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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
Band Frequency (GHz) Application
L 1–2
S 2–4 Marine radar
C 4–8 Commercial use,
X 8 – 12 Military
Ku 12 – 18 Commercial use,
K 18 – 27 Commercial use,
Ka 27 – 40 Military
U 60 – 80
W 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. .

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

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

 Diffraction
The change in propagation direction of waves
due differences in density / velocity of medium.

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

 Reflection
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.

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

which is the true mean earth radius. The parameter which considers wave bending on the earth’s curvature is the K-factor. being spherical. 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 radius of the earth (fictitious radius). . Translation of Various K- Factors Standard Condition K = 4 / 3 normal condition of the atmosphere. that is. appears to the microwave beams to be longer than the true radius. Under his condition. the earth appears flatter because of the tendency of the beam to refract downward in the atmosphere and follow the earth.

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

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 K- Factor of 4 / 3. Translation of Various K- Factors Sub-Standard Condition K = smaller than 4 / 3 (abnormal condition) When K = 1 / 2 the unusual refill condition is also called “earth bulging”. .

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

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

Microwave Transmission Calculations: Path Calculations / Link Budget .

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) .1.

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

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

4. Gain of Parabolic Antenna

English system:

GdB = 7.5 + 20logf GHz + 20logB ft

Metric system:

GdB = 17.8 + 20logf GHz + 20logB m

5. Effective Radiated Power (ERP)

ERP = PT – WL + G

6. Free Space Loss (FSL)

English system:

FSL dB = 96.6 + 20logf GHz + 20logD miles

Metric system:

FSL dB = 92.4 + 20logf GHz + 20logD km

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.

9.114 + 10logBWMHz + FdB . or Absolute) Threshold (NT) Sensitivity Threshold of a Receiver the least or the weakest signal the receiver could accept to be considered satisfactory. NT dBm = . Noise (or Detection.

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

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

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

Unavailability (U) b. System Reliability Rayleigh Reliability Table Fade Reliabilit Outage Margin y (%) (%) (dB) 8 90 10 18 99 1 28 99.1 38 99.0001 a.99 0.9 0.999 0.13.01 48 99.001 58 99. Reliability (R) U = MTTR / (MTBF+MTTR) or Availability R= (1 – U) x 100 % U = DownTime / TotalTime .9999 0.

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

what is its availability? .000 hours and its MTTR is 3 hours.Sample problem #1 If the MTBF of a communications circuit is 20.

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. If each hop has an MTBF of 10.000 hours and an MTTR of 3 hours.

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

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

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

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


a condition of no gain and no loss. .1 √((d1(mi) d2(mi)) / (fGHz Dmi)) F1(m) = 17.6 of F1.3 √((d1(km) d2(km)) / (fGHz Dkmof))the nth Zone Radius Fn = F1 √n For minimum tower height requirement. design your microwave system to 0. Radius of the First Fresnel Zone F1(ft) = 72.

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

Microwave Repeaters Active Passive .

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

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

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

.9 + 40logf GHz + 20logAm2 + 20cosα An antenna with good directivity or narrow beamwidth has the reliability of providing directional gain.Gain of a Passive Repeater English System G dB dB = 22.2 + 40logf GHz GHz + 20logAft ft + 20cosα 2 2 Metric System G dB = 42.

. The operating frequency is 2000 MHz.Sample problem: A plane passive reflector 10 x 16 ft. Is erected 21 miles from one active site and only 1 mile from the other. it is 103 dB. the free space loss for the longer path is 129.5 dB and for the shorter path. By formula. calculate the gain of the passive plane reflector and the net path loss if the included angle is 110 degrees.

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

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

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

4 λ d) / hT .Vertical Space Between Antennas Spacing ft = (43.

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

. 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.

combination of frequency. .6. space and polarization diversity. 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.

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.

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

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

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

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

. 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.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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. A magnetic field ensures a constant electron beam-RF field interaction. .

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

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. It is a cross between the TWT and the magnetron in its operation. (1) kathode (2) anode with resonant- cavities (3) Space-Charge Wheel (4) delaying strapping rings .1.

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

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

. 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.

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

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

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. .

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

Are also widely used as frequency multipliers with multiplication factors up to 10 . and efficiencies approaching 80%. power ratings up to 50W. .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.

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

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