ELECTENG 721 : Radio Engineering


2024 Semester One (1243) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Matching networks, waveguides, transmitter/receiver design, noise, non-linear behaviour, antennas, applications in computational electromagnetics. Fundamentals of radio propagation, tropospheric effects, diffraction, link budgets, point-to-point link design, multipath propagation, introduction to area coverage (mobile radio) systems. Introduction to radar systems, the radio spectrum and exposure standards.

Course Overview

The courses ELECTENG 721 and ELECTENG 737 deal with aspects of the design of radio systems. They follow on from the Part III course ELECTENG 307 Fields and Waves, and are prerequisites for the follow-on Part IV course ELECTENG 701 Mobile Wireless Engineering (please note that ELECTENG 701 will not be running in 2024). ELECTENG 721 is intended for undergraduate students enrolled in the BE(Hons) Part IV, whereas ELECTENG 737 is intended for postgraduate students enrolled in the PGCertEng/MEngSt/ME.  Students completing this course are restricted against future enrolments in ELECTENG 737.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: ELECTENG 307 Restriction: ELECTENG 421, 737

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. An understanding of (i) the design of single stub tuners, double stub tuners, alternated line transformers, quarter-wave matching sections and filters at microwave frequencies; (ii) how the radio spectrum is utilized/allocated, especially from a New Zealand perspective; and (iii) the key features of the New Zealand radio Frequency exposure standards (in accordance with NZS2772:Part 1: 1999 New Zealand Standard Radio-frequency Fields Part 1 — Maximum Exposure Levels — 3kHz to 300 GHz). (Capability 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2 and 5.1)
  2. An ability to (i) perform calculations involving radio links in free space, over a plane-earth, through the troposphere, in the presence of terrain obstacles, diffraction over a knife-edge, multiple diffraction geometries, and for clearance paths involving Fresnel zones; (ii) calculate link budgets and undertake design of point-to-point and area coverage systems; and (iii) perform calculations involving thermal noise, minimum discernible signal, and noise figure. (Capability 3.1, 3.2, 4.1 and 4.2)
  3. An understanding of the causes of and methods for characterising fading in mobile radio systems. (Capability 3.1 and 3.2)
  4. An ability to describe the key characteristics and behaviour of a range of antennas including infinitesimal, short and half-wave dipoles, arrays, aperture antennas, horn antennas and parabolic dish antennas. (Capability 3.1 and 3.2)
  5. An understanding of (i) the key characteristics that underpin the behaviour of coaxial cables, rectangular waveguides, and radio/microwave hardware; and (ii) the behaviour of non-linear systems in regard to large signal behaviour, frequency doubler/triplers, mixers, superheterodyne receivers, intermodulation distortion, and dynamic range. (Capability 3.1 and 3.2)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Quizzes 10% Individual Coursework
Laboratories 20% Individual Coursework
Tests 30% Individual Test
Exam 40% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 36 hours of lectures and 72 hours of individual study time. Over the duration of the course, you can expect to spend an additional 6 hours on laboratories and 36 hours of work on quizzes and test/exam preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including labs to receive credit for components of the course.  Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including labs will not be available as recordings.  The course will not include live online events including group discussions/tutorials.  Attendance on campus is required for the tests.  The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Health & Safety

All students must complete any required safety induction before attending the laboratories. Students are expected to adhere to the guidelines outlined in the Health and Safety section of the Engineering Undergraduate Handbook.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Overall this course has been very well received by students.  There are no plans to modify the course for 2024.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 18/11/2023 08:21 a.m.