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Directivity and VSWR Measurements – Understanding Return Loss Measurements

A key performance metric for any microwave or RF network
is how well the impedance of the load matches to the
impedance of the source. This match determines how much
power can be delivered and how much will be reflected
back to the transmitter as measured by the return loss, or
ratio of reflected power to transmitted power. Traditionally
this quality of a component has been described by the
voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR), or ratio of maximum to
minimum voltage of the standing wave on the line before
the component, as this quantity was easier to measure than
return loss before network analyzers became commonplace.
These two parameters answer the same question: how
much power is delivered and how much is reflected from a
device under test (DUT)?

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