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Introduction to RF and

Microwave Systems

RF and Microwave Frequency Bands
RF (radio frequency) is used to indicate the
frequency band from hundreds of MHz to about
3 GHz
Microwave frequencies start from 300 MHz
and goes up to 30 GHz, ( wavelength of 1m to
The frequency bands above 30 GHz is called
Millimeter waves, and extend up to 300 GHz.
Its technology is very similar to microwaves.
Electromagnetic Spectrum
Electromagnetic Spectrum (comparable)
What is different about the
RF/Microwave band?

Circuit theory / transmission lines / electromagnetics all needed,
The size of the circuit (lets call it d) for RF and microwave circuits
Question: what relationship between d and exists for (a) low frequency
circuits (kHz range), and (b) optical circuits (where the wavelength is
on the order of m), keeping in mind that the circuits themselves are
all on the order of cm?

Advantages of the use of higher

Larger instantaneous BW for much information,
Higher resolution for radar, imaging and
sensing, bigger doppler shift,
Reduced dimensions for components,
Less interference from nearby applications
Higher speed for digital systems, signal
processing, data transmission
Less crowded spectrum
Difficulty in jamming (military)

Disadvantages of the use of higher

More expensive components,
Higher atmospheric losses,
Reliance on GaAs instead of Si technology
Higher components losses, lower output
powers from active devices,
Less accurate design tools, less mature

RF and Microwave Applications

Wireless Communications (space, cellular
phones, cordless phones, WLANs, Bluetooth,
satellites etc.)
Radar and Navigation (Airborne,vehicle, weather
radars, GPS, MLS, imaging radar etc.)
Remote sensing (Meteorology, mining, land
surface, aviation and marine traffic etc.)
RF Identification (Security, product tracking,
animal tracking, toll collection etc.)
Broadcasting (AM,FM radio, TV etc.)

RF and Microwave Applications

Automobiles and Highways (Collision avoidance, GPS,
adaptive cruise control, traffic control etc.)
Sensors (Temperature, moisture sensors, robotics,
buried object detection etc.)
Surveillance and EW (Spy satellites, jamming, police
radars, signal/radiation monitoring etc.)
Medical (MRI, Microwave Imaging, patient monitoring
Radio Astronomy and Space Exploration (radio
telescopes, deep space probes, space monitoring etc.)
Wireless Power Transmission (Space to space, space to
ground etc. power transmission)

Radiated Power and Safety

Organic tissue absorbs RF and microwave energy and
converts it to heat (e.g. Microwave oven)
This is not a good thing when the tissue is you!
Heating is dangerous to areas such as brain, eyes, and
stomach organs
Radiation may cause cataracts, cancer, and sterility
ANSI/IEEE standard sets safety standard for exposure
limits (e.g. limited to 10 mW/cm2 above 15 GHz where
radiation is absorbed by the skin)
Handheld cell phones limited to maximum radiated
power of 0.76 W, while base stations are limited to 500

The main purpose of the course is to
provide the following questions:
At what upper frequency does conventional
circuit analysis become inappropriate?
What characteristics make the high-frequency
behavior of electric components so different from
low-frequency behavior?
What new circuit theory has to be employed?
How is this theory applied to practical design of
high-frequency analog circuits?
Sample Tranceiver

Power Amplifier: Circuit

Power Amplifier: PCB layout
RF Behavior of Passive Components
Lumped(discrete) or distributed elements: