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MICROWAVE ENGINEERING LAB

VIVA QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

1. Why can’t conventional tubes be used at microwave


frequencies?
Conventional tubes can’t be used at microwave
frequencies because of
transit time effect. Lead inductance and inter electrode
capacitance of the devices
will finally limit the output which may even be zero.

2. What is transit time?


It is the time taken by the electrons to travel from
cathode to anode.

3. What is the operating principle of reflex klystron?


It works on the principle of velocity modul ation
and current modulation.

4. What is velocity and current modulation in a reflex


klystron?
Variation in velocities of the electrons in the electron
beam is called
velocity modulation; variation in the current density of
the electron
beam is referred to as current modulation.

5. How does bunching occur in a reflex klystron?


A reference electron passing the gap when the gap
voltage is zero travels with no change in velocity. An
electron leaving the gap earlier during slightly positive
voltage would travel further into repeller space and hence
would take longer time then the reference electron to
return to the gap. An electron leaving the gap later will
face slightly negative voltage and gets retarded. So it
returns back after a shorter travel in the repeller space.
Thus all the electrons would arrive back to the gap in
bunches. Bunching around reference electron takes place
once per cycle of RF oscillations.

6. Why do different modes of operation exist for a reflex


klystron?
There are several combinations of repeller voltage
and anode voltage that
provide favorable conditions for bunching. Accordingly
there are several modes
of operation, expressed by N + ¾ where N is an integer.

7. What modes are generally used in a reflex klystron?


1 ¾ and 2 ¾ are the most commonly used modes in
a practical reflex
klystron.

8. What is the operating frequency and power output of a


reflex klystron?
Frequency range: 4GHz – 200GHz
Output power: maximum 3W in X-band to 10mW at
220GHz

9. What is the maximum theoretical efficiency of the reflex


klystron?
22.7% for 1 ¾ mode.

10. What is mechanical tuning and electronic tuning in a


reflex klystron?
Variation in frequency of resonance of cavity by
varying its dimension by
a mechanical method like adjusting screws is called
mechanical tuning. Variation of frequency by adjusting
repeller voltage is called electronic tuning.
11. What is the range of frequency variation of reflex klystron
in the X-band by the above two methods?
Mechanical tuning: +20MHz. Electronic tuning:
+8MHz

12. What are applications of reflex klystron?


They are used as 1) signal source in microwave
generators. 2) Local oscillators in receivers. 3) Pump
oscillators in parametric amplifiers.

13. Leaving reflex klystron, what other devices are used as


microwave signal sources?
1) Magnetron oscillator 2) Backward wave oscillator
3) Gunn oscillator 4) IMPATT diode oscillator 5)
TRAPPAT diode oscillator

14. Is Gunn diode a p-n junction?


No. It isn’t.

15. What is Gunn Effect?


When the voltage gradient across a slice of GaAs
exceeds about 3300V/cm, negative
resistance will develop and oscillations occur if the slice is
connected to a suitable tank circuit.

16. What are the materials used in the construction of Gunn


diode?
GaAs (Gallium Arsenide), InP (Indium Phosphate)
doped in Si.

17. What is negative resistance?


A device is said to have negative resistance
characteristics if, during its operation an increase in the
voltage across it leads to decrease in its current.

18. Can any negative resistance device be used for


amplification?
Yes.
19. What are the other names of Gunn diode and Gunn
oscillator?
Transferred electron device and transferred electron
oscillator.

20. Draw the equivalent circuit of an X-band GaAs Gunn


diode.
Equivalent circuit is a parallel combination of
resistance (~100Ω) and a capacitance (~.6pF).

21. Mention the characteristics of an X-band GaAs Gunn


diode.
Typical values are: Bias voltage: 9V
Output power: 300mW Operating current: 950mA
Efficiency: 3.5%

22. Can a Gunn diode be used as an amplifier?


Yes.

23. Mention some applications of Gunn diode.


It is used as 1) low and medium power oscillators in
microwave receivers.
2) Pump sources in parametric amplifiers
3) Power output oscillators in radars

24. Expand the terms IMPATT, TRAPATT, & PIN referring to


the types of diodes.
IMPATT – Impact Avalanche & Transit Time Diode
TRAPATT – Trapped Plasma Avalanche Triggered
Transit Diode
PIN – Positive Intrinsic Negative

25. What is the use of crystal diode in a microwave bench


setup?
To detect the microwave signal picked up by the
probe and to provide the rectified current.

26. What is a square law device?


A device whose output current is proportional to the
square of the input voltage applied.

27. Mention conditions for a crystal diode to function as a


square law device.
The rectified current should be less than 20µA or
input power should be less than 10mW.

28. Name the types of crystal diodes used.


Point contact type, barrier type & back type are
commonly used types of crystal diodes.

29. Draw the equivalent circuit of a microwave crystal


detector.
Equivalent circuit consists of a parallel combination
of:
1) Lead inductance (L) in series with lead resistance
(R)
2) Junction capacitance (C)

30. Define current sensitivity and voltage sensitivity of a


crystal detector.
Current sensitivity is the maximum short circuit
current for unit input power (short circuit power/input power).
Voltage sensitivity is the maximum open circuit voltage for
unit input power (open circuit power/input power).

31. Why is a tuning element provided with a crystal mount?


To eliminate reflections from crystal mount.

32. Apart from signal detection what are the other


applications of crystal diode?
Used as 1) frequency mixers in superhetrodyne
receivers
2) Harmonic generators 3) frequency converters

33. Which crystal diode is commonly used for X-band


operations?
IN – 23

34. Give the relation between output current and input


voltage for a crystal diode.
I = KEP where K is a constant due to detector and
probe coupling. P is a constant depending on the
individual crystal & magnitude of operating voltage. P
= 2 for square law operation.
35. What is a wave guide?
It is a hollow metallic pipe of either rectangular or
circular cross section, used to guide
electromagnetic waves at microwave frequencies.

36. Define guide wavelength.


It is the distance between two identical points on
standing waves in a waveguide.

37. Define cutoff wavelength for a waveguide.


It is the longest wavelength beyond which there is no
propagation of EM waves within the waveguide.

38. Define dominant mode with respect to a waveguide.


Mention dominant mode for rectangular and
circular waveguides.
The mode with the least cutoff frequency is called
dominant mode. For rectangular waveguide the
dominant mode is TE10 & for circular waveguide it’s
TE11.

39. If the broader dimension of a rectangular waveguide is


2.2cms, what is the cutoff frequency and
wavelength for dominant mode?
For rectangular waveguide the dominant mode is
TE10.
The cutoff wavelength λc = 2a = 4.4cms.
The cutoff frequency fc = c/ λc = 6.8GHz.

40. Write the relation between guide wavelength, cutoff


wavelength and free space wavelength.
1/ λo = 1/ λc + 1/ λg or λo = λc λg/ (λg 2 + λc 2)1/2
2 2 2

Where λo – free space wavelength, λc - cutoff wavelength,


λg – guide wavelength

41. What are the various power losses in a waveguide?


1) Losses in guide walls 2) losses in dielectric (if any
other than air)

42. How are modes excited in a rectangular waveguide?


Modes are excited using a probe, a hole or a loop.
Commonly used techniques are electric excitation,
magnetic excitation and aperture excitation.

43. What is the preferred frequency range for waveguide


operation? Why?
Frequency range: 3GHz – 100GHz as the dimensions
of the waveguide are convenient in size, easy to
fabricate.

44. Is a waveguide equivalent to a high pass filter or a low


pass filter? Explain
Waveguide is equivalent to a high pass filter. It
passes frequencies only above the cutoff frequency
fc, but attenuates those below fc.

45. What is TE mode and TM mode?


TE mode is the one in which the electric field is
perpendicular the direction of propagation of the EM
wave. TM mode is the one in which the magnetic field is
perpendicular the direction of propagation of the EM
wave.

46. In the notation TEmn and TMmn what do m and n


represent?
m denotes the half wave periodicity in the x direction
while n represents the half wave periodicity in the y
direction; assuming the wave is traveling in the z
direction.

47. Define wave impedance and characteristic impedance.


Wave impedance Zz looking in the z direction is the
ratio of the transverse electric field strength to the
total magnetic field strength. Characteristic impedance Zo of
a line is the impedance offered by the line of infinite length.

48. Write the formula for wave impedance of a TE and TM


wave considering propagation in z direction.
TE mode: Zz (TE) = η/ (1 – (fc/f) 2)1/2
TM mode: Zz (TM) = η/ (1 – (fc/f) 2)1/2
Where f = signal frequency and fc = cutoff frequency.
49. What are the applications of waveguide bends, corners
and twists?
Waveguide bends are used to change the direction of
energy flow at microwave frequencies. Corners
are used to change are used to change the direction
of energy flow at larger wavelengths. Twists are employed to
change the plane of polarization of the EM wave.

50. What is a mitered corner?


A 900 corner would produce large reflections, so a
part of it is cut which is called mitered corner.

51. Define VSWR.


VSWR (voltage standing wave ratio) is the ratio of
the maximum field strength to the minimum field
strength of standing waves.

52. What is reflection coefficient?


It is the ratio of reflected voltage to incident voltage
on standing waves.

53. Write the relation between VSWR and reflection


coefficient.
S = (1 + K)/ (1 – K)
Where S – standing wave ratio; K – Reflection coefficient.

54. Write the values of VSWR for open circuit, short circuit &
matched load.
Open/closed circuit: VSWR = ∞
Matched load: VSWR = 1

55. What is the range of VSWR and inverse VSWR?


VSWR: 1 - ∞. Inverse VSWR: 0 - 1.

56. What is a matched load?


A load that offers the characteristic impedance to a
transmission line is called a matched load.

57. Define attenuation.


Attenuation is the reduction in power level, generally
expressed in dB. For any network attenuation α =
10log10 (p1/p2) dB where p2 is the output power and
p1 is the input power to the network.

58. Define insertion loss.


Insertion loss is the attenuation introduced due to
addition of any component in any circuit. If
p1 is the output power without the component and p2 is the
output power with the component, then the insertion loss in
dB is given by 10log10 (p1/p2) dB.

59. Mention the different types of attenuators.


1) Fixed 2) Step adjustable 3) Continuously variable
attenuator

60. Why are attenuators used?


To 1) control the microwave power in the circuit
2) Reduce the power load to a desired value.

61. Define directivity and coupling factor of a directional


coupler.
Directivity = 10log10 (p3/p4) dB.
Indicates how well the forward traveling wave in main
guide couples only to desired terminals of
secondary guide. Coupling factor = 10log10 (p1/p3) dB.

P P SECONDARY
LINE
4 3

P P MAIN
1 2 LINE

62. What are the properties of directional coupler?


Power fed to port 1 is coupled to port 2 and port 3
but not to port 4. Power fed to port 2 is coupled to
port 1 and port 4 but not to port 3. The degree of
coupling between ports 1, 3 and ports 2, 4 depends on the
structure of the unit. There is a free transfer of
power between ports 1 and 2.

63. Mention the different types of directional couplers.


1) Two hole coupler 2) multi hole coupler 3) sloth
type coupler
4) Bethe type coupler 5) cross waveguide coupler.

64. What should be the value of directivity? High or low?


Higher the value of directivity higher is the quality of
the directional coupler. For a perfect directional
coupler directivity would be infinite.

65. Mention some applications of directional coupler.


1) Power measurements 2) used in reflectometer 3)
as a fixed attenuator 4) to arrange balanced
duplexer

66. What is Uniline?


A uniline or isolator is a 2 port device that allows free
transmission of power in forward direction and no
transmission in the opposite direction.

67. Why is an isolator used in a microwave bench?


Isolator is connected between load and source. It
allows free transmission of power from source to load. But
if there is any mismatch and reflections arise,
these reflections are prevented to travel to the source side.

68. What are the types of ferrite isolators?


1) Faraday rotation isolators for power up to a few
hundred watts.
2) Resonant absorption isolators for higher power.

69. What is Faraday rotation?


Rotation of polarized wave traveling through ferrite.

70. What are the commonly used ferrite materials for


isolators?
1) Yitrium – iron – garnet (YIG)
2) Manganese ferrite 3) Zinc ferrite

71. What is meant by line width of ferrite?


It is the range of magnetic field strengths over which
absorption will take place. It is defined between the
half power points for absorption.

72. What is Curie temperature?


It is the temperature at which a magnetic material
looses its magnetic properties.

73. What is a circulator?


It is a ferrite multiport (generally 4) device where
each port is connected only to the next clockwise
terminal.

74. What are the main applications of circulators?


1) In radar work to isolate transmitter and the
receiver connected to the same antenna 2) To isolate
input and output in parametric amplifier.

75. Mention some types of circulators.


Faraday rotation circulator (4 port), Wye circulator
( 3 port)

3
1

76. How can you construct a 4 port circulator with magic tees
and a gyrator?
To arrange a four port circulator we need two
magic tees and a gyrator such that it provides a phase shift of
1800 in the direction of arrow only. A wave incident on port 1
splits equally into 2 in phase waves in arms b, d. They reach
ports a and c of magic tee 1, add up and appear as output at
port 2 (adder arms). A wave incident on port 2 splits into two
in phase equal amplitude waves at a and c. They arrive at b
and d of magic tee 2 with a phase difference of 1800 and
emerge out of the subtractor arm (port 3). Similar analysis
shows that wave incident on port 3 comes out of port 4 and
that incident on port 4 emerges out of port 1 only.

4
Magi 3
c
E
arm E
Tee
b arm
a 1 c d
H
H arm
2 arm Magi
c 1
GYRATO Tee
π 2
0 0 R

77. If an isolator is not available explain how a 3 port


circulator can be used to serve
the function of isolator?

1 3 PORT 2
SOURC
CIRCULAT LOAD
E OR

MATCHED
TERMINATI
ON

There will free flow of power from source to load (port


1 to 2). Any reflected
energy due to mismatch from port 2 will be absorbed by
matched termination at
port 3.
78. Why is a matched termination needed at port 3 in the
above case?
If matched termination is not connected
reflections from port 1 will be
incident on port 3. Any mismatch at this port will cause
reflections which will be
transmitted to source side. To avoid this, port 3 is
connected with matched load.

79. Is it necessary to connect source to port 1 of a circulator


only always?
No. If source is connected to port 2 ,then connect
load at port 3 and
matched load to port 1, or connect source to port 3, load
to port 1 and matched
termination to port 2.

80. What are scattering parameters?


They are the relations between reflection coefficients
and transmission coefficients of a microwave
network.

81. What is scattering matrix?


At microwave frequencies the measurable quantities
are power, reflection coefficient, transmission
coefficient and standing wave ratio. A linear relation
between input and output of a microwave network in
terms of precisely measurable parameters is
called scattering description (or scattering matrix is a
matrix made up of scattering coefficients).

82. Write the S matrix for magic tee.


0 0 1 1
0 0 1 −1
S= 1 2  
1 1 0 0
 
1 −1 0 0

83. Write S matrix for a 4 port ideal circulator.


0 0 0 1
1 0 0 0
S= 
0

1 0 0
 
0 0 0 1

84. Write the S matrix for an ideal directional coupler.


0 α 0 jβ 
α 0 jβ 0
S =  
0 jβ 0 α
 
 β
j 0 α 0

Choosing a reference plane such that α is positive real and


β is positive imaginary.

85. What is magic tee?


It is a combination of E plane and H plane tee. It is a
4 port device.

86. What are the properties of magic tee?


ARM
E ARM 4

ARM
ARM 1
2
H
ARM
ARM
3
Power fed to arm 3 (H arm) divides equally between arms
1 and 2. The electric field in the 2 arms will be in phase.
No coupling to arm 4. Similarly power fed to arm 4 is
not coupled to arm 3. It is divided equally between arms 1 & 2
but the electric fields in these differ in phase by 1800. Powers
fed in arms 1 & 2 are added in arm 3 (H arm) and
subtracted in arm 4 ( E arm).

87. What are the applications of magic tee?


Used as 1) An antenna duplexer, to use as a single
antenna for transmission and reception 2)
balanced microwave mixer 3) frequency discriminator 4)
impedance measuring bridges.

MATCHED
DETECTO
R ANTENNA
4
4
REFER- 2 2
Z
ENCE ZR RX TX
1 X 1
3 3

SOURC MATCHE
E D LOAD

Adjust the reference impedance till there is no signal in


the detector. Use the equation (Zr – 1)/(Zr + 1) = (zx –
1)/(Zx + 1) to find Zx, because at balance, reflection
coefficients of reference and unknown impedance are the
same.
88. What is pyramidal horn?
It is a EH horn where both sides of a waveguide are
flared.

89. Mention different types of horn antennas.


1) Sectoral H plane 2) Sectoral E plane 3) Pyramidal
plane 4) conical plane 5) biconical plane

90. What is half power beam width?


The angular separation between half power points in
the radiation pattern of an antenna.

91. Define directivity if an antenna.


It is the ratio of the maximum radiation intensity to
the average radiation intensity of an antenna.

92. How are far and near fields identical for a horn antenna?
Near field is up to a distance 2D2/λ from the antenna.
Any point at a distance greater than this is considered
to be in the far field, where D – largest dimension
of horn mouth

93. What are the other names for the above fields?
Near field – Fresnel region Far field – Fraunhofer
region

94. Define antenna.


Antenna is defined as the transition region between
guided and free space wave.

95. What are the devices used for microwave power


measurements/
1)Bolometer 2)Calorimeter

96. What are the types of Bolometer elements?


Thermisters and Barreters.

97. What is the characteristic of Barreter bolometer?


Barrators have positive temperature coefficient of
resistance.

98. What is the principle of calorimetry?


Fluid, generally water absorbs the microwave power,
resulting in temperature rise. Noting this temperature rise,
power is calculated.

99. Which method is preferred for low power measurements?


Bolometer.

100. When is calorimeter used for power measurements?


For medium power measurement.

101. Mention the main application of IMPATT diode.


Used as transmitter for microwave communication
systems.

102. Mention the application of TRAPATT diode.


Used as pulsed transmitter in s-band phased array
radar.

103. What is the S-band frequency range?


As per IEEE microwave band designation s-band range: 2-
4 GHz

104. where is BARITT diode used?


As local oscillator in radar receiver.

105. npn structure is preferred to pnp in high frequency


transistor. Why?
Mobility of electrons is greater than that of holes

106. What are the commonly used ways of fabricating


microwave transistors?
Diffusion and ion implantation.

107. What are the applications of tunnel diode?


Used as microwave oscillator and amplifier.

108. What is cavity resonator?


It is a metallic enclosure that confines the EM energy.

109. What is quality factor of a cavity resonator?


Measure of frequency selectivity of the resonator.

110. The power measured in auxillary arm of a 20 db


directional coupler is 1mW.what is the power input to
the main arm?
100mW.