a narrow
bandwidth, which requires less power out, and clarity,
even under high noise conditions. The major disadvan-
only in frequency.
Figure 1-3.Continuous-wave transmitter.