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1.2: Book Outline

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    Chapter 2 presents microwave network analysis and in particular \(S\) parameters and other parameters that are useful in design. One of the characteristics of a microwave designer is that they work very well with graphical information about a network. The visual display is the fastest way to convey information to the human brain. A human recognizes patterns very well so it is not surprising that microwave design methods have evolved to make extensive use of graphical means of representing network information, and of design strategies that are based on graphical manipulations. Graphical methods for representing the description of microwave networks are considered in the third chapter of this book, Chapter 3, entitled Graphical Network Analysis. The all important Smith chart is described here. Working knowledge of \(S\) parameters and of Smith charts are the two biggest ‘barriers to entry’ to microwave design. They are the two main topics that must be understood and absorbed before one can become a competent microwave designer or even converse with other engineers about microwave designs. There is no simpler way to describe the intended or actual performance of a microwave circuit design.

    The fourth chapter, Chapter 4, discusses microwave measurements and how information about a network can be interpreted from the graphical display of measured information or from a design solution sketched out on a Smith chart. The Smith chart is the microwave engineer’s ‘back-of-the-envelope’ sketch pad.

    Chapter 5 introduces many novel microwave elements and these rarely have an analog below microwave frequencies. These circuit elements exploit distributed effects, i.e. transmission line effects. Sometimes there are a few low frequency analogs but these were developed by first conceiving the microwave element and then replacing transmission lines by their approximate \(LC\) equivalent circuits. This chapter introduces transmission line stubs, hybrids (which are four-port circuits that route signal power), baluns (which interface balanced and unbalanced circuits), and power combiners and dividers.

    The final two chapters in this book, Chapter 6 on impedance matching, i.e. matching for maximum power transfer, and Chapter 7 on broadband matching are concerned with the design of impedance matching networks, with managing the bandwidth of these networks, and with describing the performance of microwave circuit elements.

    This book is the third volume in a series on microwave and RF design. The first volume in the series addresses radio systems [1] mainly following the evolution of cellular radio. A central aspect of microwave engineering is distributed effects considered in the second volume of his book series [2]. Here the transmission lines are treated as supporting forward- and backward-traveling voltage and current waves and these are related to electromagnetic effects. The fourth volume [3] focuses on designing microwave circuits and systems using modules introducing a large number of different modules. Modules is just another term for a network but the implication is that is is packaged and often available off-the-shelf. Other topics in this chapter that are important in system design using modules are considered including metrics for describing noise, distortion, and dynamic range. Most microwave and RF designers construct systems using modules developed by other engineers who specialize in developing the modules. Examples are filter and amplifier chip modules which once designed can be used in many different systems. Much of microwave design is about maximizing dynamic range, minimizing noise, and minimizing DC power consumption. The fifth volume in this series [4] considers amplifier and oscillator design and develops the skills required to develop modules.

    The books in the Microwave and RF Design series are:

    • Microwave and RF Design: Radio Systems
    • Microwave and RF Design: Transmission Lines
    • Microwave and RF Design: Networks
    • Microwave and RF Design: Modules
    • Microwave and RF Design: Amplifiers and Oscillators

    This page titled 1.2: Book Outline is shared under a CC BY-NC license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Michael Steer.

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