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ECEN480: RF and Microwave Wireless Systems

Chapter 1: Introduction Prof. Kai Chang Office: 208D, Zachry Building Phone:845-5285

Chapter 1: Introduction
Overview of RF & Microwaves Applications of Wireless Technologies

Microwave Required Knowledge

EM Circuit Theory:
Passive Circuits Antennas Propagation Active & Passive Circuits

Solid State Devices

CMOS, MESFET, Diodes, HEMT, HBT, etc.

Related Courses
ELEN 322

MW & Antenna Courses:

EE351 EE453 EE451 EE480 Applied EM Microwave Solid- State Circuits Antenna Systems MW & RF Systems


RF& Microwaves
Cellular Phones

MW Microwave MM-wave 30GHz 1cm Sub-mmw 300GHz 1mm Infrared & Optics Frequency Wavelength

RF 0
300MHz 100cm (1m)

1GHz 30cm

3THz (3000GHz) 100 m

Wireless Radio has been around for a long time, but wireless became a buzz word recently.

Kilohertz - KHz - 103 Hz Megahertz - MHz - 106 Hz Gigahertz - GHz - 109 Hz Terahertz - THz - 1012Hz

RF: radio frequency 0-300MHz (or to 1GHz) Microwave 300MHz- 30GHz (or to 300GHz)

Major Milestones of Wireless Communications

1844 Morse 1864 Maxwell: Wave Equations 1886 Hertz: Radio Wave Propagation Demonstration 1895 Marconi: Wireless telegraph

Hertz and the early history of wireless communications

Hz: Hertz: cycles/sec
Hertz is used as the frequency unit in memory of a German scientist Heinnich Rudolf Hertz who demonstrated (wireless) radio wave propagation (around 60MHz) in a laboratory in 1886. This opened up an era of radio waves. Communications via radio (microwave) began in 1895 when G. Marconi invented the wireless telegraph. Theoretically, the wave equations were derived by Maxwell in 1864 from 4 Maxwells eqs., continuity eq. and constitutive relations. He predicted wave propagation.

Bands of Microwave Frequencies

WG Size

Microwave frequencies are divided into many bands:

L-Band 1 2 GHz S-Band 2 4 GHz C-Band 4 8 GHz X-Band 8 12 GHz Ku-Band 12 18 GHz K-Band 18 26 GHz Ka-Band 26 40 GHz Q-Band 33 50 GHz V-Band 50 75 GHz W-Band 75 110 GHz D-Band 110 170 GHz

0.4 x 0.9 0.14 x 0.28 0.05 x 0.10

Historically, these bands are defined based on the waveguide frequency coverage

Atmosphere Attenuation
For wireless communications, especially during rainy situations (thunder storm), the attenuation in atmosphere could be a concern
Atmosphere Attenuation dB/Km (Clear Sky) (Sea Level) 0.02dB/Km 10GHz 0.1dB/Km Frequency (GHz)






Wired & Wireless

Signals can be transmitted by free space (wireless) or by guided waves using
wire (low RF) waveguide, coaxial, microstrip (MW) optical fiber (Optics)
Wireless: e.g. :Satellite TV Dish
Transmitter /Receiver Transmitter /Receiver

free space Low freq: wire High freq: coaxial cable, optical fiber

Receiver/ Transmitter Receiver/ Transmitter

Cellular Phone

Wired: e.g. :Cable TV Line telephone 10

Some examples of wireless communications

For long distance wireless transmission (short waves or microwaves)
Before 1960 (1)

Ionosphere layer Cloud





6GHz 6GHz

After 1960 (2)


4GHz 4GHz



Some examples of wireless communications (continued)

After 1980: (3)cells
(Base Station) Tower (Base Station) Tower

& cellular phone

Home 900MHz 1.8GHz PCS Cellular Phone


Some examples of wireless communications (continued)

(4) LAN
Computers Cellular Service mini-HUB TVs Applications

(5) RFID
Tag Reader


Communications (Air-Air, Air-Ground, Ground-Air)


(7) Direct Satellite PCS



Some examples of wireless communications (continued)

(7) Direct Satellite PCS (global communications)
Not doing well too expensive

(8) Terrestrial Link

Antenna Tower 5.925-6.425GHz


Applications of Wireless Technologies

CB Radio, terrestrial link, short -wave radio, cellular phone, personal communication network (PCN), global communications, mobile communications, wireless local area network (LAN) (for wireless office), space, aircraft, marine, automobiles, etc. Air traffic control, weather, image, aircraft, ship, collision avoidance, wind -shear, police, intruder detection (sensor), weapon guidance (fire control, smart weapons, missile seekers, etc), ground penetration radar, mine detection, etc.

2.Radar (Radio Detection and Ranging)

Applications of Wireless Technologies (continued)

Global positioning system (GPS), Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), microwave landing system (MLS), Instrument landing system (ILS), Beacon, terrain avoidance, imaging radar, auto-pilot, collision avoidance radar, auto cruise, etc.

4. RF Identification (Remote Identification)

Toll collection (Highway), meter reading, department store, inventory check, security, warehouse, hospital, military - Foe & Friend identification, etc.


Applications of Wireless Technologies (continued)

5. Remote Sensing (Radiometers)
NASA LANDSAT, Earth observatory, Resource monitoring, oil exploration, O-zone monitoring, soil moisture monitoring, forest monitoring, ice-berg detection, etc.

6. Sensors
Military: troop movement, intelligence, surveillance, etc. Industrial: moisture sensors, production sensors, temperature sensors, thickness measurement, robotics, buried pipe detection, pollution sensors, traffic monitoring, pollution sensors, traffic monitoring, tank gauges, ground penetration radar, etc. Consumer Products: Anti -theft, remote control security, automobiles, RFID, etc.

Applications of Wireless Technologies (continued)

7. Surveillance
intruder detection, police radar detection, wideband receivers (passive radar), etc. Military: spy satellite, listening post (using wideband, high sensitivity receivers), etc.

8. Broadcast
Radio, TV, cable TV, etc. Direct Broadcast System (DBS) (satellite users)(18 dish, C-band big dish), global broadcast systems, etc.

Applications of Wireless Technologies (continued)

9. Automobiles
Global positioning system (GPS), keyless entry, antitheft sensors, collision avoidance radar, speed sensors, vehicle identifications, automatic toll collection, intelligent highway, road guidance, traffic control, structure inspection, buried object sensors, etc. Intelligent Vehicle-Highway System (IVHS) : vehicle highway & highway-vehicle communications, Automatic highway, etc. MRI (magnetic Resonance Imaging) Microwave imaging Cancer treatment( hyperthermia localized heating) Sterilization

10. Medical

Applications of Wireless Technologies (continued)

11.Radio Astronomy
Radio telescope: deep space probe ( e.g. the movie Contact by Jodie Foster)

12. Digital: high speed computing 2GHz processor 13. Microwave Power Transmission
DC to RF RF to DC (wireless)

Reasons for using higher Frequencies

1. low frequency bands are not available - occupied 2. Wider Bandwidth Communications : Higher data rate, more channels/users Satellite comm. 10GHz -5% BW=500MHz -2% BW=200MHz Cellular phone 1GHz -5% BW=50MHz -2% BW=20MHz (can have many channels & users, see Table8.2) FM Radio 10MHz -5% BW=500kHz -2% BW=200kHz Voice: requires 4 kHz/channel TV : requires 4-6 MHz/ channel

The large band width is used for multiplicity information transmission of two or more signals within one band (FDMA)

Reasons for using higher Frequencies (continued)

BW=20MHz Channel spacing= 200kHz One BW can have 100 channels 10 users/ channel One BW can have 1000 users

Modulation BW efficiency, High data rate transmission

QPSK 2bits/s/Hz BPSK 1bits/s/Hz Examples: Data rate of 300Mb/sec, QPSK needs 150MHz BW Data rate of 2Gb/sec, QPSK needs 1GHz BW


Reasons for using higher Frequencies (continued)

3. Fast speed for digital communication system (data transmission and processing) 300Mb/sec, 1Gb/sec. 4. Radar Resolution
Better resolution Radar (pulsed) Bigger Doppler shift for CW radar resolution (in m), therefore 1/f. The smaller , the better accuracy Radar cross section frequency Can detect (see) smaller target with better resolution Radar for detecting
Ships- 100MHz to 3GHz Small aircraft > 10 GHz Small object > 30GHz


Reasons for using higher Frequencies (continued)

5. Smaller antenna for the same gain
Gain Gain size (@ the fixed freq.) freq. (@ the fixed size)

6. Less crowded spectrum 7. Less interference because less crowded 8. Smaller & lighter hardware 9. Difficult to jam (Military): since it is difficult to have high power at high frequency

Disadvantage of using higher frequencies

1. more expensive (component & system) 2. technology is not mature need R&D 3. Higher component losses, lower output power, lower efficiency in oscillator & amplifiers worse performance 4. need to use GaAs instead of Si more expensive & lower yield
f<3GHz Si dominates 3GHz<f<10GHz Si or GaAs or Si-Ge f>10GHz GaAs prefered or Si-Ge Low frequency Si High frequency GaAs, Si-Ge Very high frequency GaAs