Carrier-to-noise-density ratio

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In satellite communications, carrier-to-noise-density ratio (C/N0) is the ratio of the carrier power C to the noise power density N0, expressed in dB-Hz. When considering only the receiver as a source of noise, it is called carrier-to-receiver-noise-density ratio or carrier-to-receiver-noise ratio.

It determines whether a receiver can lock on to the carrier and if the information encoded in the signal can be retrieved, given the amount of noise present in the received signal. The carrier-to-receiver noise density ratio is usually expressed in dBHz.

The noise power density, N0=kT, is the receiver noise power per hertz, which can be written in terms of the Boltzmann constant k (in joules per kelvin) and is the noise temperature T (in kelvin).

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 This article incorporates public domain material from the General Services Administration document "Federal Standard 1037C" (in support of MIL-STD-188).

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