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Link Budgets Copyright 1998 and 2002 Charan Langton www.complextoreal.com 2 This formula says that the BER of any signal is related to its E b /N o by the function, erfc . The function erfc, called the complimentary error function describes the cumulative probability curve of a gaussian distribution. It is found tabulated in most communications textbooks and is available as a built-in function in most math programs. The above equation when plotted has a classic waterfall shape when plotted on a log-log scale. The BER is inversely related to E b /N o . Higher E b /N o means better quality. Figure 1 - The Bit Error rate of a signal is a function of its E b /N o Although I started out talking about signal power as a measure of signal quality, you may have noticed that I have suddenly shifted to E b /N 0 . Instead of monitoring just the signal power as I said on the first page, we will actually monitor a ratio of the bit power to the noise power injected along the way.
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