Virtual Communications Lab


Innovative tool for Digital Learning

Try out online experiments with labAlive and take a look at the labAlive portal for communications engineering topics. Experience hands-on with lab applications that offer scopes, spectrum analyzers and much more. Each implements the specifc signal processing of a selected experiment. All you need is a Java Runtime installed.

See how easy it is to use labAlive apps. Analyze signals in scopes and change system properties interactively. A block diagram gives you click access to the complete experiment environment...

Take your first steps in using labAlive with Oscilloscope demo, Spectrum analyzer demo or the app shown in the video Signal-to-noise ratio demonstrator.

Online experiments in communications engineering

This digital education initiative makes high-quality academic experiments in the field of communications technology available on the Internet. Similar to hardware experiments the goal is to learn, deepen and apply theoretical knowledge through practical experience.

Experiential learning
Students are encouraged to experiment actively and learn experientially.

User-friendly tool for lab environment

The virtual experiments of this lab are computer simulations that implement the techniques to be analyzed. These applications are built with a simulation framework developed by the author - labAlive. Put very simply, the experiments are online applications that are perhaps comparable to Matlab/Simulink.

Experiment environment
Demonstrative and interactive simulations emulate hardware experiments.

The virtual experiment environment emulates a real-world laboratory:

Almost unlimited combinations of options and possibilities enable active experimentation and individual learning. The accurate simulation implementation assures mathematically valid results in any case.

Even better than hardware experiments?

First of all, the common online learning advantages such as availability, reproducibility and scalability become effective. Even for on-site courses, this approach facilitates a didactically meaningful synchronization of lectures and practical experiments. Within lectures an experiment application can easily be started - e.g. a click in PowerPoint - and demonstrate a theoretical topic.
Furthermore, the virtual lab leverages a potential beyond hardware experiments:

Altogether, the lab conditions shall be designed to enhance a creative atmosphere and encourage students to experiment actively and learn experientially.

The vision

Experiments built with the labAlive simulation framework might constitute a valuable contribution to digital learning in higher education.


How to teach practical skills online with the Virtual Communications Lab

06/23/2020 Lessons learned from practical courses. Video and project description in German: Wie kann das Studium digital fortgesetzt werden? Praxiswissen digital vermitteln mit dem Virtual Communications Lab.

Online Experiments in Electrical Engineering Education

The coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders force universities to move courses online. Not only lectures can be delivered online but also practical experiments which are an integral part of engineering education. In combination with video conferencing it even offers the opportunity to work with students individually or in small groups.

The tutor - video conferencing host - can give individualized feedback, diagnose and remedy specific learning gaps.

This spring we operate this setup and try to replace the on-site courses as good as we can...


myLabAlive is an online tool that on the fly generates simulation apps from text. Give it a try and create your own experiment application. Get a first glimpse of labAlive text, that looks like a simple programming language.

App implementation

3.3.21 12/01/2020 QPSK signal generation

3.3.20 11/10/2020 Two-ray propagation channel

3.3.18 10/06/2020 Improved audio experience. Apps optimized for audio playback: AM transmission - envelope detector, AM transmission - synchronous detector

3.3.17 05/27/2020 07/11/2020 myLab bugfix (gain system)

3.3.15 06/03/2020 update AmTransmissionEnvelopeDetector, AmTransmissionSynchronousDetector

3.3.14 05/27/2020 Mouse-wheel controls simulation speed: stop and single steps

3.3.13 05/15/2020 Improved power meter reset when system parameters change

3.3.12 05/11/2020 Mouse-wheel controls simulation speed: speed up / slow down simulation when mouse wheel moves up / down

3.3.11 05/08/2020 Press the space bar to toggle between Play and Pause, mouse right click for Java 11 / OpenJDK 11, show settings button for Scope T

3.3.10 05/06/2020 Frequency modulation audio demo now starts with a comfortable volume of the audio tone.

3.3.08 04/30/2020 Property window of measures is opened below the measure.

Take a look at the latest experiments


Select a topic of communications technology and explore online experiments that help you to understand communication technology! It's free for use.

Simulation Apps

Course Telecommunication

Course Transmission Techniques for Wireless Channels



Term Description Experiment
Amplitude modulation
Amplitude modulation is a form of analog modulation. The amplitude of a high frequency carrier is changed depending on a baseband signal. Amplitude modulation
Additive white gaussian noise
A white noise signal whose amplitude distribution is equal to a gaussian function. Matched filter in digital communications
OFDM BER vs Eb/N0 in AWGN channel
QAM BER for AWGN channel
QPSK BER for AWGN channel
Bit error rate
Bit error rate means the number of bit errors in relation to the bits sent. OFDM BER vs Eb/N0 in AWGN channel
QAM BER for AWGN channel
QPSK BER - equivalent baseband
QPSK BER for AWGN channel
Frequency modulation
Frequency modulation is a form of analog modulation. The frequency of a high frequency carrier is changed depending on a baseband signal. Spectra of FM signals
Frequency modulation
Frequency modulation audio demo
FM demodulator using PLL
FM transmitter