In recent years, the focus for satellite communication (SATCOM) applications has shifted from coverage to capacity. As a result, SATCOM devices are being pushed to operate at higher bandwidths in the Ka, V, and E bands. At the same time, these devices need to be made increasingly smaller, which means smallsats, or satellites weighing less than 500 kg, are quickly gaining momentum, making size, weight, and power (SWaP) critical design considerations as well.
The millimeter wave (mmWave) part of the electromagnetic spectrum is at the high end of the microwave region, which spans ~300 MHz to 300 GHz, and is usually taken to mean frequencies from ~30 GHz to 300 GHz and wavelengths in the range of 1mm to 1cm (Table 1). This dramatically increases available bandwidth, thus expanding achievable data rates, which makes these frequencies extremely interesting to teams around the world working on fifth generation (5G) communications.
Mark your calendars for Tuesday, September 14th at 11 am EDT, for our new live webinar - Exploring the Impacts of Today’s SATCOM Industry Trends on Tomorrow’s RF Architecture Designs - presented in conjunction with Microwave Journal.
As a guide to some of the important, yet often overlooked, aspects of mmWave phased arrays, we recently partnered with RFMW and Microwave Journal to produce an eBook covering components, testing, and critical requirements. The eBook features articles from Knowles Precision Devices (KPD) and other industry leaders, including Filtronic, Rohde & Schwarz, and MilliBox.
Topics: RF and Microwave
During the first-ever virtual Menlo Micro Switch Summit, Knowles Precision Devices joined John Richardson, founder and president of X-Microwave, and Tom Clickenbeard, applications engineer at Menlo Microsystems, to give a presentation on Prototyping Using X-Microwave’s XM-Blocks with Knowles Precision Devices RF Filters and MEMS Switches.
As early adopters of beamforming technology in the 1960s, aerospace and defense organizations have a lot of experience using the initial large-scale active electronically scanned arrays (AESAs) for military radar tracking applications. But these arrays aren’t as convenient for some applications today as the operational frequencies of the targets of interest for many military applications are increasing. This means the wavelengths of the signals that need to be monitored are getting shorter and these radar applications need denser arrays since antenna spacing needs to be set at one half the wavelength. For example, at 25GHz, the wavelength in free space is approximately 12mm (0.47”), leading to half-wave spacing for antennas of 6mm (0.24”). Also, as arrays become denser, the new challenge for RF system designers is avoiding interference in these tighter spaces, especially when transmitting signals.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2020 was the fifth consecutive year of growth in electric vehicle (EV) sales, and the demand is growing. Based on the first quarter numbers, the Bureau anticipates 2021 sales are on a path to surpass last year’s.
Spectral efficiency, or bandwidth efficiency, tells us about the channel capacity over a 1Hz bandwidth. It is a measure of the efficiency of a physical layer protocol when it comes to utilizing the spectrum available. To understand how spectral efficiency is calculated, it’s first important to understand the Shannon-Hartley Theorem in the context of 5G mmWave applications (which we discussed in an earlier blog post).
In electric vehicle (EV) applications, filter capacitors are a special type of component commonly used as input and output capacitors. Also known as noise suppression or electromagnetic interference (EMI) filters, these particular capacitors act to remove noise and other unwanted signals on the line. On the high voltage alternating current (AC) side of a system, the capacitors often provide EMI filtering, whereas on the direct current (DC) side of a subsystem, they serve to smooth ripple components of the AC and filter out noise.
Looking back, 2020 was a year full of big changes regarding how RF spectrum is allocated in the US. Led by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), multiple portions of the spectrum ranging from the C band to the V band were either opened to new uses and/or auctioned to new users throughout the year. These changes are driving a variety of new opportunities for wireless device manufacturers and broadband and cellular carriers, which is resulting in a range of exciting new challenges for RF technology vendors to help solve.