Software engineers who are worth the salary they earn relish the prospect of working on transcendental projects that challenge them to grow beyond their comfort zones of just sitting at a computer and typing code. Often they’ll be part of a team which includes so-called hardware people, like mechanical engineers, etc.
So in one example of an environment which essentially stretches beyond software engineering for optimisation of the technical processes, how can RF performance be improved?
RF engineers have numerous tools at their disposal to analyze and optimise existing networks. Most of them can be divided into a few basic categories:
Measurement tools — most of these are laser-based — often use a loop antenna for quick and simple measurements, providing bandwidth and throughput measurements and other RF-based tasks.
Imbalanced-leakage waveforms — these include magnetometers, approximators, probe signal generators, dynamic ICDR analysis, and others.
Measurement integrators — this category provides three main functions: assessing the network’s energy distribution, more complex energy distribution calculations, and bandwidth matching. Most popular RF integrators rely on RF Emissions Analysis (Réseaux Électriques d’Emission de Propulsion, or REPE), which takes as input the RF performance of the entire network.
RF measurements are also performed using RF spectrum analysis tools that can perform complex tests to extract the portion of the RF spectrum for which each service provider is licensed or allowed to operate. In many countries, the service providers are not only allowed, but also required, to perform these tests. However, these types of tools are often complex and extremely expensive to purchase and implement.
Longtime industry experts and technical editors of technical RF publications point to some recommendations for boosting RF performance, which can be implemented with just a few additional dollars.
Install a power amplifier to boost RF
Recommended for making substantial gains in performance, installing a power amplifier (PA) is an easy way to quickly increase RF gain and performance in existing networks. Many PA applications involve replacing the original power amplifier, which generally had some type of integrated circuit that was just a few watts in power.
But the PA is most often a real power amplifier. Although it’s less expensive to buy a PA for a small system than to buy a new power amplifier, its advantages over an integrated circuit are significant.
The PA’s gain scale is larger and its bandwidth wider than that of an integrated circuit. In addition, PA’s have the advantage of being able to deliver more power for a given RF link distance, and they’re more reliable. So, having one in the system may allow an engineer to double the link’s transmission distance, while delivering RF performance comparable to that of an integrated circuit.
Electroforming Increases Performance and Durability
As part of an inter-disciplinary collaboration between various B2B services providers, electroplating services have evolved and advanced specifically to increase RF performance and durability. This is the territory of some technical professionals who know exactly what they’re looking for, granted. However, anybody can come away with the very useful info of how electroforming increases performance and durability of the RF process.