Microwave Communications

 Signals with a frequency greater than 1 GHz.
 The microwave region is generally
considered to extend to 300 GHz.
 Point-to-point communications.
 Utilize the line of sight path, which means
the two antennas (for transmitter and
receiver) should see each other (no

Microwave Radio-Frequency

Frequency (GHz)






Marine radar



Commercial use,


8 – 12



12 – 18

Commercial use,


18 – 27

Commercial use,


27 – 40



60 – 80


80 – 100

Types of Microwave Paths  Line of Sight (LOS) Path  Grazing Path  Obstructed Path .

 Line of Sight (LOS) Path No obstruction exists and antennas could see each other. .

 Grazing Path The microwave beam barely touches the obstruction. zero clearance. .

 Obstructed Path The microwave beam is hindered by an obstruction. .

Factors Affecting Microwave Energy  Fading  Refraction  Absorption  Diffraction  Attenuation  Reflection   Ducting and Thermal Inversion  Earth Búlge .

. Fading Variation of field strength caused by changes in transmission medium.

pressure. Refraction Change in direction due to changes in transmission densities. water vapor. . temperature.

. Absorption Energy loss due to absorption of wave by atmospheric elements such as rain. clouds and vapors. snow. oxygen.


change in propagation direction of waves
differences in density / velocity of medium.

A decrease in intensity
of energy to spreading
of energy, transmission
line losses or path
losses between two

Occur when waves strike smooth surfaces.

  Ducting and Thermal Inversion Trapped waves bounce back and forth in a duct caused by temperature and humidity inversion. .

 Earth Búlge Earth’s curvature presents LOS obstruction and must be compensated using 4/3 earth radius for atmospheric bending of waves. .

Could be fitted with anti-jam equipment. Forward error correction and hitless switching. 6. Carry wideband circuits for high speed data. 5. 3. adaptive modems and other accessories.Advantages of Microwave Communications 1. Large information handling capacity (256 – 9600 kbps) 2. 7. Lower power consumption 4. Microprocessor controlled pre-detection combing. high quality voice channels. . High reliability through diversity techniques.

being spherical. The parameter which considers wave bending on the earth’s curvature is the K-factor. which is the true mean earth radius.Earth Curvature on RF Propagation  The earth. K = r / ro .  K-Factor Unitless value which is the ratio of a hypothetical effective earth radius over 6370km. limits the distance of which of line of sight in possible.

the earth appears flatter because of the tendency of the beam to refract downward in the atmosphere and follow the earth. that is. the radius of the earth (fictitious radius). Under his condition. Translation of Various KFactors Standard Condition K = 4 / 3 normal condition of the atmosphere. . appears to the microwave beams to be longer than the true radius.

it is flat) in an effective earth’s curvature. Translation of Various KFactors Super-Standard Condition (SuperRefraction) K = bigger than 4 / 3 (abnormal condition) When this condition results flattening of the equivalent (When K = infinity. .

 Translation of Factors Sub-Standard Various KCondition K = smaller than 4 / 3 (abnormal condition) When K = 1 / 2 the unusual refill condition is also called “earth bulging”. . Other K-Factor values are used with the conditions of the link are known to be serve or difficult to propagate over. Typical microwave links are based on a KFactor of 4 / 3.

Path Profiling  Radio Path Profile Shows the cross-section” of the earth’s surface where the radio path passes over. 100 and 400 feet on the vertical. 2. Normally scaled at 4. . or 1 mile inch on the horizontal and 25. Determines the actual clearance along the path. antenna heights and overall reliability.

 Topographical Maps Graph showing contour lines. . elevations and distances between two points are known. thereby.

Microwave Transmission Calculations: Path Calculations / Link Budget .

1. Consider the following for K-Factor of 4/3: Height of a microwave system hT(ft) = (d1(mi) x d2(mi)) / 2 (hT / d1) – (d1 / 2) = (hR / d2) – (d2 / 2) .

2. Transmitter Output (dB) PT(dBμ ) = 10log (PT / 1μW) PT(dBW) = 10log (PT / 1W) PT(dBm) = 10log (PT / 1mW) .

ft . ft) x m.3. Waveguide Loss (WL) WL = (dB / m.

4. Gain of Parabolic Antenna

English system:

GdB = 7.5 + 20logf


+ 20logB

Metric system:

GdB = 17.8 + 20logf


+ 20logB



5. Effective Radiated Power (ERP)

ERP = PT – WL + G

6. Free Space Loss (FSL)

English system:



= 96.6 + 20logf


+ 20logD



+ 20logD


Metric system:



= 92.4 + 20logf

Net Path Loss (NPL) NPL dB = Total Losses – Total Gains .7.

Received Signal Level (RSL) RSL dB = PTdBm – NPLdB RSL=Transmitter Output – Waveguide Loss (Tx) +Antenna Gain (Tx) – FSL + Antenna Gain (Rx) – Waveguide Loss (Rx) .8.

Noise (or Detection. NT dBm = .9. or Absolute) Threshold (NT) Sensitivity Threshold of a Receiver the least or the weakest signal the receiver could accept to be considered satisfactory.114 + 10logBWMHz + FdB .

10. FM Improvement (or Practical) Threshold (IT) IT dBm = -104 + 10logBWMHz + FdB .

in case the RSL (Received Signal Level) encounters fading.11. FM dB = RSL dBm . Fade Margin (FM) A margin for fading.IT dBm . an allowance (or reservation) in dB.

12. SG = PT(dBm) . System Gain (SG) The difference between the nominal output power of a transmitter and the minimum input power required by a receiver.IT dBm .

Reliability (R) or Availability R= (1 – U) x 100 % . Unavailability (U) U = MTTR / (MTBF+MTTR) U = DownTime / TotalTime b.99 0.1 38 99.0001 a.9 0.01 48 99. System Reliability Rayleigh Reliability Table Fade Margin (dB) Reliabilit y (%) Outage (%) 8 90 10 18 99 1 28 99.13.001 58 99.999 0.9999 0.

In short. the total outage is the summation of each hop and reliability is 100 % . the probability of an equipment or system being operational is: 100% minus the Probability of being non-operational. .Total Outage. Total System Reliability The overall system reliability is the product of all individual reliabilities.For Multi-hop Propagation    The Outage For multi-hop propagation .

what is its availability? .Sample problem #1 If the MTBF of a communications circuit is 20.000 hours and its MTTR is 3 hours.

If each hop has an MTBF of 10. what is the MTTR and reliability of the route? Assume that the failure occur at different periods of time.Sample problem #2 A long distance telephone company employs five microwave radio hops over a single route to link two important cities. .000 hours and an MTTR of 3 hours.

st Fresnel Zone 1st nd Fresnel Zone 2nd rd Fresnel Zone 3rd .Fresnel Zones  Are concentric circular zones about the direct path of a microwave signal forming a threedimensional imaginary solid called an ellipsoid.

when the reflected path on onehalf wavelength longer than the direct path. .st Fresnel Zone 1st st The radius of the circular zone is in the 1 st Fresnel zone.

nd Fresnel Zone 2nd nd The radius of the circular zone is in the 2 nd Fresnel zone. when the reflected path is two (2) one-half wavelength longer than the direct path. (or one wavelength longer) .

. when the reflected path is three (3) one-half wavelength longer than the direct path (or 1 ½ wavelength longer).rd Fresnel Zone 3rd rd The radius of the circular zone is in the 3 rd Fresnel zone.


1 √((d1(mi) d2(mi)) / (fGHz Dmi)) F1(m) = 17.3 √((d1(km) d2(km)) / (fGHz Radius Dkmof))the nth Zone Fn = F1 √n For minimum tower height requirement. .6 of F1. design your microwave system to 0. a condition of no gain and no loss.Radius of the First Fresnel Zone F1(ft) = 72.

Calculate the following: a. Fresnel zone diameter .Sample problem: A single hop microwave system has the following information: operating frequency 4 GHz receive/transmit antenna diameter hop distance 20 miles transmitter output power 1 watt receiver threshold-78 dBm 3 ft. Fade margin and estimated percent reliability d. System gain c. Free space loss b.

Microwave Repeaters Active Passive .

1. . Active intercepts. amplifies and retransmits the signal. Provides gain. (55 to 105 dB higher than the received power) and frequency change (252MHz).

Types of Active Repeaters Baseband Repeater IF Heterodyne Repeater RF Heterodyne Repeater .

demodulated. amplified in the baseband frequency and remodulated. Typical output power is 1 watt Offers possibility to drop or insert channel. .Baseband Repeater It is amplified.

IF Heterodyne Repeater Improved noise performance Typical output power is 5 watts. .

.RF Heterodyne Repeater Amplification is provided directly at microwave frequency.

.2. Passive Bounces the signal from one direction to another.

Types of Passive Repeaters Billboard Back to Back Passive .

Billboard Flat metal type used to reflect microwave signals. Acts as a microwave mirror with no power needed. .

.Back to Back Passive Uses two standard antenna dishes directly joined by a short length of waveguide.

Gain of a Passive Repeater English System G dB dB = 22. .9 + 40logf 20cosα GHz + 20logAm2 + An antenna with good directivity or narrow beamwidth has the reliability of providing directional gain.2 + 40logf GHz GHz 2 2 + 20logAft ft + 20cosα Metric System G dB = 42.

Sample problem: A plane passive reflector 10 x 16 ft. calculate the gain of the passive plane reflector and the net path loss if the included angle is 110 degrees.5 dB and for the shorter path. Is erected 21 miles from one active site and only 1 mile from the other. The operating frequency is 2000 MHz. By formula. the free space loss for the longer path is 129. it is 103 dB. .

.Diversity Reception A method of utilizing 2 or more receivers to reduce fading or increase reliability of the system.

Methods of Diversity Reception Frequency Diversity Space Diversity Polarization Diversity Hybrid Diversity Angle Diversity Quadrature Diversity .

CrossBand Diversity – variation of frequency diversity. . over the same path. Two waves at different frequency travel the same path in a multipath fade.1. Frequency Diversity Signal is transmitted on two (2) different frequencies (properly spaced). Frequency separation are entirely of different band allocations.

on the same frequency. Space Diversity Signal is transmitted over two different paths (vertically spaced several wavelength apart).2. .

Minimized Multipath Fading c. Frequency Conservation b.Advantages of Space Diversity a. More towers required c. Costly b. Disadvantages of Space Diversity a. Compensation for Electrical Differences Between Direct and Reflected Waves. Availability of Sufficient Signal Output d. Concept does always work as intended .

Vertical Space Between Antennas Spacing ft = (43.4 λ d) / hT .

Polarization Diversity Using dual polarization (vertically and horizontally). It requires feedhorn reorientation and is applied to paths beyond LOS as in troposcatter systems. .3. (or obstructed path). Applied to microwave system beyond L-O-S path.

. Hybrid Diversity A special combination of frequency and space diversity.4.

Angle Diversity Is the transmission of information at two or more slightly different angles resulting to two or more oaths based on illuminating different scatter volumes in troposcatter systems. .5.

Quadrature Diversity The condition where four signals carrying the same information (whose system employs the combination of space or polarization or frequency diversity technique) are available in the receiver. .6. space and polarization diversity. combination of frequency.

Types of Microwave Antennas Direct Radiating Antenna High Performance / Shrouded Cross Band Parabolic Antenna Horn Reflected Antenna Periscope Arrangement .

. illuminated by a feed horn at its focus. Direct Radiating Antenna Consist of parabolic antenna with parabolic dish.a.

except that they include a cylindrical shield to improve the front-toback ratio and the wide angle radiation discrimination. High Performance / Shrouded Similar to the common parabola. .b. Gain efficiency is lower than ordinary parabolic antennas.

Shroud a metal wrapped around the antenna aperture to eliminate side lobes which may cause interference to nearby microwave stations. .

Radome a non-metallic (canvass) covering in a parabolic antenna for protection against strong wind velocity. ice accumulation is prevented by the use of heated radome. In cold places. .

. Very complex and critical feed assemblies.c. Cross Band Parabolic Permits operation into two widely separate bands. have lower gains and poorer VSWR than single band antennas.

.d. Horn Reflected Antenna Contains a section of large parabola mounted such as an angle that the energy feedhorn is simultaneously focused and reflected at right angles. good VSWR and can be used for multi-band operation on both polarization but offers some moding and distortion problems particularly at higher frequencies. It provides a good front-to-back ratio.

Periscope Arrangement is a combination of a reflector mounted on a tower and the parabolic antenna below. . The spacing between the antenna and the reflector should be in the near field. Use the 150 feet and beyond.f.

curved 5. flat 4. Rectangular. Rectangular.Shapes of Reflector 1. Elliptical. Flyswatter . curved 3. Elliptical. flat 2.

Microwave Components and Devices General Types of Microwave Tubes Klystron Magnetron Travelling Wave Tube (TWT) .

.1. Velocity Modulation – The bunching of the electrons within the klystron caused by changing their rate of speed (velocity). Interaction between an electron beam and an RF voltage. It is used as an oscillator or amplifier in microwave transmitters and ◦ receivers. Klystro ◦ An electron tube in n which the electrons are periodically bunched by electric fields.

Two Types of Klystron Cavity Reflex Klystron High Power Multicavity Klystron .

Cavity Reflex Klystron operates as a low power RF oscillator in the microwave region.a. .

b. used extensively in fixed radar installations and in UHF television. The size and shape of The size and shape of multicavity klystron largely determine their operating frequency and power handling capability. . smaller klystrons operate at higher frequencies and large klystrons have the higher power handling capability. High Power Multicavity Klystron two or more cavities.

A magnetic field ensures a constant electron beam-RF field interaction.2. Magnetro A diode vacuum tube n used as a microwave oscillator in radar and microwave ovens to produce powers up to the megawatt range. .

Travelling Wave Tube (TWT) A microwave power amplifier with very wide bandwidth. . An electric field is used to ensure the interaction between the electron beam and the RF field is continuous.3.

Other Microwave Tubes Crossed-Filled Amplifier (CFA) Backward-Wave Oscillator (BWO) Twystron Extended Interaction Amplifier (EIA) .

Crossed-Filled Amplifier (CFA) A microwave power amplifier based on the magnetron and looking very much like it.1. (1) kathode (2) anode with resonantcavities (3) Space-Charge Wheel (4) delaying strapping rings . It is a cross between the TWT and the magnetron in its operation.

It looks like a shorter. .2. Backward-Wave Oscillator (BWO) A CW oscillator with an enormous tuning and overall frequency coverage range. generally using a helix slow – wave structure. TWT. thicker. It operates on TWT principles of electron beam-RF field interaction.

Twystron A hybrid combination of klystron driver and TWT output section in tandem with the same envelope.3. .

Extended Interaction Amplifier (EIA) A multicavity klystron with interconnected multigap cavities. .4.

Semiconductor Microwave Devices and Circuits Passive Microwave Circuits Stripline Microstrip Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) Devices .

Stripline consists of flat metallic ground planes. separated by a thickness of dielectric in the middle of which a thin metallic strip has been buried.1. .

lending itself well to printed circuit and thin film techniques. . Microstrip has the advantage over stripline in being simpler construction and easier integration with semiconductor devices.2.

3. . Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) use solid piezoelectric materials at frequencies in the VHF and UHF regions.

Microwave Solid State Devices Point-contact and Schottky or Hot-carrier Diodes Varactor Diodes or Variable Capacitance Diodes Step-recovery or Snap-off Diode Gunn Diode Metal Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor (MESFET) IMPATT and TRAPATT Parametric Amplifier .

.1. Point-contact and Schottky or Hot-carrier Diodes Widely used as mixers in microwave equipment as they have low capacitance and inductance.

Varactor Diodes or Variable Capacitance Diodes Widely used as microwave frequency multipliers.2. . Multiplication factors of 2 and 3 are common with power levels up to 20W and efficiencies up to 80%.

power ratings up to 50W. and efficiencies approaching 80%.3. Step-recovery or Snap-off Diodes Junction diodes which can store energy in their capacitance and then generate harmonics by releasing a pulse of current. Are also widely used as frequency multipliers with multiplication factors up to 10 . .

simple low power oscillators with frequencies up to 50GHz are easily implemented. . stripline. Gunn Diode A microwave semiconductor device used to generate microwave energy.4. or resonant cavity. When combined with a microstrip.

5. . Replaced parametric amplifiers in the lightweight applications. MESFET (Metal Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor) is used in the microwave band as amplifiers and oscillators.