Acronyms Used by the RF/Microwave Industry: Part I

The microwave industry’s fairly recent shift from a military to a commercial market focus has resulted in an alphabet soup of new acronyms that can confuse all but the most knowledgeable experts. Reading some of today’s technical papers can be a frustrating experience without an up-to-date reference manual. During the past few years, acronyms used in Microwave Journal articles have been recorded and defined on an ever-growing list that has proved enormously helpful to the publication’s staff. Several requests have been received for this list to be made available to readers, so part one of the two-part list follows.

ACC adaptive cruise control
ACP adjacent-channel power
ACPR adjacent-channel power rejection
ACPR adjacent-channel protection ratio
ACPW assymetrical coplanar waveguide
ACW autonomous collision warning system
ADC analog-to-digital converter
ADEOS advanced Earth observation satellite
ADPCM adaptive differential pulse-code modulation
ADS automatic debiting system
(auto toll collecting)
ADSL asymmetric digital subscriber loop
AGC automatic gain control
AICC autonomous intelligent cruise control
AM amplitude modulation
AMF automated module fabrication
AMPS Advanced Mobile Phone Service/System
ANA automatic network analyzer
ANSI American National Standards Institute
AO acoustic-optical
APC American Personal Communications
ARBF adaptive radial basis function
ARDIS Advanced Radio Information Service
ARFCN absolute radio frequency channel number
ARMA autoregressive moving average
ARO active resonator oscillator
ASAP Airborne Shared Aperture Program
ASH amplifier-sequenced hybrid
ASIC application-specific integrated circuit
ASK amplitude shift keying
ASV advanced safety vehicle system
ATC air traffic control
ATDE adaptive time domain equalizer
ATE automatic test equipment
ATM asynchronous transfer mode
ATM air traffic management
ATPC automatic transmit power control
AUC authentication center
AVI automatic/advanced vehicle identification
AVLN automatic vehicle location and navigation
AWG arbitrary waveform generator
AWG American Wire Gauge (standard)
AWGN additive white Gaussian noise
AWNV all-weather and night vision system
BAW bulk acoustic wave
BCH broadcast channel
BCM block-coded modulation
BEM boundary element method
BER bit error rate
BERT bit error rate tester
BFL buffered field-effect transistor logic
BIFODEL binary fiber-optic delay line
BoM bill of materials
BPSK binary phase-shift keying
BSC base station controller
BSS base station system
BTS base transceiver stations
C-AFM calibrated atomic force microscope
CATV community antenna television
CCD charge-coupled device
CCDF complementary cumulative distribution function
CDF cumulative distribution function
CDMA code-division multiple access
CDPD Cellular Digital Packet Data
CE Conformite Europeene
(European EMC standard)
CEPT Conference on European Posts and Telegraphs
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
C/I carrier-to-intermodulation products
CIM computer-integrated manufacturing
CMOS complementary metal-oxide semiconductor
CMRF combined-mode resonator filter
CMS combined symbol matching
CNR carrier-to-noise ratio
CNS/ATM Communication and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management
COFCM coded orthogonal frequency division multiplex
COHO coherent oscillator
COPS complex operations per second
COTS commercial off the shelf
CPU central processing unit
CPW coplanar waveguide
CQFP ceramic quad flat pack
CRC cyclic redundancy check
CREAM cosmic radiation effects and activation monitors
CSL coupled slot antenna
CSM combined symbol matching
CSMA/CD carrier sense multiple access/collision detection
CSO composite second order
CT cordless telephone
CT-2 cordless telephone–second generation
CTB composite triple beat
CTE coefficient of thermal expansion
CTR common technical regulations
CVD chemical vapor deposition
CVDL continuously variable delay line
CW continuous wave
DAB digital audio broadcast
DAC digital-to-analog converter
D-AMPS Digital Advanced Mobile Phone Service
DAQ data acquisition
DBF digital beamforming
DBS direct-broadcast service
DBS direct-broadcast satellite
DCFL direct-coupled field-effect transistor logic
DCS1800 digital communication system at 1800 MHz
DDS direct digital synthesis
DECT Digital European Cordless Telephone/Telecommunications
(1880 to 1900 MHz)
DESC Defense Electronic Supply Center
DF direction finding
DFB distributed feedback
DFD digital frequency discriminator
D-FET depletion-mode field-effect transistor
DFT discrete Fourier transform
DGPS Differential Global Positioning System
DLRU decoy launch/recovery unit
DLVA detector log video amplifier
DMSP Defense Meteorological Satellite Program
DMR dual-mode resonators
DMUX demultiplexer
DNL dynamic/differential nonlinearity
DPSK differential phase-shift keying
DQPSK differential quadrature phase-shift keying
DRFM digital radio frequency memory
DRRS digital radio relay system
DS direct sequence
DSO digital storage oscilloscope
DSP digital signal processor/processing
DSSS direct-sequence spread spectrum
DTF distance to fault
DTX discontinuous transmission
DUT device under test
DVB digital video broadcasting
DWC digital wireless communications
EC European Community
ECB enhanced cellular base station
ECC error correction code
ECC embedded communication channel
ECL emitter-coupled logic
ECM electronic countermeasure
E/D enhancement/depletion (mode)
ED electrodeposited
EDA electronic design automation
EDFA erbium-doped fiber amplifier
EEA EU and EFTA merge unit
EEC European Economic Community
EEPROM electrically erasable programmable read-only memory
E-FET enhancement-mode field-effect transistor
EFTA European Free Trade Area
(Austria, Finland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland)
EGI embedded global positioning satellite inertial navigation system
EHF extra-high frequency
EHTPS extra-high tension power supply
EIA/TIA Electronics Industry Association/Telecommunications Industry Association
EIN equivalent input noise
EIR equipment identity register
EIRP effective isotropic radiated power
ELINT electronic intelligence
EMC electromagnetic compatibility
EMI electromagnetic interference
EMR electromagnetic radiation
ENG electronic news gathering
EPROM erasable programmable read-only memory
ERMES European radio message system
ERP effective radiated power
ESL equivalent series inductance
ESM electronic support measure
ESR electron spin resonance
ESR equivalent series resistance
ETACS Extended Total Access Communications System (British cellular)
ETC electronic toll collecting
ETS European Telecommunications Standard
ETSI European Telecommunication Standards Institute
ETTM electronic toll and traffic management
EU European Union
EVM error vector magnitude
EW electronic warfare
FANS future air navigation system
FAR false alarm rate
FBW fractional bandwidth
FCC Federal Communications Commission
FDD frequency-division duplexing
FDDI fiber-distributed data interface
FDFD finite-difference frequency domain
FDM frequency-division multiplex
FDMA frequency-division multiple access
FDR frequency-domain reflectometry
FDTD finite-difference time domain
FEC forward error correction
FEM finite element method
FEP fluorethylene propylene
FET field-effect transistor
FFO fixed-frequency oscillator
FFT fast Fourier transform
FH frequency hopping
FHMA frequency-hop multiple access
FHSS frequency-hopping spread spectrum
FIR finite-duration impulse response
FLC ferroelectric liquid crystals
FLOP floating octal points
FLR forward-looking radar
FM frequency modulation
FMCW frequency-modulated continuous wave (radar)
FO fiber optic
FPGA field-programmable gate array
FRA fixed radio access
FSCS frequency-selective conducting surface
FSK frequency-shift keying
FSS frequency-selective surface
GAM Global Positioning System-aided munitions
GBR ground-based radar
GEO geostationary Earth orbit
GFSK Gaussian frequency-shift keying
GLONASS Global Navigation Satellite System (Russian)
GMDSS Global Maritime Distress Signal System
GMSK Gaussian-filtered minimum-shift keying
GPIB general-purpose interface bus
GPR ground-penetrating radar
GPRS General Packet Radio Service
GPS Global Positioning System/Satellite
GSM Global System for Mobile communications
GSM-900 Group Speciale Mobile (European GSM)
G/T receive antenna gain divided by noise temperature
HARM high speed antiradiation missile
HBT heterojunction bipolar transistor
HDSL high bit-rate digital subscriber line
HDTV high definition television
HEMT high electron mobility transistor
HFC hybrid fiber/coax
HFET heterostructure field-effect transistor
HGA high gain antenna
HLR home location register
HMIC hybrid microwave integrated circuit
HTS high temperature superconductor
IBW instantaneous bandwidth
IC integrated circuit
IDECM integrated defense electronic countermeasures
IDFT inverse discrete Fourier transform
IDT interdigital transducer
IEC International Electrotechnical Commission
IF intermediate frequency
IFF identification friend or foe
IFM instantaneous frequency measurement
IGBT insulated-gate bipolar transistor
IGFET insulated-gate field-effect transistor
IM intermodulation
IMD intermodulation distortion
IMDN Intelligent Mobile Data Network
IMEI international mobile equipment identity
IMP intermodulation products
IMPATT impact avalanche and transit time
IMR intermodulation rejection
IMSI international mobile subscriber identity
INMARSAT International Maritime Satellite (organization)
INS inertial navigation system
IPBO input power backoff
IPC Institute for Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits
IPS integrated power systems
IQ inphase/quadrature
IR infrared
IRA impulse radiating antennas
IS-95 North American cellular standard
ISAR inverse synthetic-aperture radar
ISDN integrated services digital network
ISI intersymbol interference
ISM industrial, scientific and medical
(frequency bands)
ISO International Standards Organization
ITS intelligent transportation systems
ITU International Telecommunication Union
IVHS Intelligent Vehicle Highway System
JDC Japan Digital Cellular
JEDEC Joint Electronic Device Engineering Council
JFET junction field-effect transistor
JPEG Joint Picture Experts Group
(compression standard)
KGD known-good die
LAN local area network
LAO LaAlO3 (substrate)
LC inductor/capacitor
LCD liquid-crystal display
LD laser diode
LEC liquid encapsulated Czochralski
(semi-insulating substrate)
LEO low earth orbit (satellite)
LHCP left-hand circular polarization
LIDAR light direction and ranging
LMS location and monitoring services
LNA low noise amplifier
LNBF low noise block feed
LO local oscillator
LOS line of sight
LPE lowpass equivalent
LPF lowpass filter
LPI low probability of intercept
LRRM line-reflect-reflect-match
LSG large-signal gain
LTCC low temperature cofired ceramic
LTP long-term predictor
MBA multibeam antenna
MBE molecular beam epitaxy
MCE manufacturing cycle efficiency
MCF message communication function
MCL microstrip constrained lens
MCM multichip module
MCPA multicarrier power amplifier
MCPW microstrip coplanar waveguide
MCT metal-oxide semiconductor-controlled thyristor
MDS multipoint distribution system
MEADS medium extended air defense system
MESFET metal semiconductor field-effect transistor
MEO medium earth orbit (satellite)
MIM metal-insulator-metal (capacitor)
MIMIC millimeter-wave and microwave integrated circuit (program)
MIR microwave impulse radar
MLC main lobe clutter
MLCM multilevel coded modulation
MLDD matched-line directional divider
MMC metal-matrix composite
MMI man-machine interface
MMIC monolithic microwave integrated circuit
MMW millimeter wave
MOCVD metal-organic chemical vapor deposition
MODEM modulator/demodulator
MoM method of moments
MOS metal-oxide semiconductor
MPEG Motion Pictures Experts Group
MPIE mixed potential integral equation
MPM microwave power module
MQW multiquantum well
MQW-FP multiquantum well Fabry-Perot optical transmitter
MS mobile station
MSBVW magnetostatic backward volume waves
MSC mobile switching center
MSFVW magnetostatic forward volume waves
MSMT micro surface-mount technology
MSS mobile satellite system
MSSW magnetostatic surface waves
MSW magnetostatic wave
MTA microwave transition analyzer
MTBF mean time between failures
MTD moving-target detection
MTI moving-target indicator
MTTF mean time to failure
MU minimum stability factor
MUNDI multiplexed network for distributed and interactive services (UK)
MUX multiplexer
MVDS multipoint video distribution system
NADC North American Dual-mode
(or Digital-mode) Cellular
N-AMPS narrowband Advanced Mobile Phone System/Service
NEMA National Electrical Manufacturers Association
NGA noise gain analyzer
NIST National Institute of Standards and Technology
NMC network management center
NMR nuclear magnetic resonance
NODS near obstacle detection system
NPR noise power ratio
NPRM notice of proposed rule making
NQR nuclear quadrupole resonance
NRZ nonreturn to zero
NSSN National Standards System Network
NTSC National Television Systems Committee
OAD optical admittance diagram
OBU onboard unit
OCDMA orthogonal code-division multiple access
OCPAR optically controlled phased-array radar
OCXO oven-controlled crystal oscillator
OEIC optoelectronic integrated circuit
OEM original equipment manufacturer
OFDM orthogonal frequency-division multiplex
OFHC oxygen-free high conductivity (copper)
OFS operational fixed service
OMC operations and maintenance center
OOK on-off keying
OPBO output power backoff
OPIP output power intercept point
OPLL optical phase-locked loop
OQPSK offset-quadrature phase-shift keying
OSI open systems interconnection
OTDR optical time-domain reflectometer
OTH over the horizon
PA power amplifier
PAA phased-array antenna
PACS personal access communications system
(US version of PHS)
pACT personal air communications technology
PAE power-added efficiency
PAL programmable array logic
phase-alternation line (video)
PAM pulse-amplitude modulation
PAN public-access network
PBX personal branch exchange
PCI peripheral component interconnect
PCM pulse code modulation
PCMCIA Personal Computer Memory Cards International Association
PCN personal communications network
PCS personal communications service
PCU power conditioning unit
PD pulsed Doppler
PDC personal digital cellular
PDF probability distribution function
PDH plesiochronous-digital hierarchy
PDIP plastic dual-in-line package
PEBB power electronic building block
PECVD plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition
PEEC partial element equivalent circuit
PEP primary entry point
PHEMT psuedomorphic high electron mobility transistor
PHP Personal Handyphone, JPHP
(Japan, 1895.15 to 1905.15 MHz)
PHS personal handyphone system (Japan)
PIC photonic integrated circuit
PIM passive intermodulation
PIN positive-intrinsic-negative (diode junction)
PLL phase-locked loop
PLMN private land mobile network
PM phase modulation
PMD polarization-mode dispersion
PMOS positive metal-oxide semiconductor
PMR private mobile radio
PN pseudorandom noise
PNF planar near field (range)
PON passive optical network
POCSAG Post Office Code Standardization Advisory Group (paging)
POFS private operational fixed service
POTS plain-old telephone service
PPM periodic permanent magnet (focused)
pulse position modulation
PQFP plastic quad flat pack
PRBS pseudorandom binary/bit sequence
PRF pulse repetition frequency
PROM programmable read-only memory
PSA polysilicon self-aligned (bipolar transistor)
PSD power spectral density
PSK phase-shift keying
PSTN public switched telephone network
PTFE polytetrafluoroethylene
PTO public telecommunications operator
PTT post, telephone and telegraph (Europe)
P1dB 1 dB compression point
QAM quadrature (quaternary) amplitude modulation
QIFM quadrature intermediate frequency mixer
QPSK quadrature phase-shift keying
QRNS quadratic residue number system
QWIP quantum well infrared photodetector
QWR quarter-wave rule
RACH random-access channel
RADAR radio detection and ranging
RAM radar-absorbing material
random-access memory
RAP radar-absorbing paint
RAS radio astronomy synthesis
RBER residual bit error ratio
RBW resolution bandwidth
RCS radar cross-section
RDS radio data system
RELP residually excited linear predictive coder
RF radio frequency
RFID radio frequency identification
RFMU radio frequency monitoring unit
RFS radio frequency simulator
RHCP right-hand circular polarization
RIN relative intensity noise
RISC reduced instruction set computing
RLL radio local loop
RMS root mean square
ROTHR relocatable over-the-horizon radar
RRC raised-root cosine
RRE radar range equation
RSSI received signal strength indicator
RSU roadside unit (auto toll collecting)
RwoH reliability without hermeticity
RWR radar-warning receiver
RX receiver/receive
SA selective availability (GPS error introduction/correction)
SAR synthetic aperture radar
search and rescue
SAT supervisory audio tone
SATCOM Satellite Communications
(SATCOM Agency, Department of Defense)
SAW surface acoustic wave
SBN single-sideband phase noise
SCFL source-coupled field-effect transistor logic
SCPI industry-standard commands for programmable instruments
SCSI small computer standard/system interface
SDH synchronous digital hierarchy
(European telecommunication)
SDLA successive detection log amplifier
SDMA spatial division multiple access
SEAD suppression of enemy air defenses
SEM scanning electron microscope
SES severely errored seconds
SFDR spurious-free dynamic range
SHF super high frequency
SIGINT signal intelligence
SIM subscriber identity module
SINAD signal-to-noise and distortion (ratio)
SIR stepped impedance resonator
SLM spatial light modulator
SMI sample matrix inversion
SMP subminiature push-on (connector)
SMP surface-mount package
SMR specialized mobile radio
SMS short message service
SMT surface-mount technology
SNA scalar network analyzer
SNR signal-to-noise ratio
SOIC small-outline integrated circuit
SOLT short-open-load-thru (calibration)
SONET synchronous optical network (US telecommunications)
SOT small-outline transistor
SP3 third-order suppression
SPC statistical process control
SPRE satellite position reporting equipment
SSB single sideband
SSBW surface-skimming bulk wave
SSD simultaneous signal detection
SSG small-signal gain
SSOP shrink small outline package
SSOT shrink small outline transistor
SSPA solid-state power amplifier
SSR surface search radar
STM synchronous transport module
(1 STM = 155 Mbps)
STOVL short takeoff, vertical landing (aircraft)
STW surface transverse wave
SWR standing wave ratio
TACAN tactical air navigation
TACS Total Access Communication System
TAG technical advisory group
TARD towed active radar device
TBCCO thallium barium calcium copper oxide
TCH traffic channel
TCM trellis-coded modulation
TCR temperature coefficient of resistance
TCXO temperature-compensated crystal oscillator
TDD time-division duplex
time-domain duplex
TDMA time-division multiple access
TDWR terminal Doppler weather radar
TE transverse electric
TEC thermal electric cooler
TEM transverse electromagnetic mode
TETRA trans European trunked radio
TFT thin-film transistor
TFTS terrestrial flight telephone system
TM transverse magnetic
TMN telecommunication management network
TOI third-order intercept (point)
T/R transmit/receive
TRAC Technical Regulations Application Committee (of ETSI)
TRAM transimpedance amplifier
TRP Technology Reinvestment Program (NIST)
TRL thru-reflect-line (calibration)
TS timeslot
TSOP thin small outline package
TSS tangential signal sensitivity
TTD true time delay
TTL transistor-transistor logic
TWTA traveling-wave tube amplifier
TX transmit/transmitter
UAV unmanned aerial vehicles
UFMOP unintentional frequency modulation on pulse
UIM uniform impedance resonator
UM unintentional modulation
UMTS Universal Mobile Telecom System (Europe)
UPT universal personal telecommunications
USAT ultra-small aperture terminals
UWB ultra-wideband
VANA vector automatic network analyzer
VBW video bandwidth
VCO voltage-controlled oscillator
VDU video display unit
VISA virtual instrument software architecture
VLR visitor location register
VLSI very large-scale integration
VMEbus versa module Eurocard computer bus
VNA vector network analyzer
VSAT very small aperture terminal
VSB vestigial sideband modulation
VSWR voltage standing-wave ratio
VXIbus VMEbus extension for instrumentation
WAAS wide area augmentation system
(GPS ground-based)
WADSP wideband acquisition/digital signal processing
WDM wavelength division multiplexing
WDDM wavelength division demultiplexing
WLAN wireless local area network
WLL wireless local loop
XFCB extra-fast complimentary bipolar
XPIC cross-polar interference canceller
XPOL cross-polarization level
YBCO yttrium barium copper oxide
YIG yttrium iron garnet
YTO YIG-tuned oscillator