Transmitted Energy as a Basic System Resource
Energy is a basic resource in digital transmission links. Physically, radio channels correspond to passive circuits and most of the transmitted energy is lost in the channel. Two alternative approaches are used for performance measurements in terms of energy. Either the average transmitted or received energy per bit is used, both usually normalized by the receiver noise spectral density. This leads to the average transmitted or received signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) per bit, respectively. However, the transmitted energy is the basic system resource. The average energy gain of a channel depends on the transmitted signal. For convenience, the transmitted SNR referred to the receiver is defined to be the product of the transmitted SNR and the representative energy gain, which is defined as the average energy gain of a signal that is uniformly distributed in all dimensions: time, frequency and space. An explicit relationship between the transmitted and received SNR’s using the covariance concept is derived. Limitations of the use of different SNR definitions are summarized.