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I work for the Navy, doing testing and repair of Electronic Warfare  (RADAR detection and jamming) systems. A fundament

 

I work for the Navy, doing testing and repair of Electronic Warfare  (RADAR detection and jamming) systems. A fundament

 

I work for the Navy, doing testing and repair of Electronic Warfare  (RADAR detection and jamming) systems. A fundamental understanding of  Radio Frequency (RF) Wave Propagation is required to effectively  troubleshoot system operations. Part of this process is conduct Voltage  Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR) testing of RF pathways, such as millimeter  Waveguides and Heliax.

VSWR is the measure of how efficiently RF power is transmitted in to a  load. For example, if a power amplifier is connected to an antenna  through a transmission line, such as a Waveguide, ideally there will be  no reflections and all the signal from the power amplifier will be  transmitted to the antenna. However, in the real world, there will be  some mismatches that will cause some of the signal to be reflected back  in to the transmission line. VSWR is the measure of how much signal is  reflected back in to the system. It is the ratio between transmitted and  reflected waves. A high VSWR indicates poor transmission-line  efficiency and performance, in most cases requiring component or pathway  replacement.

To calculate VSWR, a specialized Signal generator and Spectrum  Analyzer are used, as well as an assortment of loads and couplers. Some  of the basic formulas for VSWR include:

vswr-calculator-img2.jpg

Where (r) is the Reflection Coefficient, (RL) is the Return Loss, and (ML) is the Mismatch Loss (Microwave101, 2022).

To be honest though, I’ve really never looked at nor understood the  formulas required for the calculations. The test equipment I use is  designed to generate the needed signals, measure the reflected energy  for a given frequency range, and then provide a graph with the resulting  calculations. From there, I compare the loss values based on the  specifications for the pathway or antenna under test.     

References

Microwave101. (2022, November 01). Voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR). Retrieved from microwave101.com: https://www.microwaves101.com/encyclopedias/voltage-standing-wave-ratio-vswr

(69) Understanding VSWR and Return Loss – YouTube