RF Fundamentals Course

This Short term Intensive course on RF Fundamentals has been specially created to reinforce the foundation, help attendees gain additional insights and knowledge on relevant topics.

The course will be conducted by highly experienced professionals from Academics, Industry and R&D. Attendees can look forward to a high level of interactions, knowledge sharing and a very conducive and participative course environment.

Day One

Transmission Line Basics

  • Why do we need a special class for microwaves?
  • What are transmission lines?
  • Various wavelengths and their corresponding frequencies

Characteristic Impedance

  • Transmission lines versus regular hook-ups
  • Distance and propagation in a transmission line
  • Characteristic impedance
  • Basic transmission lines

Terminating a Transmission Line

  • Infinite transmission line
  • Terminating a lossless transmission line

Reflections

    • Incident and reflected waves on a shorted line, an open line and on an arbitrarily terminated line
    • Reflection coefficient

Impedance and Smith Chart

    • Gamma plane, plotting impedance
    • Plotting impedance on a rectangular plane
    • Smith chart

Standing Waves

    • Understanding phasors
    • Phasor representation at an instant for short and open circuit transmission lines
    • Phasor representation for arbitrary termination
    • Slotted line
    • Standing wave ratio (SWR), scalar reflection coefficient (Rho) and return loss
    • Reflectometer calculator
    • Converting between Rho, return loss and SWR

Practical Transmission Lines

    • Propagating modes

Connector Care

  Introduction to Connectors

  • Connector Examples
  • Maintaining Connectors
  • Visual Connector Inspection
  • Mechanical Connector Inspection
  • Principles of Connector Care
  • Industry Standard Specifications

Power Measurements

  • Why we measure power instead of voltage or current
  • Units of power
  • Terms such as average power, square law, pulse power and
  • peak envelope power

Decibels (dBs)

  • Relative power and absolute power
  • Understanding dB and how its use simplifies power transfer calculations

Types of power sensors

  • Thermocouples
  • Diode sensors
  • Thermistors

Power transfer

  • Reflection diagrams for various scenarios of source and load impedance
  • Uncertainty and mismatch loss with scalar reflection coefficients
  • Other sources of power meter uncertainty
  • Ideal and practical power measurement
  • Maximum or available power

Appendix on understanding logs and dB

  • Comparing quantities using exponents or powers
  • What is a logarithm?
    • dB: a logarithmic power ratio
    • dBm: a way to express absolute power
    • Using dB and dBm together
    • dB as an expression of a voltage ratio
    • An example of power and voltage ratios
    • dB used to express tolerances
    • Power and voltage tolerances

Lab demo: how to use power measurements to measure insertion loss of a cable

Day Two

Amplitude Modulation

  • Explain why carrier modulation is used when Transmitting information
  • Introduce AM
  • Describe the term “AM modulation Index”
  • Describe the operation of the envelope detector
  • AM Measurements
  • Single Sideband and how AM relates to signal multiplexing

Frequency/Phase Modulation

Digital Modulation

  • What is the advantage of digital signal?
  • How much frequency spectrum do digital signals need?
  • Reducing the bandwidth of the signal.
  • How complex modulations conserve bandwidth and ease some design aspects.
  • The signal space; constellation and vector diagrams How we view what’s happening.
  • How we create these modulations.
  • Noise and other degradations.

Demonstration:

  • Modulation Basics

Day Three

Network Analyzer

  • Network Analyzer fundamentals
  • Network Analyzer block diagram
  • S-parameter measurements
  • Amplitude, phase, and group delay measurements
  • Demonstration: adapter considerations
  • Error model
  • Error identification
  • Calibration methods
  • Practical calibration exercise
  • Time domain

Spectrum Analysis

  • Spectrum analyzer fundamentals
  • Sensitivity, resolution, accuracy
  • Block diagram
  • Demonstrations of spectrum analyzer theoretical concepts
    • Tune, zoom, measure
    • Resolving equal and unequal amplitude signals
    • Noise sidebands
    • Measurement of small signals
    • Dynamic range analysis
  • Spectrum, modulation, S/N measurements and more
  • Measurement uncertainties and errors
  • Demonstrations of modulation measurements
    • AM/FM measurements
    • AM/FM demodulation
    • Pulsed RF measurements
  • Simplifying complex Measurements
  • Noise and Noise Figure
    • Noise Processes and Definitions
    • Thermal Noise and Noise Power
    • Noise Figure
    • Noise Temperature
    • The Importance of Noise Figure
    • Noise Figure Measurement
  • Phase Noise Fundamentals
    • What is Phase Noise
    • Two Port VS Absolute (Total) Noise
    • Basic Phase Noise Concepts – Unit of Measure
    • Why is Phase Noise Important?
    • Phase Noise Measurements
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