University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Introduction to Signal Processing

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Communications and Computer Engineering

DESCRIPTION This unit covers Signals and Systems Theory and elementary digital signal processing techniques. The main trust is to learn how the real physical world is interfaced to a digital computer and in particular understand the relationship between the time, the frequency and the space domain and how these domains are used to describe, study and solve real world problems. This unit is delivered via a balanced mix of qualitative discussions supported by mathematical representation and analysis. Lab work covers the representation and processing of waveforms on a digital computer, considering applications in audio and image processing.


Signals and Waveforms in everyday life
Transducers and electrical representation of physical quantities
Microphone, Camera and accelerometer
The Analysis, Information Extraction and Synthesis problems
System design and system characteristics
Examples in audio, video, motion and telecom applications

Signals, waveforms and traces

Time domain
Continuous time signals, Sinusoids, mathematical representation
Sampling and Quantization and discrete time signals
Signal to noise ratio
Time-averaged quantities, energy, power
Scaling, addition, multiplication operators
Complex signals and Waveform Synthesis
Examples in audio and communications

Frequency Domain
Sinusoids, Phasor representation & complex amplitude
Spectrum Representation and signal decomposition
Complex signals and Waveform Synthesis
Infinitely periodic and finite signals
Time - frequency conversion, Fourier Series, Fourier Transform
Ideal filters and moving average filter
Examples in audio and communications

Space Domain
One and two - dimensional space
Optical image representation as a signal
Relation to time and frequency domain representation
Examples in images and motion tracking

Mathematical models and representation of systems
Impulse response in time domain, convolution integral and sum
System stability, response time and computational load
Examples in audio and motion tracking


• McClellan J. H., Schafer R. W., Yoder M. A., Signal Processing First, Prentice Hall, ISBN0-13-120265-0

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Practical No 10%
Examination (3 Hours) Yes 90%

LECTURER/S Jason Debono

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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