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PROJECT TOPIC PROPOSAL

ON

COMPARATIVE PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS OF A


STEPPED IMPEDANCE AND OPEN-CIRCUITED
STUB MICROSTRIP LOW PASS FILTER

BY

AKINWANDE JUBRIL AKINFOLARIN


NDA/PGS/FE/M/1808/14

SUBMITTED TO
DEPARTMENT OF ELECTRICAL / ELECTRONICS ENGINEERING
NIGERIAN DEFENCE ACADEMY

IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIRMENT FOR THE


AWARD OF MASTERS OF ENGINEERING (M.Eng) ELECTRONICS
AND COMMUNICATIONS ENGINEERING

JAN 2017
CERTIFICATION

This is to certify that the project proposal COMPARATIVE PERFORMANCE


ANALYSIS OF A STEPPED IMPEDANCE AND OPEN-CIRCUITED STUB
MICROSTRIP LOW PASS FILTER carried out by AKINWANDE JUBRIL has been
read and approved for meeting part of the requirements for the award of
masters of engineering (m.eng) electronics and communications engineering, Nigerian
Defense Academy, Kaduna. Nigeria.

Dr. D.S. Nyitamen

Date

(Project Supervisor)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

SECTION 1........................................................................................................................1
1.1

INTRODUCTION.......................................................................................................1

1.2

SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY.....................................................................................2

1.3

AIM AND OBJECTIVES...........................................................................................3

SECTION 2........................................................................................................................4
2.1

REVIEW OF SIMILAR WORKS DONE ON MICROWAVE FILTERS..................4

2.1.1

Microwave Stepped Impedance LPF Design at 1.2GHz[6].................................4

2.1.2

Design, Simulation and Construction of a Low Pass Microwave Filter on the

Micro-Strip Transmission Line[8]......................................................................................5


2.1.3

Sharp Response Microstrip LPF using folded Stepped impedance Open

Stubs[10]............................................................................................................................6
2.1.4

Microstrip Lowpass Filters With Reduced Size and Improved

Stopband

Characteristics[7]...............................................................................................................8
3

SECTION 3........................................................................................................................9
3.1

METHODOLOGY......................................................................................................9

3.2

DESIGN PROCEDURE FOR MICROSTRIP FILTER SYNTHESIS.....................10

3.3

CONCLUSION.........................................................................................................11

REFERENCES.................................................................................................................12

LIST OF FIGURES
FIGURE 2.1 PRE-FOLDED MICROSTRIP LAYOUT[10].....................................................7
FIGURE 2.2 FOLDED MICROSTRIP LAYOUT [10].............................................................7
FIGURE 3.1 DESIGN PROCESS OF A MICROSTRIP FILTER.............................................9
FIGURE 3.2 DESIGN PROCEDURE FOR MICROSTRIP FILTER SYNTHESIS..............10

1 SECTION 1

1.1

INTRODUCTION

Many microwave engineering problems involve the use of microwave filter


structures. Microwave filter structures are employed in the design of diplexers,
multiplexers, impedance matching networks and time-delay networks[1]etc.
Design of filters for frequencies in the microwave range are typically realized
through the use of distributed elements, which are normally realized using
transmission line sections such as the microstrip line[2]. Microwave frequencies
have shorter wavelengths in comparison to the average physical length of a
conductor. The phase and magnitude of the voltage and current changes
significantly over the physical length of the conductor. Therefore the conductor
which works as a short-circuit node in low frequency, now works as a
distributed component in high frequency i.e the voltages and currents will
vary in magnitude and phase over the length of the conductor. Also lumped
elements in generic electronic circuit such as inductors and capacitors are
generally available only for a limited range of values and are difficult to
implement at microwave frequencies, where distance between filter components
is not negligible. Based on this, analysis of the microwave filter are based on the
transmission line theory.
Microwave filters are required in all RF-communication techniques[3] and they
are an integral part of a large variety of wireless communication systems,
including cellular phones, satellite communications and radar [4].

They

represent a class of electronic filters, designed to operate on signals in the


megahertz and gigahertz frequency spectrum i.e. microwaves. Low pass filters
play an important role in wireless power transmission systems. Transmitted and
received signals have to be filtered at a certain frequency within a specific
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bandwidth. Most communication system contain an RF front end which


performs signal processing with RF filters.
Emerging wireless communication technologies, continue to challenge
microwave filter designers with more stringent requirements such as higher
performance, smaller size, lighter weight and reduced cost. These requirements
have made microstrip filters more attractive to designers of microwave filters
due to the low cost and compact size of microstrip lines. This project proposal
includes a performance evaluation and comparison of the stepped impedance
and the open-circuited stub microstrip filter synthesis methods for the
development of microwave filters operating within the Nigerian Universal
Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS) frequency band.

1.2

SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

Various methods have been used in the synthesis of a microstrip filter with
varying results. Generally, the electrical performance of a filter is mainly
described in terms of its insertion loss, return loss and frequency selectivity [5].
Filters are required to have small insertion loss, large return loss for good
impedance matching with interconnecting components and high frequency
selectivity to prevent interference when used in certain applications in a
communication system.
The study of the performance of the stepped impedance and the open circuited
stub microstrip filter synthesis methods operating within the NCCs UMTS
frequency band will be useful in the design of microstrip filter based
applications on telecommunication devices. The accuracy of the design methods
within this frequency band (1920MHz2150MHz) can also be determined. The
outcome of this work may be very useful in improving the performance of
future designs.
2

1.3

AIM AND OBJECTIVES

The purpose of this proposed project is to design and present a comparative


performance analysis of a microstrip low pass filter with a cut-off frequency of
2 GHz, synthesized using the stepped impedance and open circuited stub
synthesis methods.

The objectives of the project will be:


I.

To derive the optimal design parameters for a 2 GHz microstrip low pass
filter using the stepped impedance and open circuited stub synthesis
methods.

II.

Analyse the performance of both synthesis methods by comparing their


frequency response with the use of the Advanced Design System (ADS)
microwave simulation tool.

III.

Fabricate the microstrip layout on a FR4 PCB layout, capable of carrying


out the low pass filtering function with the selected cut-off frequency.

2 SECTION 2
2.1
2.1.1

REVIEW OF SIMILAR WORKS DONE ON MICROWAVE FILTERS


Microwave Stepped Impedance LPF Design at 1.2GHz[6]

This report describes the design of a microwave 1.2GHz low pass filter,
fabricated with a microstrip line. The lowpass filter lumped-element circuit was
designed using the Butterworth approximation function and the distributed
element realization of the lumped element circuit was done using the stepped
impedance method. The designed filter was simulated using Advanced Design
System (ADS) software and the final circuit design was fabricated on a
microstrip using the photolithographic technique.
The stopband specification for the filter was given as above 20dB attenuation at
2.4GHz, while the cut-off frequency was specified as 1.2GHz. Based on the
specification the order of the filter was determined to be 5 i.e 5th order by using
the Attenuation vs Normalized frequency for Maximum flat filter graph.
However calculation of the required order of the filter using the more accurate
expression derived from the Butterworth function resulted in a fourth (4th)
order Butterworth filter. The increase in the order of the filter will improve the
stopband characteristics of the low pass filter, however it would result in a
bigger circuit and larger insertion loss[7]. A better result would have been
obtained if the Chebyshev approximation function was used instead of the
Butterworth approximation function.
The dimensions of the microstrip high and low lines was determined using the
line calculator tool in the ADS software and the actual microstrip lowpass filter
fabrication was tested with the Rohde and Schwarz network analyzer. The filter
was fabricated on a substrate with a dielectric constant of 2.55, thickness of 62
mils (1.5748mm) and a loss tangent of 0.02. The results from the ADS
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simulation and the results obtained from the network analyser were close to the
design specifications. A plot of the S(2,1) parameter showed a -3.063db
attenuation at a frequency of 1.160GHz and -27.544db at 2.4GHz in the ADS
simulation while the actual test result from the Rohde and Schwarz network
analyser was -3.0db at 1.2GHz. The results from this work suggests that the
stepped-impedance microstrip lowpass-filter method produces good results at
1.2GHz and the photolithographic fabrication technique, is also an efficient
method of fabricating microstrip filters. This study aims to improve on this
work, by using the Chebyshev approximation function to derive lumped
element circuit, which serves as the basis for the design of the distributed
element equivalent.

2.1.2

Design, Simulation and Construction of a Low Pass Microwave Filter on the MicroStrip Transmission Line[8].

In this paper a 2.5GHz lowpass microstrip filter was designed using the
stepped-impedance method and the results were simulated with the HFSS
software. The fabrication of the filter design was done on an FR4 board with a
dielectric coefficient of 4.2, substrate height of 1.58mm and conductor thickness
of 0.5mm.
The passband-stopband characteristics were specified as 2.5 Ghz cut-off
frequency and above 20dB attenuation at frequencies above 4GHz. The
butterworth approximation function has been used to design a 6th-order
lumped-element filter prototype. The design of the dimensions for high and low
transmission lines were based on assuming the highest practical value for the
characteristic impedance (i.e 120 ohms) and the lowest practical value for the
low lines characteristic impedance (i.e 15 ohms).

The low and high transmission line dimensions were calculated based on the
approximate expressions derived by wheeler and Hammerstard[9]; comparing
the results obtained with that from the ADS line calculator showed a variation
of about 5%. The final results from this work fell slightly short of the design
specifications, over 5db attenuation at 2.5Ghz was read from the HFSS S(1,2)
simulation results as against the specified maximum 3db attenuation but the
specified stopband characteristics were surpassed. However, the results from the
test conducted on the actual fabricated microstrip filter was similar to that
obtained from the simulation, as such it is suspected that the method employed
in deriving the dimensions of the microstrip sections is inaccurate. The results
obtained from this work also suggests that the performance of the FR4 board for
the fabrication of a lowpass filter at 2.5GHz can produce good results.

2.1.3

Sharp Response Microstrip LPF using folded Stepped impedance Open Stubs[10]

This study investigated the performance of a microstrip Low Pass Filter (LPF)
using folded stepped impedance open stubs. The work seeks to develop a
method of designing a compact low pass filter, yet with a sharp response.
Stepped impedance open stubs are very useful components in designing low
pass filters due to their capability to generate transmission zeros with instant
attenuation at the resonance frequency; however the open stubs become very
long when creating smaller transmission zeros, hence leading to a bulky design.
This work proposes a method of reducing the filter size by developing a method
that allows part of the design to be folded onto itself.
The design was specified for a lowpass filter with a cut-off frequency of
2.28GHz, a stop-band bandwidth of 5.47 times the cut-off frequency at no less
than -20dB attenuation and a transition band of 0.14GHz. The Elliptic
6

approximation function is used in the design of a 3rd order LC filter that meets
the specification. The pre-folded microstrip structure equivalent of the LC
network was determined using the stepped-impedance open stub approach and a
layout requiring a microstrip substrate with a dimension of 11.2mm 12.65mm
was obtained as shown in Fig 2.12.

FIGURE 2.1 PRE-FOLDED MICROSTRIP LAYOUT[10]


In order to minimize the overall area of the microstrip structure, the microstrip
layout is folded as shown in Fig 2.13

FIGURE 2.2 FOLDED MICROSTRIP LAYOUT [10]


A comparism of the EM simulation of both microstrip layout produced similar
results, a transmission zero of 2.66GHz with attenuation level of -52.17dB was
observed. Variations in the dimensions of the folded layout caused variations in

the return loss and cut-off frequency, as such the method provides for an easier
means of fine-tuning the performance.

2.1.4

Microstrip Lowpass Filters With Reduced Size and Improved Stopband


Characteristics[7]

In this paper, a novel microstrip lowpass filter with reduced size and improved
stopband characteristics was proposed. The stopband characteristics is improved
by introducing a quarter-wavelength open stubs at the input and output of the
filter. This is known to produce one or two transmission zeros at desired
frequencies in the stopband and therefore obtain a steeper rate of cutoff and
greatly increased attenuation[11]. The filter size is reduced by folding the high
impedance lines.
The filter design is a 3 pole Chebyshev response lowpass filter, with a cut-off
frequency at 2.5GHz and a passband ripple of 0.1dB. The microstrip layout is
realized on a commercial substrate (MCL-E-67) with a relative dielectric
constant of 4.23, loss tangent of 0.025 at 2GHz, and a thickness of 1.20mm is
used. The design begins with creating a lowpass filter with the stepped
impedance method, subsequently open stubs are added to the input and output
ends of the filter. This produces two transmission zeros in the stopband at 4.4
and 5.6GHz respectively.
The results of this work showed that the stopband characteristics of a lowpass
filter can be significantly improved by introducing quarter-wavelength open
stubs at the input and output of the filter; also the results showed that filter size
reduction by folding of the high impedance lines do not alter the filter
characteristics.

3 SECTION 3
3.1

METHODOLOGY

Filter designs beyond 900MHz are difficult to realize with discrete components
because the wavelength becomes comparable with the physical filter element
dimensions, resulting in various losses and severely degrading the circuit
performance. Thus in order to design practical filters, the lumped component
filters must be converted into distributed element realizations.

Determination
Filter
Specificationof Filter Order and element values

Optimization
and Simulation of Microstrip
Microstrip
Realization

FIGURE 3.3 DESIGN PROCESS OF A MICROSTRIP FILTER

The design process of the microstrip lowpass filter will begin with the filter
specification as shown in the flowchart in Fig 3.1; followed by the design of an
appropriate lowpass prototype network (i.e LC ladder network) and the
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microtsrip realization of the obtained lumped network. The microstrip


realization methods are not exact and do not produce the best results; however
they serve as a starting point from which an optimised layout can be obtained.
This is achieved with the use of an EM simulation software. The optimal layout
design would then be fabricated on a microstrip.
For the purpose of this study, both the Butterworth and Chebyshev filter
responses will be used in the design of the lumped element circuit. The Stepped
impedance and Open-Circuited stub approach shall also be used for the
microstrip realization. Details of the design methodology is described below:
3.2

DESIGN PROCEDURE FOR MICROSTRIP FILTER SYNTHESIS

Conversion
of design
Lumped to Distributed Circuit
Lumped-element Low-pass
filter

Fabrication
of final
layout on suitable diel
Optimization of Microstrip
layout
viamicrostrip
EM Simulation

FIGURE 3.4 DESIGN PROCEDURE FOR MICROSTRIP FILTER


SYNTHESIS
I.

Lumped Element Filter Design: The LC-ladder low pass filter prototype
will be used. Butterworth and Chebyshev filter response approximation
will be used to determine the order of the filter and the values of the
reactive elements for the obtained LC-ladder structure. This step will
produce the lumped circuit equivalent of the filter specification; however
this circuit cannot be practically realized.

10

II.

Conversion of Lumped Circuit to Distributed Circuit Design: The


obtained inductance-capacitance network will be converted into an
equivalent distributed circuit by using both the stepped impedance
method and the open circuited stub approach. At the end of this step the
approximate layout structure of the microstrip filter will be obtained.

III.

Optimization of Microstrip Filter Layout: The Advanced Design


System (ADS) software will be used to simulate the performance of the
obtained microstrip layouts. Using the features in the ADS, the designed
layout will be tuned in order to obtain the optimal dimensions.

IV.

Fabrication of Microstrip Layout: The microstrip layout will be


fabricated by using the photolithographic process of etching the FR4
Printed Circuit Board (PCB) to produce the required layout.

3.3

CONCLUSION

Several works and researches have been carried out on microstrip lowpass
filters especially works related to the use of the stepped-impedance method or
variations of it. However despite the availability of several literatures
suggesting the use of the open-circuited stub microstrip filter design approach,
very few works on the design of a microstrip lowpass filter using the opencircuited stub approach was come across. It is the aim of this project to design
and implement the open-circuited stub microstrip low pass filter design and
compare its performance with the more popular stepped-impedance method.

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4 REFERENCES

[1] M. G.L, Y. Leo, and E. M. . Jones, DESIGN OF MICROWAVE FILTERS,


IMPEDANCE-MATCHING NETWORKS, AND COUPLING STRUCTURE.
Stanford Research Institute, 1963.
[2] H. Jia-Sheng and M. J. Lancaster, MICROSTRIP FILTERS FOR
RF/MICROWAVE APPLICATIONS. John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2001.
[3] B. Chris, RF Circuit Design. NEWNES, 1982.
[4] Ian Hunter, Theory and Design of Microwave Filters. University Press,
Cambridge, 2006.
[5] Phani kumar TVB, N. N, and Santhosh Kumar Ch, Microwave Stepped
Impedance LPF Design at 1.2GHz, IJIRSET, vol. 2, no. 11, Nov. 2013.
[6] 62_Microwave.pdf.

[Online].

Available:

http://www.ijirset.com/upload/2013/november/62_Microwave.pdf.
[Accessed: 16-Oct-2016].
[7] Zhewang Ma, Kaneo Nomiyama, and Yoshio Kobayashi, Microstrip
Lowpass Filters with Reduced Size and Improved Stopband Characteristics,
Jan-2005.

[Online].

Available:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/31272012_Microstrip_Lowpass_Fi
lters_with_Reduced_Size_and_Improved_Stopband_Characteristics.
[Accessed: 23-Oct-2016].
[8] Omid Borazjani and Arman Rezaee, Design, Simulation and Construction a
low Pass Microwave Filters on the Micro-Strip Transmission line, Int. J.
Comput. Theory Eng., vol. 4, Oct. 2012.
[9] E. O. Hammerstard and O. Jensen, Accurate models for microstrip
computer-aided design. IEEE MTT-S, 1980.
[10] Seyed Vahab Al-Din MAKKI, Arash AHMADI, Sohrab MAJIDIFAR,
Hossein SARIRI, and Zeynab RAHMANI, Sharp Response Microstrip LPF
12

using Folded Stepped Impedance Open Stubs, RADIOENGINEERING, vol.


22, 2013.
[11] Q. Ashton Acton, PhD, Issues in Electronic Circuits, Devices and
Materials. Atlanta Georgia: ScholarlyEditions, 2011.

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