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Radiating Systems EE-402 WEEK 7

Non Resonant Transmission Line : The Concept of Traveling DC Waves

A non-resonant transmission line can be defined as a line of infinite length OR that has been terminated properly thru a resistor having value exactly equal to the characteristic impedance of the line. This is also called properly terminated line.

Such a line offers complete absorption of power that is sent thru its transmitting end to its load end. This power is absorbed by the load resistance and any inherent resistance in the line. The voltage and current waves in such a line are called the Traveling Waves and they move in phase with one another from the source to the load end.

Since a non resonant line can be an infinite length line or a line that has a finite length but that is terminated properly, the physical length is not important. In its counterpart, i.e the resonant line, physical length is quite important.

Consider the following diagram of a properly terminated line:

Consider the instant S1 is closed. Immediately a voltage is developed across L1 that offers initial restriction in the current flow, adhering to its nature. At that instant C1 has no charge. After some time, current starts to flow thru L1 and C1 begins to charge.

After some more time, C1 is fully charged and the voltage across ab now appears across cd. At the same time, voltage is developed across L2 and after some time current in the second loop starts to flow as the capacitor C2 begins charging thru L1 and L2.

After sometime, C2 will also charged to the supply DC voltage and voltage across ef will also be equal to voltage across cd. The ammeter shall continuously indicate charging current as the capacitors of all the loops keep on charging.

When all the capacitors shall be charged, the ammeter will still be showing current as the conductive loop will be completed thru the resistor. This current shall continue to flow as long as the switch S1 is closed. As soon as it is opened, this current shall stop flowing.


When the switch is closed, the capacitors shall discharge thru the load resistor in the same manner as they were charged. Can you call the voltage transfer from the source to the load end Traveling Voltage?????


Traveling AC Waves


The Circuit..


The Waveform


As obvious, the change of voltage (i.e the building of positive voltage at the generator end) reaches point A at T3. It reaches point B at T5 and finally point C at T7. The sequence shall be repeated for all the voltage levels of the alternating voltage waveform.


The time for the signal to reach the load end where the line has been properly terminated can be calculated by the formula: t=LC. The validity of this equation shall remain the same no matter whether the signal is AC or DC.


So all of the instantaneous voltages that are produced at the generator travel down the line in the same sequence in which they are generated. If the voltage waveform is plotted at any point along the line, the resulting waveform will be a duplicate of the generator waveform.


As the line is properly terminated, all the power shall be absorbed by the load end and there will not be any reflections of the unabsorbed power in the line.




A resonant transmission line can be defined as a line that has not been properly terminated with a resistor having equal value as of its characteristic impedance. In such a case, unlike the non-resonant transmission line, the line length is critical.


In certain cases such a line is terminated as either a short circuit or an open circuit and this sets some very interesting properties of this line.


DC Applied To an Open Circuited Line


A transmission line of finite length terminated in an open circuit is shown below:


The sequence of events shall be the same. As soon as the switch is closed, the capacitors of the loops shall get charged thru their respective inductors and as a result the applied DC voltage would appear as if it is traveling from the source end to the open circuited load end.


As the voltage reaches point c, the inductor L3 is placed between point c and g. Obviously the voltages shall be equal at point c and g. Hence no current is supposed to flow thru the inductor L3. No current flow means the magnetic field across the inductor L3 must collapse.


Now the inductor opposes any change in the current flow, hence it would oppose this change in current flow due to collapsing magnetic field. The open capacitance C3 would thus be provided with additional charge thru the inductor which tend to oppose the seizure of current due to equipotential points c and g.


Since the energy stored in the magnetic field is equal to the energy stored in the capacitor, the charge on the capacitor gets doubled. This doubling of charge will eventually double the voltage across the capacitor C3. This sequence would follow backwards now.


As a result capacitors C2 and C1 will also get a voltage that is doubled as compared to the applied voltage. This effect would reach the source end and would double the voltage there. This voltage movement in the opposite direction is called reflection.


This reflection occurred in the same polarity as of the original charge. Hence it could be concluded that the reflections from an open circuited line will always be of the same polarity and amplitude as of the original incident voltage wave.


When this reflected voltage reaches the source, the action stops because of the cancellation of the voltages. The current however, is reflected back but with the opposite polarity because when the field across the inductor collapsed, the current dropped to zero.