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Armms RF and Microwave Society
Book for the Nov 2022 conference »

Conferences

Monday 25th April to Tuesday 26th April 2022 at Double Tree by Hilton Oxford Belfry,

Bookings for the April conference are now closed

Young Engineer Sponsorship: The ARMMS RF & Microwave Society provides sponsorship for young engineers (28 or below) who have had papers accepted for presentation at each meeting. Sponsorship is £200 cash plus free attendance (including conference dinner and overnight accommodation). Potential candidates should identify themselves as eligible at time of submission and state their date of birth. This offer is limited to a maximum of 2 places per meeting.

Best Paper Award: The Steve Evans-Pughe prize is awarded to the best presenter at each meeting.  The prize is sponsored by Cadence.

If you are interested in submitting a paper for presentation at this conference, please contact the technical coordinator (details below). Papers currently listed below are those already accepted. The deadline for submissions is 16th of March 2022. For exhibition enquiries please email exhibition@armms.org, for all other enquiries please email enquiries@armms.org

VENUE

Double Tree by Hilton Oxford Belfry
Thame
OX9 2JW

Webhttps://doubletree3.hilton.com/en/index.html

PROGRAMME CO-ORDINATOR

Mike Casbon

Emailmike.casbon@yahoo.co.uk

PAPERS

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Achieving High Data Rates (10Gbps plus) in Non-terrestrial Applications

Filtronic
Tudor Williams

This presentation will look at some of the RF challenges in designing the high data rate (multi Gbps) communication links needed to backhaul data between earth and the satellite or High Altitude Pseudo Satellites (HAPS), and between the platforms themselves. It will address some of the technological challenges for semiconductor devices, RF systems, antennas and network architectures of mmWave. It will propose why V, E and W Bands represent long term viability for future systems. 


An Open Source Arduino based tracking System for Radio and Optical Telescopes

Mike Casbon
Independent

The current astronomical theory is that the Earth rotates on an axis through the north and south poles approximately once every 24 hours, this motion means that an observer on the surface must constantly move the angle of view to compensate. Small to medium size optical telescopes can achieve this by means of a mounting which has an axis aligned with the polar axis, so a constant speed motor drive is all that is required to track celestial objects. Larger optical telescopes, especially portable instruments, and radio telescopes are much easier to build with an “Alt/Azimuth” mount, like a gun carriage, however this means that complex mathematics or a video based guidance system are needed for long observations.

This paper introduces a cost effective solution to driving stepper motors with Arduino microcontrollers to change the altitude and azimuth bearings as required. Emphasis is on easy field use, simple construction and low cost. No complex calibration or mathematical knowledge is required to use it.


Behaviour of Characteristic Modes on Patch Antennas in Multi-layered Media

Michael F. Adamson and Ivor L. Morrow
Cranfield University

Modern mobile communication antenna systems and radar array designs tend to be complicated to design and depend on a combination of experience, iterative numerical electromagnetic simulation that rely on Newton or other evolutionary algorithms to realise and optimise the design. These solutions provide limited physical insight and minor variation in their manufacture often results in reduced performance.

Here a design methodology is described supported by Characteristic Mode (CM) analysis for the radiation from a patch antenna covered by multiple dielectric layers. A transmission line model for the cascaded dielectric layers is combined with a cavity model for the microstrip antenna. Expressions for the radiated field patterns and impedance match are derived for the various eigenmodes excited in the cavity. The associated characteristic modes are also deduced and by judicious choice of radiating CM mode the directivity and gain of the embedd antenna demonstrated to increase. Results from the CM analysis and antenna behaviour are compared with an equivalent commercial simulation and correlate well with laboratory measurements made on prototypes. Opportunities for future application of CM to antenna arrays are also discussed.

 


Benchmarking Electronic Calibration of USB-enabled Network Analyzers

James Skinner
National Physical Laboratory

These days, many instrument calibrations are performed automatically – for example, using electronic calibration units.  This includes calibration of vector network analyzers (VNAs) where the calibration standards are generated electronically rather than using mechanical devices.  However, verifying performance – particularly accuracy – of these electronic units is more difficult due to the “black box” nature of these devices. This paper describes a benchmarking exercise of a new-to-market electronic calibration unit designed specifically for use with a portable USB-driven VNA. This includes a comparison of performance with mechanical calibration kits and a comparison with the most accurate measurements available, obtained using primary national standards.


Challenges and Opportunities of 3D Printing in Microwave and Sub-terahertz Devices

Yi Wang
University of Birmingham

3D printing (or additive manufacturing) has made the jump from microwave laboratories to real applications, especially in space industry. This opens enormously opportunities for expanding its reach into a wider range of microwave passive components such as filters and antennas. 3D printing can leverage its free-forming capability to deliver light-weight and high-performance microwave parts with new and optimized geometries which were not possible with conventional machining. It renders new way to assemble, interconnect and integrate microwave devices. It also becomes possible to use a wider range of materials to build microwave parts. Opportunities also come with new and some unprecedented challenges. Never before can a hollow cavity filter be manufactured monolithically in one piece without requiring any assembly. But how do we examine and ensure the quality of the internal surfaces of the device? How can we coat the internal surfaces with full coverage and adequate quality of high-conductivity materials? Do we really know the electrical conductivity or sheet resistance of 3D printed metals? Above all, can we really achieve the desired and optimised geometries with high fidelity and adequate dimensional accuracy? There are many practical and new questions to be answered before the technology can expand its usage and adoption by more industrial sectors.  This talk aims to share some of the experience from the research at University of Birmingham and the wider microwave community in this area in recent five years and some thoughts about the outlook of this emerging technology. 


Design & Measurement of a 4Rx, 4Tx Ka-band Beamforming Transceiver in Bulk CMOS Silicon Technology for Satellite Terminal Applications

Alan Wong
Ensilica

This paper presents the design and measurements for a K/Ka-band transceiver for phased array satellite mobile ground terminal applications. The transceiver integrates four receiver (Rx) RF paths operating at 17∼21GHz and the four transmitter (Tx) RF paths operating at 27∼30GHz, each with independent 0.5dB gain and 5-bit phase control to support analog RF and hybrid beamforming. Each Rx RF path is summed in an integrated passive combiner before an IQ frequency down conversion stage driven with a LO frequency doubler. Each Tx RF path is driven from an integrated IQ modulator clocked with an LO frequency tripler with an active power splitter. The Rx and Tx baseband (BB)/IF paths consist of 325MHz wide IQ VGAs and filtering to support up to 650MHz instantaneous bandwidth. Design for reliability using an automotive qualified bulk CMOS silicon process will be discussed and performance measurements demonstrated.  


Directional Modulation using Phased Arrays - Proof of Concept

Ben Goode
Cambridge Consultants

Directional Modulation (DM) is a promising secure physical layer modulation technique able to maintain a low bit error rate (BER) transmission in only an intended target direction, whilst scrambling data in other directions. This is achieved by “on-the-fly” symbol based modulation of a common carrier using the individual phase shifters on a phased array antenna. Furthermore, if data transmitted in this way is encrypted then the channel has two layers of security, having obvious application to defence and other secure communication markets.

Here, we present a proof of concept experiment to validate the theoretical background and then go on to explore how DM may be implemented practically under realistic constraints.

 


Embedded Die Packaging for Phased Array

Fatemeh Hoveizavi
CSA Catapult

Many of the megatrends in technology we are currently seeing are driven by an increase in the number, and complexity of sensors and communication systems, this is true for civilian applications such as future telecoms, satellite communications and equally for airborne platforms. Across this space there is an underlying trend to make them smaller, more energy efficient, and improve the data rate using phased array systems to focus the energy where it is needed.   

High performing phased array systems are more challenging the higher up in frequency they operate due to smaller size, worse efficiency, extreme heat fluxes, and increased sensitivity to parasitic. To enable these systems, new packaging and integration solutions that enable efficient cooling while minimizing microwave parasitic and losses and maintaining reliability are needed. More efficient, highly integrated, and compact sensors and communication systems reduce weight, enable more efficient integration, and reduce energy consumption, which are all key drivers for future airplanes and airborne platforms. Furthermore, small, and light weight sensors at a lower cost would enable more widespread adoption of detect and avoid radars as well as imaging landing radars for all weather landings for commercial airplanes. This would result in safer flights, as well as reduced energy consumption.  

This paper, present developing a new compact, lightweight, energy efficient, reliable, and cost-efficient solution for microwave front-end modules. We will integrate multiple transceivers in a single module and embed common building blocks of a communication/sensor system such as amplifiers and filters. Focus was embedding GaN MMICs due to the high power and high temperature capability of this relatively new semiconductor technology. The antennas equally lend themselves to being integrated in the module or surface mounted, and this project will provide an interface to enable this. 

The improvements in the developed packaging technology would directly address commercial microwave sensor and communications systems. 

 


Latest Cardiff Nonlinear Behavioural Model Developments

Ehsan Azad
University of Cardiff

The generality requirement of advanced RF power amplifier designs, demands load-pull data under various variables such as frequency, input power, and DC bias voltage which can be very time-consuming.  Therefore, it is critical to adopt a strategy to reduce the measurement intensity and in doing so, reduce measurement time. One approach to reducing the density of the required load-pull data is to use an accurate and reliable nonlinear behavioural model to interpolate the data.

Cardiff University’s Cardiff behavioural model is one of the industry-leading nonlinear behavioural models. Its polynomial mathematical formulation was initially developed around a limited operational domain about a large signal operating point, for example at a fixed DC bias level, RF input drive and frequency.

To expand the generality of the Cardiff model, variables such as frequency and input drive level have been previously included in the model’s formulation.

The focus of this presentation is on the recent development of the Cardiff model’s formulation to include the DC bias. The new DC-dependent Cardiff model’s formulation is capable of accurately interpolating the load-pull data with respect to DC bias; hence, significantly reducing the density of load-pull data over a wide range of DC bias points.


Meeting the Needs for Extended Pulse Capability in GaN Transistors and MMICs

Chris Harris
Wolfspeed

As GaN has become the dominant semiconductor technology for RF power so the system architecture is evolving to take advantage of the capabilities of this new material.  For radar applications this has for example lead to extended pulse lengths that enables the increased range resolution needed to distinguish between 2 or more targets on the same bearing.  Long pulse lengths and increased duty cycle, however, place challenges on the device design.  The high power density that allows for smaller device size has a downside when trying to remove the dissipated heat from the same small area.   In this presentation we’ll look at some of the considerations needed in designing for long pulse operation and review the capability that can be achieved from state of the art devices.


Reduction of Mutual Coupling in Antenna Arrays

Roger Green
University of Bristol

This work presents a systematic approach supported by theory, simulation, and measurements that demonstrates antenna mutual-coupling reduction by means of an analogue compensation network. This compensation network is realized with two couplers and a passive network based on a 2nd-order band-pass filter. A 3:5 GHz two-element patch antenna is built and used for comparison with the same antenna and compensation network. After a theoretical analysis highlighting the relevant design constraints, simulated and measured results demonstrate a reduction in the antenna |SA12| from -27 dBs to -50 dBs, corresponding to an improvement up to 23 dB over the whole antenna -10 dB bandwidth, while the antenna SA11 and SA22 remain unchanged. This |SA12| improvement is also shown to improve the far-field radiation pattern for the considered antenna array.


RF Frontend for a Full Duplex Radar Platform

Gavin T. Watkins, Vianney Anis, Fred Wiffen
Toshiba

Full-duplex (FD) or simultaneous transmit and receive (STAR) allows the reception of one signal while simultaneously transmitting another on the same frequency and timeslot. Previously this technique has been proposed for wireless networks and mobile communications. This work considers applying FD technology to an X-band weather radar to allow the reception of an echo during the transmission pulse, thereby reducing the minimum target detection range. This paper looks specifically at the development of an RF frontend to verify the concept. The RF frontend up- and down-converts a 50 MHz intermediate frequency (IF) to 9.45 GHz in two-stages with an intermediate IF of 2.4 GHz. The design, simulation, and production of the 9.45 GHz RF Self-interference canceller (SiC) and the IF filters are presented. The RF SiC achieved 66.1 dB of narrowband cancellation at 9.45 GHz with a realistic horn antenna. When combined with the converters, 56.3 dB of cancellation was achieved at 50 MHz with a 2 MHz wide frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) pulse.

 


Sub-nanosecond Network Synchronisation

Alex Scarboro
Rathera

White Rabbit is an Open Hardware technology that enables sub-nanosecond synchronisation of thousands of nodes over tens or even hundreds kilometres. Evolved from robust networking standards it is set to transform the world of Time & Frequency Distribution with far reaching effects from Large Scale Experimental Physics, to Finance, to Electronic Warfare. It’s coming to a network near you!


The Advantages of Star Mixers Compared to Quad Diode Rings for the Realisation of Double Balanced Microwave Mixers

Andy Dearn and Liam Devlin
PRFI

Most commercially available, high linearity double balanced mixers adopt a quad diode ring topology. This is an excellent choice with many performance advantages. However, a star topology is functionally equivalent but offers a significant advantage in having inherently lower IF parasitics. This allows the realisation of mixers with much wider IF bandwidth, extending up into the RF and LO frequency bands. This paper describes the realisation of typical quad ring diode mixers and presents a practical example designed by PRFI. It then compares the achievable performance of a quad ring mixer to a star mixer, realised on the same process and targeting the same operating band.


Vector Transceiver Based Wideband Active Load-Pull

Cory Davies-Smith, Lokesh Parappurath, Dragan Gecan, Aamir Sheikh and Simon Woodington
Mesuro Ltd

With the continued development of modern communication systems and standards, the  specifications for active components are becoming increasingly more demanding. This is driving an  increase in characterisation requirements of active components with the newest specification of New  Radio and Wi-Fi modulated signals that have carriers spanning hundreds of megahertz. To this end, this work presents a vector transceiver based active load-pull system capable of characterising devices with up to 1GHz modulated bandwidth allowing for a comprehensive look into a device’s Adjacent Channel Power Ratio (ACPR) behaviour and Error Vector Magnitude (EVM) performance in a non-50 ohm environment. 

 



EXHIBITION

Companies booking two or more delegate places are able to take part in the commercial exhibition that accompanies the conference. Please note: there is a maximum of 20 exhibition tables at each meeting, these are offered on a first come basis. Booking two delegate places does not guarantee an exhibition space, please email exhibition@armms.org to check availability and reserve and exhibition space.


SPONSORSHIP

The society would like to thank RFMW and Ampleon for sponsoring the April 2022 meeting:


CALL FOR PAPERS

Contributions are invited with an emphasis on RF and microwave design, research, testing and associated subjects. An oral presentation will be made at the meeting and a written paper will be required for publication in the society digest, which is distributed to delegates at the meeting. Prospective speakers are requested to submit a title and a short abstract to the technical coordinator (see above) as soon as possible.

Click here to view our Guidelines for Authors
Click here to view our Publication Release Form

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