To provide a better understanding of build-to-print in general and the breadth of our offerings, as well as how our thin-film technology can benefit your applications, we’ve put together a Build-to-Print Basics series. In this final post of our Build-to-Print Basics series, we discuss the quality standards we follow to ensure our components are qualified for military and space grade applications as well as the additional testing or spec design we can perform as needed by our customers.
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.
Today, electronic warfare applications need to detect a wide variety of signals ranging from UHF communications to GPS and other data signals in the L band to high-frequency radar signals that can fall in the X, S, or K bands. Therefore, these receivers need to operate across an extremely wide range of bandwidths to pick up and understand signals anywhere from 300MHz to 20GHz and beyond. However, a basic general wideband antenna isn’t sufficient for these applications because selectivity is needed to determine what you are actually listening to. Additionally, as if the task of designing an ultra-wideband receiver with selectivity wasn’t challenging enough, RF designers are simultaneously facing pressure to reduce the size, weight, and power (SWaP) of these applications as well.
Explosives are dangerous by design. For applications involving detonation, like munition and down-hole exploration, explosives should be built to avoid unintentional or premature detonation caused by any rise in temperature or shock. These applications require a number of specialty components including capacitors that discharge high energy at temperatures up to 200°C.
Topics: Military and Aerospace
Mark your calendars for Thursday, May 13 at 11 AM EDT to join Knowles Precision Devices, Microwave Journal, and RFMW for a live webinar where we will discuss the filtering challenges for digital broadband receivers in electronic warfare applications.
As the RF spectrum becomes more crowded and the number of bandwidth battles grows each year, RF designers are looking for innovative designs that minimize interference while also increasing signal transmission power. Since phased arrays can efficiently maximize gain and signal directivity and minimize interference for both Tx and Rx, adoption of this architecture by RF designers is growing. This means RF designers are also on a quest for phased array filtering options that can help meet the size, weight, and power (SWaP) needs and performance demands required by today’s RF applications. As a result, our engineers have spent a significant amount of time working on an innovative approach that can meet this seemingly impossible combination of requirements.
As an RF engineer, whether you are building a 5G antenna to mount on top of a street light or a satellite that will be launched into space, you are likely being asked to reduce three key factors – size, weight, and power (SWaP). The need to reduce SWaP is becoming increasingly common, but also increasingly tricky, because even though wavelength and the corresponding critical dimensions decrease as frequency goes up, RF circuits generally scale in size and complexity with the wavelengths supported. Thus, it can be really difficult to find companies who are up for the challenge of providing components that are designed to help reduce SWaP
At any given time, there are a multitude of signals at a variety of frequencies streaming all around us. Each device that relies on receiving the proper RF signals such as televisions, radios, radars, medical devices, and cell phones, requires some level of filtering. While all filters have the same basic job – remove unwanted or out-of-band signals – the specific job requirements of each filter vary depending on the RF architecture used and the needs of the final device.
Microwave Journal has released an all new mmWave RF Components Guide. This eBook is a collection of seven articles and white papers written to help you make the best component selections when designing your 5G products, several written by engineering experts here at Knowles. Here’s an overview of what’s included in the eBook.
Over the last four decades, the number of devices that need to maintain mission-critical satellite communications (satcom) has rapidly grown. At the same time, the information transmitted on these devices has become increasingly more complex. As a result, the RF circuit building blocks that make up satcom technology have been through many changes to accommodate the latest advancements in the industry including miniaturization, increased reliability, and the ability to rapidly transmit more complex data.
Let’s explore the following four RF design trends we’ve identified based on our 40-years of expertise in the RF industry that are helping satcom design engineers meet the demands of the many industries relying on their devices today.