ARTICLES

Pickering Test

On-demand Webinar: How to Effectively Configure a Microwave Test Switching System

With the rapid deployment of 5G cellular, expansion of satellite services and existing applications like cable tv and radar, chances are that you will need to automate testing of your products to support high volume production demands. Adding a signal routing system using microwave relays can help facilitate this, increase your throughput and help further reduce investments in expensive additional RF measurement or signal generation instruments. But this is not as simple as it sounds.

There are multiple sources on the Internet for switching, cables, connectors, and other accessories. But the higher in frequency you go (5G Microwave signals go to 67 GHz), more of a “Black Magic” strategy may be called for; for example, a cable bent incorrectly, or the wrong connector type specified and/or unterminated cables can result in an attenuated signal with reflective signal components that can make your test system unusable. If your application is a high-volume product, selecting the wrong switch type can create near-term failures making the system a headache for your maintenance department.

Key takeaways from this webinar include:

  • The types of switching available
  • Where they should fit in your test strategy
  • Switching configurations
  • Cable and connector suggestions
  • Tips to consider helping design, deploy and sustain your Microwave test system

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Fortify

Case Study: Ku-band/Ka-band Simulation & Testing of a 3D Printed Dielectric Lens Fabricated from Low-loss and Low-dk Resin

With a legacy of innovative antenna design, the Advanced Technology Group of Envisticom, LLC, recently spun off as the Apothym Technologies Group, LLC (or ATG), is always in search of new antenna technologies having the potential to advance the capabilities of warfighter, satellite, and terrestrial communications. This is why the engineers with ATG sought to evaluate Fortify’s 3D printed low-loss and low-dielectric permittivity polymer resin for use in advanced antennas. With this technology Fortify engineers have been able to print extremely intricate and high resolution gradient index of refraction (GRIN) dielectric lenses that operate well at microwave/mm-wave frequencies. These lenses, impossible or extremely difficult to manufacture with traditional methods, can provide substantial antenna gain in a relatively compact shape and with minimal weight.

This case study discusses the process from design, simulation, and testing of such a GRIN dielectric lens, and provides results that show the promise of this technology in cutting-edge communications systems.


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