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Software Defined Radio

Michael Ossmann, Great Scott Gadgets | August 4-5 & August 6-7


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 computers 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

Day 2

Exercise: Replay
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 and must be capable of booting from USB.

Software: A bootable USB flash drive will be provided. This drive contains all the software required for the class.

Students are also encouraged to bring additional SDR hardware or target devices for show and tell.

What Students Will Be Provided With

HackRF SDR peripheral, exercise workbook, USB flash drive.


Michael Ossmann is a wireless security researcher who makes hardware for hackers. Best known for the open source HackRF, Ubertooth, and GreatFET projects, he founded Great Scott Gadgets in an effort to put exciting, new tools into the hands of innovative people.