An independent market researcher that provides business intelligence on emerging technologies published a report that discusses the importance of low-loss materials that curb transmission loss during higher performance demands of mmWave 5G applications. Each year, the global deployment of 5G-enabled devices and infrastructure expands, with 98 nations having commercialized 5G or conducting 5G trials in 2022, up from 79 nations in 2021. The developing 5G network introduces two new frequency bands, sub-6 GHz (3.5 – 7 GHz) and mmWave (24 – 71 GHz), the latter of which enables extremely low latency and substantial bandwidth (which allows for higher data throughput). With these advancements come new applications, like smart devices, autonomous vehicles, and remote medical monitoring, that were impossible to access with previous telecommunication technology.
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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Microwave phase shifters are devices that alter the phase of the electromagnetic oscillations at the output of a microwave transmission line, with respect to the phase of the oscillations at the input of the line. The phase of a transmission line can be shifted by increasing the length/time of the transmission line or by altering the wavelength.
In microwave solutions, phase shifters are passive microwave devices that change the phase angle of an RF signal. RF waves can combine to strengthen or weaken a signal, depending on if the waves are identical or different. Identical frequencies will strengthen a signal, whereas opposing ones will weaken it. Phase shifters change the angle of an RF signal so that it doesn’t interfere with the wrong signals. This technology maintains strong performance by providing low insertion loss.
We can understand this concept better by considering noise-cancelling headphones, which use some phase shifting principles. In an audio application, instead of adjusting RF and microwave energy, the shift involves the phase of an audio wave in relationship to another wave. Noise-canceling headphones reduce noise by inserting a sound wave that is 180 degrees out of phase with the surrounding noise. The new sound wave has been shifted to cancel out the first wave, thus reducing the noise you hear.
This noise-cancelling example illustrates an extreme result that we do not typically see in microwave applications. Generally, microwave phase shifters only need to change minor increments of a wavelength to achieve the desired performance results.
Phase shifters are used in a variety of applications, including phase modulators, frequency up-converters, testing instruments and phased array antennas. Radiall designs and manufactures analog phase shifters for microwave components and coaxial phase shifters for space qualified components.
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This article written by Tero Kiuru and Henrik Forstén, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd., Espoo, Finland. Full article is here: Design of a mmWave MIMO Radar | 2021-01-10 | Microwave Journal
Radar uses reflected radio waves to determine the range, angle or velocity of objects. These detection systems, which were once the exclusive domain of the aerospace and defense industry, are now gaining popularity in the consumer industry, most notably for automotive radar applications used in adaptive cruise control and autonomous driving assistance systems.
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