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Software Defined Radio

Michael Ossmann | March 24-25


An introduction to digital signal processing, software radio, and the powerful tools that enable the growing array of SDR projects within the hacker community, this course takes a unique "software radio for hackers" approach, building on the participants' knowledge of computer programming and introducing them to the forefront of digital radio technology. Participants will learn how to transmit, receive, and analyze radio signals and will be prepared to use this knowledge in the research of wireless communication security. Each student will receive a HackRF One software defined radio transceiver, a $300 value.

Day 1:
  • Introduction to Software Defined Radio
  • Exercise: Finding a Signal
  • Complex vs. Real Signals
  • Exercise: Working with Complex Signals (part 1)
  • Exercise: Working with Complex Signals (part 2)
  • Aliasing and Sampling Theory
  • Exercise: Transmission and Simulation
  • Exercise: Digital Filters
  • Bandwidth

Day 2:
  • Exercise: Replay
  • Modulation
  • Exercise: Modulation Identification
  • Reverse Engineering
  • Exercise: Reverse Engineering
  • Decoding Digital Signals
  • Exercise: Decoding

Who Should Take this Course

Anyone with an interest in investigating the physical layer of real world digital radio communication systems.

Student Requirements

A background in software development and an interest in security are helpful, but not required.

What Students Should Bring

Laptop computer: There are no minimum processing power or memory requirements, but signal processing is an intensive application, so more of both is always useful. The laptop must have two High-Speed USB 2.0 (or 3.0) ports available.

Software: A bootable USB flash drive will be provided. Please ensure that your laptop is able to boot to a USB flash drive.

What Students Will Be Provided With

HackRF SDR peripheral, exercise workbook, USB flash drive.


Michael Ossmann is a wireless security researcher with more than a decade of experience teaching information security, network management, and software radio courses. A frequent speaker at hacker conferences such as Black Hat, ShmooCon, DEF CON, and ToorCon, he founded Great Scott Gadgets in an effort to put exciting, new tools into the hands of innovative people. Michael is best known for his work on Bluetooth security and for development of Ubertooth One, the world's first low cost, open source Bluetooth sniffer. This year, he is introducing HackRF, an open source Software Defined Radio platform.