354.060 Advanced RF Techniques
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2017W, VU, 4.0h, 6.0EC


  • Semester hours: 4.0
  • Credits: 6.0
  • Type: VU Lecture and Exercise

Aim of course

Based on the course "RF techniques" students will gain detailed knownledge and more experience in the microwave components, measurements, and circuit design. This includes circuit design lectures as well as lectures on microwave measurement systems. In a hands-on/laboratory part students will learn the entire design flow of a distributed microwave filter.

Please note: This course can be enrolled in parallel with "Seminar RF Techniques"!

Subject of course


Lecture: Circuit Design - Microwave Transmission Lines and Substrates (1 unit)

  • transmission lines on PCBs: microstrip, coplanar, substrate integrated waveguide
  • differential transmission lines: even/odd modes, impedance definition
  • microwave substrates

Lecture: Circuit Design - Microwave Connectors (1 unit)

  • common connector types and families
  • maximum ratings
  • mode conversion and parasitics
  • connector care

Lecture: Circuit Design - Microwave Components (2 unit)

  • typical RF devices overview
  • distributed passive elements: hybrids, couplers, stubs
  • lumped passive elements: parastitic elements, self resonance, models
  • active lumped elements: PIN-diode, varactor, FET
  • building switches and attenuators from PIN-diodes
  • power devices: impedance/thermal issues

Lecture: Measurement - Vector Network Analyzer (3 units)

  • limits of scalar calibration
  • VNA error models
  • response, one-port, and enhanced response calibration
  • calibration beyond SOLT (short open load thru):
    • sliding load
    • adapter removal, unknown-thru, TRL
    • electronic vs. mechanical
    • power calibration, power measurements
    • mixed-mode S-parameters
    • block diagram and features of a modern VNA
    • reconfiguring the VNA:
      • high power, high gain, high dynamic range
      • pulsed measurements

Lecture: Measurement - Spectrum Analyzer (2 units)

  • block diagram and features of a modern SA
  • narrowband vs. broadband measurements
  • detector modes
  • swept vs. real-time measurements
  • maximizing the dynamic range

Lecture: Measurement - Signal Integrity (1 unit)

  • signal integrity parameters
  • TDR
  • eye diagram

Lecture: Measurement - Power Measurements (1 unit)

  • method of measuring power
  • power meters
  • common pitfalls

If only a small number of students attends the course, the course's program is subject to change.

Laboratory/hands-on (independent preparation & 2-3 afternoons in the lab)

The lab course is be held during the term accompanying the oral lectures. Each student will receive a personalized filter problem (filter type, frequency, bandwidth) and has to design/simulate the filter on his own. This is done with the microwave design tool "AWR Microwave Office". Students enrolling this course will receive a full license (time limited) of the design tool, allowing them to prepare the filter on their own PC. This part is structured as follows:

  • introduction into "AWR Microwave Office" (1 hour, by supervisor)
  • design of the filter with ideal lumped elements (by student at home)
  • transformation into distributed elements (by student at home)
  • consideration of parasitic effects by distributed element models (by student at home)
  • optimization of the filter (by student at home)
  • introduction into EM analysis (1 hour, by supervisor)
  • EM-analysis and optimization (prepared by student at home, finished during lab course)
  • production of the filter by a rapid-prototyping PCB-mill (during lab-course, by supervisor)
  • measurement and comparison (during lab course)

The total amount of time for this part (supervised & non-supervised & lab) is around 30 hours. Students will be asked to hand in a report of their filter-design.

Additional information

Kick off meeting: October 19th, 2017; 02.00 p.m.
Location: Library Inst. 354, Room No. CF 0115 (together with kick off meeting of "Seminar RF techniques")

The lecture will be given in 11 units (45min + 45min) on a weekly schedule. The day of the week and time will be fixed during the kick off meeting. If only a small number of students attends the course, the course's program is subject to change. The laboratory/hands-on part will be held accompanying the oral lectures and will start after the last lecture on circuit design.



Examination modalities

The grading is based on the lab-part including the written report (30%) and an oral examination (70%).

Course registration

Not necessary


Study CodeSemesterPrecon.Info
066 507 Telecommunications


No lecture notes are available.

Previous knowledge

Successful completion of "RF Techniques" (course and lab) or equivalent knowledge is required.
If "RF Techniques" has not been completed, your equivalent knowledge will be checked by a short examination before the beginning of the course. The main topics addressed are:

  • Fundamentals of electrical engineering and circuit design.
  • Basic knowledge about linear RF-circuits, scattering matrix, Smith-chart
  • Operation of vector network analyzer, spectrum analyzer, power meter

Preceding courses

Accompanying courses