Photonics Dictionary

power modulation

Power modulation refers to the intentional variation of power levels in a signal, often in the context of electronic communication systems. This modulation technique is used to encode information onto a carrier wave by varying the power of the signal in accordance with the data being transmitted.

There are several modulation techniques, each with its own advantages and use cases. Here are a few types of power modulation:

Amplitude modulation (AM): In AM, the amplitude of the carrier signal is modulated to encode information. The power of the signal is directly proportional to the square of its amplitude. Varied power levels represent different values, allowing the transmission of information.

Pulse width modulation (PWM): PWM is commonly used in digital systems. It modulates the width of pulses in a signal to convey information. The power of the signal is often related to the duty cycle (percentage of time the signal is high), allowing for power modulation.

Pulse amplitude modulation (PAM): PAM involves varying the amplitude of a series of pulses to encode information. The power of the pulses is modulated to represent different data values.

Envelope modulation: In some cases, the overall envelope of the signal may be modulated to convey information. This can be seen in techniques like quadrature amplitude modulation, where both amplitude and phase are modulated.

Power modulation is crucial in communication systems, as it allows for the transmission of information over a communication channel. Different modulation techniques have different advantages and are suitable for various applications. The choice of modulation scheme depends on factors such as bandwidth efficiency, power efficiency, and resistance to noise and interference in the communication channel.

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