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A method previously presented by the authors for the evaluation of error probabilities in digital systems when impulsive noise is the main cause of incorrect decisions is here applied to differential phase-shift keying (DPSK) modems. Specifically, the receiver impulsive characteristic, which is proportional to the error rate, is evaluated for binary DPSK systems both in the linear and hard-limited modes of operation. Two encoding systems are considered, in-phase encoding and quadrature encoding, and it is shown that they yield essentially the same performance, at least when the binary symbols are equally likely. The results are compared with the performance of phase-shift keying (PSK) and it is found that, in the presence of impulsive noise, DPSK systems have, for the same SNR, an error rate which is nearly twice the error rate obtained for PSK. However, the dependence of error rate on SNR is generally a slowly decreasing function so that a considerable improvement in SNR is required to improve performance.