Receiver sensitivity metric converter

This little converter transforms a selected specification of sensitivity of a linear receiver into a number of common expressions of receiver sensitivity.


Receiver input resistance (Ω)

Receiver effective noise bandwidth (Hz)



Receiver effective noise bandwidth (ENB) is the bandwidth of an idealised pass band that has in-band gain equal to the actual gain at 1kHz equivalent, and the total noise power passed is the same as the actual filter. It is unlikely to be the same as the quoted filter bandwidth determined from the -6dB points, and is likely to be around 20% or 1dB lower. Errors in the ENB will affect all "noise" metrics calculated from "sensitivity" measures, and all "sensitivity" metrics calculated from "noise" measures. For more information see Measuring receiver bandwidth.

The term Noise Floor is taken to include 290K broadband noise from the source, eg a typical standard signal generator at 17°C. Note that noise floor in a practical system may be quite different because the ambient noise is not necessarily 290K, it could be higher or lower. The term Minimum Discernable Signal (MDS) is used by some to have the same meaning as Noise Floor in this calculator, and similarly, its meaning is restricted to the common test bench measurement context.

This calculator assumes that the signal distortion component of noise+distortion is zero.

Voltages are those at the terminals at the receiver, voltages quoted or measured as 'emf' need to be halved or reduced by 6dB to give terminal voltage at the receiver.

Otherwise, the terms used are well known in the industry, and the common meaning is used.


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© Copyright: Owen Duffy 1995, 2016. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.