You are on page 1of 15


Our discussion in this season was essentially on wave propagation in unbounded media,
media of infinite extent. Such wave propagation is said to be unguided in that the
uniform plane wave exists throughout all space and EM energy associated with the
wave spreads over a wide area. Wave propagation in unbounded media is used in radio
or TV broadcasting, where the information being transmitted is meant for everyone
who may be interested. Such means of wave propagation will not help in a situation
like telephone conversation, where the information is received privately by one person.

Transmission lines are commonly used in power distribution (at low frequencies) and
in communications (at high frequencies). Various kinds of transmission lines such as the
twisted-pair and coaxial cables (thinnet and thicknet) are used in computer networks such
as the Ethernet and internet.

A transmission line basically consists of two or more parallel conductors used to

connect a source to a load. The source may be a hydroelectric generator, a transmitter,
or an oscillator; the load may be a factory, an antenna, or an oscilloscope, respectively.
Typical transmission lines include coaxial cable, a two-wire line, a parallel-plate or
planar line, a wire above the conducting plane, and a microstrip line.
These lines shown in figure.1

Fig.1Cross-sectional view of typical transmission lines: (a) coaxial line, (b) two-wire line,
(c) planar line, (d) wire above conducting plane, (e) microstrip line.
To describe a transmission line in terms of its line parameters, which are its resistance
per unit length R, inductance per unit length L, conductance per unit length G, and
capacitance per unit length C. Each of the lines shown in Figure.1has specific formulas
for finding R, L, G, and C. For coaxial, two-wire, and planar lines, the formulas for
calculating the values of R, L, G, and C are provided in Table.1

Table.1 Distributed Line Parameters at High Frequencies*

Note that:

1. The line parameters R, L, G, and C are not discrete or lumped but distributed as
shown in Figure 2. By this we mean that the parameters are uniformly distributed along
the entire length of the line.
2. For each line, the conductors are characterized by ac, /*c, ec = eo, and the
homogeneous dielectric separating the conductors is characterized by a, fi, e.
3. G + MR; R is the ac resistance per unit length of the conductors comprising the line
and G is the conductance per unit length due to the dielectric medium separating the
4. The value of L shown in Table.1 is the external inductance per unit length; that is, L
= Lext. The effects of internal inductance Lm (= Rlui) are negligible as high frequencies
at which most communication systems operate.
5. For each line
Figure .2 Distributed parameters of a two-conductor transmission line


A transmission line usually connects a source on one end to a load on
the other end . we need to develop equations that describe the
voltage across the transmission line and the current carried by the
line as a function of time t and spatial position z. using the equivalent
circuit of lumped-element model describe in fig.3

Fig.3 L-type equivalent circuit model of a differential length

Az of a two-conductor transmission line.
After derivations we obtain the following pair of equations:

These are the telegraphers equations in phasor form.

Wave equation for Vs(z) and Is(z

Complex propagation

Where a is the attenuation constant (in nepers per meter or decibels2 per meter), and (3
is the phase constant (in radians per meter). The wavelength and wave velocity u are:

Wave equation for Vs(z) and Is(z

The characteristic impedance Zo of the line is the ratio of

positively traveling
voltage wave to current wave at any point on the line.

where Ro and Xo are the real and imaginary parts of Zo. Ro should not be mistaken for
R—while R is in ohms per meter; Ro is in ohms. The propagation constant y and the
characteristic impedance Zo are important properties of the line because they both
depend on the line parameters R, L, G, and C and the frequency of operation. The
reciprocal of Zo is the characteristic admittance Yo, that is, Yo = 1/ZO.
4.The lossless Transmission Line
A. Lossless Line (R = 0 = G)

A transmission line is said lo be lossless if the conductors of the line are perfect
and the dielectric medium separating them is lossless .

B. Distortionless Line {R/L = G/C)

A signal normally consists of a band of frequencies; wave amplitudes of different

frequency components will be attenuated differently in a lossy line as a is frequency
dependent. This results in distortion .A distortionless line is one in which the
attenuation constant a is frequency independent while the phase constant .is linearly
dependent on frequency.
Note that:
1. The phase velocity is independent of frequency because the phase constant . linearly
depends on frequency. We have shape distortion of signals unless a and u are
independent of frequency.

2. u and Zo remain the same as for lossless lines.

3. A lossless line is also a distortionless line, but a distortionless line is not necessarily
lossless. Although lossless lines are desirable in power transmission, telephone
lines are required to be distortionless.


Consider a transmission line of length L, characterized by y and Zo, connected to a load
ZL as shown in Figure 4. Looking into the line, the generator sees the line with the load
as an input impedance Zin. It is our intention to determine the input impedance,
the standing wave ratio (SWR), and the power flow on the line.
After derivations we obtain the following:

The voltage reflection coefficient at any point on the line is the ratio of the magnitude
of the reflected voltage wave to that of the incident wave
The current reflection coefficient at any point on the line is negative of the voltage
reflection coefficient at that point.

we define the standing wave ratio s (otherwise denoted

by SWR) as


The input impedance Zin has maxima and minima

So a transmission is used in transferring power from the source to the load. The average
input power at a distance L from the load is given by an equation that is:

We have:
The first term is the incident power Pi while the second term is the reflected power Pr.
Thus previous eq. may be written as

where Pt is the input or transmitted power and the negative sign is due to the negative
going wave since we take the reference direction as that of the voltage/current traveling
toward the right.

6.Special Cases of the Lossless Line

A. Short circuit line with

B. Open-Circuit Line with

C. Matched Transmission Line with

7. The Smith Chart (Graphical Method)
Transmission line problem often involves manipulations with complex number, making
the time require for solution greater than that need for the same operation on a real
number. To solve this problem using the transmission line chart. Probably the most
widely used one is the Smith Chart.
Basically, this diagram shows curve of constant resistant and constant reactance. these
may represent either an input impedance or a load impedance.
By Substituting in previous eq. gives

Normalizing and equating components, we obtain

Rearranging terms in eq. to

Each of eqs. is similar to

which is the general equation of a circle of radius a, centered at (h, k). Thus eq. is
an r-circle (resistance circle) with



Fig .4 (1) Typical r circles for r = 0,1,0.5,2

(2)Typical X circles for x = 0, ± 1/2,±1, ±2, ±5, ±oo.


Fig.5 (1) the smith chart contains the constant r-circular and X-circular
(2) Illustration of the r-, x-, and ^-circles on the Smith chart
8. Application of Short-Circuit and Open-Circuit
Measurements (Special cases)

A. Lines of Length

For the special case where βl = nπ where n is an integer (meaning that the length of
the line is a multiple of half a wavelength), the expression reduces to the load
impedance so that

for all n. This includes the case when n = 0, meaning that the
length of the transmission line is negligibly small compared to the wavelength. The
physical significance of this is that the transmission line can be ignored (i.e. treated as a
wire) in either case.

B. Quarter-Wave Transformer

For the case where the length of the line is one quarter wavelength long, or an odd
multiple of a quarter wavelength long, the input impedance becomes

C. Matched Transmission Line

Another special case is when the load impedance is equal to the characteristic
impedance of the line (i.e. the line is matched), in which case the impedance reduces to
the characteristic impedance of the line so that

for all l and all λ.

9. Conclusion
A transmission line is the material medium or structure that forms all or part of a path
from one place to another for directing the transmission of energy, such as
electromagnetic waves or acoustic waves, as well as electric power transmission. Types
of transmission line include wires, coaxial cables, dielectric slabs, striplines, optical
fibers, electric power lines, and waveguides.

Normal operating mode is the TEM or quasi-TEM mode (can support TE and TM
modes but these modes are typically undesirable

No cutoff frequency for the TEM mode.

Significant signal attenuation at high frequencies due to conductor and dielectric losses.

The input impedance of a line terminated in a short circuit or open circuit is purely
reactive. This property can be used to design equivalent inductors and capacitors.

The Smith-Chart is a graphical aid in solving high frequency transimission line



1- Fawwaz T.Ulaby, "Fundamental of Applied Electromagntics."Prentice

Hall,2007 .
2- Mathew N.O.Sadiku, "Elements of Electromagntics."Third edition,Oxford
University press 2001 .
3- www.
4- William H. Hayt, Jr. . John A. Buck" Engineering Electromagnetics"
Sixth Edition

Transmission Lines

Ali abdalrhman Al-zyoud


Supervised by
Dr. Omar Al- Saraereh

[25-07- 2010]