Amplitude and phase-shift keying

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Amplitude and phase-shift keying or asymmetric phase-shift keying (APSK), is a digital modulation scheme that conveys data by changing, or modulating, both the amplitude and the phase of a reference signal (the carrier wave). In other words, it combines both Amplitude-shift keying (ASK) and Phase-shift keying (PSK) to increase the symbol-set. It can be considered as a superclass of Quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM). The advantage over conventional QAM, for example 16-QAM, is lower number of possible amplitude levels, resulting in fewer problems with non-linear amplifiers.


The DVB-S2 specification permits the use of 16APSK and 32APSK modes, allowing 16 and 32 different symbols respectively and are intended for mainly professional, semi-linear applications. They can be also used for broadcasting but they require a higher level of available C/N and an adoption of advanced pre-distortion methods in the uplink station in order to minimize the effect of transponder non-linearity.

Figure - Bit mapping into constellations - (see Ref.2)