Signal to Noise Ratio

What is it?

A signal-to-noise ratio, also known as S/N or SNR, denotes the strength of the desired signal in relation to background noise (undesired signal). This can be calculated with the help of a formula by comparing the two levels and returning a ratio that demonstrates whether noise affects the desired signal or not.

How does it work?

Usually, a signal-to-noise ratio is represented in decibels (dB) as zero, a positive, or a negative number. A value exceeding 0 dB means that the signal level is more than the noise level. The greater the ratio, the higher the quality of the signal. Otherwise, if the noise is considerably stronger than the desired signal, various data transfers are at risk of disruption. For instance, these may include text files, graphics, telemetry, applications, audio and video streams, etc.

Ways to maximize signal-to-noise ratio

Some methods for solving the signal-to-noise ratio problem encompass:

  • using the narrowest receiving-system bandwidth to fit the desired data speed
  • employing spread spectrum techniques for better system performance
  • increasing the signal output power to raise the signal-to-noise ratio
  • reducing the temperature of the receiving circuitry to almost zero
  • optimizing the performance of transmitting and receiving antennas
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