Signal-to-noise and distortion ratio (SINAD) is a measure of the quality of a signal from a communications device, often defined as
where is the average power of the signal, noise and distortion components. SINAD is usually expressed in dB and is quoted alongside the receiver RF sensitivity, to give a quantitative evaluation of the receiver sensitivity. Note that with this definition, unlike SNR, a SINAD reading can never be less than 1 (i.e. it is always positive when quoted in dB).
When calculating the distortion, it is common to exclude the DC components.
Due to widespread use, SINAD has collected several different definitions. SINAD is commonly defined as:
Information on the relations between SINAD, ENOB, SNR, THD and SFDR can be found in.
A typical example, quoted from a commercial hand held VHF or UHF radio, might be:
This is stating that the receiver will produce intelligible speech with a signal at its input as low as 0.25 μV. Radio receiver designers will test the product in a laboratory using a procedure, which is typically as follows:
According to the radio designer, intelligible speech can be detected 12 dB above the receiver's noise floor (noise and distortion). Regardless of how accurate this output power is regarding intelligible speech, having a standard output SINAD allows easy comparison between radio receiver input sensitivities. This 0.25 μV value is typical for VHF commercial radio, while 0.35 μV is probably more typical for UHF. In the real world, lower SINAD values (more noise) can still result in intelligible speech, but it is tiresome work to listen to a voice in that much noise.
((citation)): External link in