Filter Types and Topologies In any wireless or RF system, unwanted interference is the enemy. These interfering frequencies can be generated by many sources. From self-generated harmonics under amplification or nonlinear mixing diode products to the numerous signals being broadcast in the increasingly congested open air, […]
There are many ways to communicate via wireless transmission. One of the most prevalent forms of such is satellite communication (SATCOM). While this technology operates in a meshed network that envelopes the globe, we often forget it even exists. Sure, the ordinary astronomer may find these […]
When you think of the United States Marine Corps, the first thing that comes to mind is the deep-rooted Naval traditions. A Naval Expeditionary Force is the base of how the Marine Corps was established and how they started to build such a polished reputation. Today’s […]
Need to increase your range by a factor of 3? Or a factor of 10? ADD MORE POWER! Wireless communication relies on a strong received signal for best performance, whether that performance is high data transmission speeds or clarity of analog voice communications. A weak signal […]
Mission: Extend Operational Capabilities Technology continues to be the catalyst of human evolution from the stick and stone to Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAVs). Often taken for granted, that pocket watch collecting dust on the shelf has a story to tell. It took thousands of years before […]
It’s quite hard to believe that mankind has advanced from horse and buggy to landing on the moon in less than a century. Now, instead of walking for days on end to reach our destination… we fly! There was a time when this was considered impossible, and […]
The Golden Years! One of the many positive outcomes associated with western life is the extension of our longevity (Figure 1). However, with this benefit, comes an unfortunate increase in disease and debilitating physical pain. This is a bittersweet relationship, we get to experience our loved […]
Our Digital World Information comes in many forms, from ancient hieroglyphs to seemingly endless streams of 1 and 0’s that form the foundation of our digital world. Prior to the digital age, information or data was stored in vast arrays of voluminous filing cabinets, binders, and […]
Miniature Marvels Ever wonder what’s under the hood of these advanced electronic devices that have proliferated our life in so many ways? Beneath the surface is a complex system of components arranged in configurations that resemble scaled versions of modern cities. The foundation for these miniature […]
There are many small features which may be worth including in an RF circuit/CCA (Circuit Card Assembly) which are not important to the function of the design, but improve the speed and efficiency of the engineering, characterization, and test processes. In the spirit of positive business […]
“I feel the need—a need for speed!” It would be hard to imagine anyone who’s seen Top Gun that hasn’t pictured themselves as a Naval aviator going supersonic targeting a bogy. This motion picture was so successful at promoting the armed forces the US military saw […]
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Our history is rich with a diverse range of unmanned radio-controlled contraptions from hydrogen filled model aircraft used for theatre act entertainment in the late 19th century to the state-of-the-art military grade drones with a global reach. The first pilotless aircraft designed and […]
What’s VSAT? Our quest for enhanced communications over distance is prevalent throughout history and has come in many forms; drumbeats, smoke signals, carrier pigeons, and more recently the manipulation of electromagnetic waves propagating free space. At the end of the day, all solutions have the same […]
In a world with same-day shipping and five-minutes-or-less delivery, there is a high demand for streamlining processes in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Through the use of our Concept to Production capabilities, NuWaves Engineering is able to simplify product creation and produce it entirely in-house—saving our […]
A Little Background Conflict is inevitable, and as a result, military force is required if a peaceful solution is unattainable. One of the numerous outcomes of this course of action has been the evolution of battle strategy and weaponry, for the sole purpose of either efficiently […]
Space, the Final Frontier! It would seem that the desire to explore our boundaries is built into our DNA, and as a result, has driven us into every corner of the globe with few territories untouched.  Considering this expansion, it is only reasonable we would extend […]
Introduction Spectrum analyzers are a critical tool in the RF electronics lab. They provide a means of capturing and analyzing RF signals. There have been many varieties over the years, with a range of capabilities. Through this blog, we will explore some of the changes made […]
Landscape One of the many positive outcomes associated with western life is the extension of our longevity (Figure 1).  However, with this benefit, comes an unfortunate increase in disease and debilitating physical pain.  This is a bittersweet relationship, we get to experience our loved ones longer, […]
Oscilloscopes are very useful tools in the electronics lab. There have been many varieties over the years, with a wide range of capabilities. Through the narrative below, we will explore some of the differences, capabilities, and short comings of oscilloscopes. Basic Oscilloscope Types: There have been […]
The Tesla coil provides a high voltage demonstration of a resonant transformer. Although primarily used for entertainment purposes, with its long electrical arcs and noise, it also provides a path to understanding basic RF resonant circuits; just part of the many considerations involved when designing RF […]
What was that? Ever go to a party and you’re one of the first to arrive?  You start a pleasant conversation and before you know it, as attenders start funneling in, find yourself yelling in the ear of the listener “what was that”?  The same thing […]
More Power! Can you imagine life without your smartphone?  How could we possibly function?  Our entire life is now centralized in a single mobile location.  In a split second we can update our activities to 100’s of people, trade stock, binge watch our favorite show, summon […]
In the world of wireless communication, the airwaves are continually getting more and more crowded. The need for filtering signals has always existed. The need for more precise and tighter spec’d filters is increasing. More stringent demands often come with a higher price tag due to […]
In honor of March being Women’s History Month, we interviewed five outstanding women who work at NuWaves to get their opinions on working in the RF and Microwave (RFMW) Engineering industry. Question 1: What made you interested in engineering/electronics? Angie: My mom was an electronics assembler […]
Two weeks ago, SpaceX launched it’s third successful mission placing 60 more Starlink satellites into low earth orbit, bringing the total number of global internet powering satellites to 180. That is far from the planned system completion threshold of 12,000, but it does establish that SpaceX […]
Why is RF filtering so important? Simply put, filters reduce the interference in the environment that affects the performance of the communication system and reduce the interference caused by the communication system. Once you have identified the system level need for a filter, it’s now time […]
Filters are a staple of RF designers everywhere, and especially in applications where the integrity of the signal cannot be compromised. When you’re only concerned about a single frequency, it’s relatively easy to add in a fixed-tuned filter.  However, it becomes slightly more difficult when you […]
Modern communication systems are typically based on a framework of channels, where the frequency spectrum is divided into channels of a defined bandwidth and each signal is assigned to a particular channel.  This is analogous to a highway system being divided into lanes.  On a highway, […]
I recently had the pleasure of assisting in the leadership of an event that was aimed at building community among the local population of military veterans in the Cincinnati region. The event was an absolute success, and it reinforced in me the positive and fun environment […]
GaN technology has been improving radio frequency (RF) systems since the early 1990’s. It’s ability to support high frequency, wide bandwidths, and high-power density make it invaluable in any market requiring high performance in a small form factor. When compared with other semiconductor technologies such as […]
NASA envisions that data throughput and size, weight, and power consumption (SWaP) requirements levied on future space exploration vehicles due to resource constraints will necessitate that a different approach is taken for communications and radar. Rather than employing individual systems for short-range communications, long-range communications, and […]
A Switched Filter Bank is a device that combines switches and filters to provide user-selectable frequency channels. Switched filter banks are beneficial to Radio Frequency (RF) communication systems and are utilized in both receivers and transmitters to reduce signal interference from harmonics, spurious emissions, strong signal […]
One of the major decisions that a Power Amplifier (PA) Module designer must make in the development process is the choice of architecture that they will utilize in the amplification circuit. The two most widely used options are to pursue a Monolithic Microwaves Integrated Circuit (MMIC) […]
Constellation Diagrams The Fault In Our Stars
Constellation diagrams are 2D graphical representations of digitally modulated signals.  They are used for the display and analysis of digitally modulated waveforms, and provide valuable insight into the performance of a digital communication system. Digitally modulated signals encode information within a sinusoidal carrier wave by mixing […]
Radio wave applications have come a long way since it was first theorized by James Clark Maxwell in his 1873 work “A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism”, where he laid out mathematical theories showing the potential applications of radio technology. Only fifteen years later, German Physicist […]
Extend the Range of Low Power UAV Radio
Low-power UAV radio systems, though designed for short distance communications, can be an inexpensive and reliable means of communications over greater distances – especially when the application is small UAS platforms. Many of these radios come with a variety of options including programmable bandwidths, RF power […]
The requirements of modern datalinks in the UAV and large airframe market present challenges for systems designers. Many modern communication systems often require full-duplex operation, and several systems may be operating on a single airframe. At the same time size, aerodynamic and radar signature concerns can […]
NuWaves_NuPower_12B01A RF Power Amplifier 18 W PSat
Achieving both high linearity and high efficiency together in a Radio Frequency (RF) Power Amplifier (PA) system is challenging. Typical designs for highly efficient PAs (i.e., greater than 40% DC power efficiency) involve operating devices in their non-linear range, i.e., at or near compression (saturation). A […]
Once relegated to the skilled thumbs of a hobbyist or teenager with a Styrofoam toy airplane in the backyard, small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) have become accessible to a much broader audience. With the advent of brushless electric motors and high energy density lithium batteries, the […]
MIL STD 461 testing in the Anechoic Chamber.
The Department of Defense (DoD) purchases a vast array of electronic and electrical devices that must be integrated into various platforms with many other devices and function without degraded performance (electromagnetic susceptibility), and conversely, must function without causing degradation of performance for other devices (electromagnetic emissions). […]
NuWaves Engineering C Band RF Filter Custom Quick Turn Miniaturized
Why is RF filtering so important? Simply put, filters reduce the interference in the environment that affects the performance of the communication system, and reduce the interference caused by the communication system. The lack of RF filtering can affect the performance of the UAS in a […]
Locust Swarm
Like a locust super-swarm in Madagascar, similar to a scene in BBC America’s “Planet Earth II” (image 1), commercial and government programs alike are aiming to employ “swarms” of UAV’s in domestic and overseas operations2. This includes counter-UAS systems, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, near-space and hurricane hunting […]
When working or leading a high technology project, a simple question related to the status of a program can become difficult one to answer. This difficulty is clearly seen by anyone who has been involved in the development, manufacturing and testing high performance radio frequency modules. […]
Ball Grid Array (BGA) Package Sideview
Ball grid array (BGA) is a method of surface-mount packaging used for integrated circuits (ICs), whereby the entire bottom surface of the IC is covered with an array of small solder balls to permanently mount devices such as microcontrollers, microprocessors, RAM devices, etc. to printed circuit […]
NuWaves Engineering Trade Shows
At some point in time, every company that manufactures a product or provides a service will likely consider whether or not it’s in their best interests to exhibit at industry trade shows.  If you look hard enough, you can probably find an exhibition for just about […]
Recently, we had a customer reach out to us inquiring about a 200 W L-band power amplifier (PA). While we did not have such an amplifier to offer (not yet, anyway), we did have a solution. That solution was four of our new L60T01 amplifiers in […]
Wireless Charging
Did you know that NuWaves Engineering has been taking on some new and exciting RF Design Service projects lately, expanding NuWaves’ experience and expertise into new and diverse industries? Over the past few months, NuWaves has kicked-off a number of projects partnering with customers that serve […]
Noise Figure (NF) describes the amount of noise a component, amplifier, or an entire radio receive chain contributes to the RF signal being received. Electrical noise is combined with the RF signal as it is generated by the RF transmitter and propagated through space. This signal […]
NuWaves recently finished development on a high-powered triplexer to support GPS-III communication services. NuWaves’ triplexer is a unique and advanced piece of hardware that serves a specific purpose in satellite communications. GPS operating frequencies have the unfortunate fate of residing in a narrow range of frequencies […]
A common concern for radio frequency design engineers is providing sufficient margin in a module or system to survive the real-world application in which their work will eventually operate. Our engineering team is constantly dealing with the trade-offs of meeting the myriad of customer specifications while […]
In today’s industry, finding a COTS product to integrate seamlessly into a system while meeting your exact performance specifications can be hard when considering the various system design variables that have to be accounted for. Design variables such as operating voltage, size and weight restrictions, and […]
NuWaves Engineering C Band RF Filter Custom Quick Turn Miniaturized
When choosing an RF filter for your communications system, test and measurement setup, or RF module design, there are numerous options available. The best option depends on your specific application. Below are some key parameters that will guide your decision: The frequency range(s) that shall pass […]
An RF Power Amplifier (PA) or Bi-Directional Amplifier (BDA) is able to detect a low-powered RF signal and amplify it to a higher amplitude, providing a variety of useful applications, such as extending the range of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) datalinks. Any device generating high power […]
Leadership, self-discipline, and resiliency are just a few of the inherent entrepreneurial skills that veterans of military service bring the civilian sector. Many military veterans have used these strengths to build businesses of their own. In April 2017, the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) released […]
No Cover MMIC Design
The continuing drive to improve the Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) of electronics becomes challenging with consumer-off-the-shelf (COTS) lumped element components since the designers are limited by the physical size of packaged components and limitations of assembly processes.  Moreover, as spectrum congestion forces new systems to […]
One of the most important factors to consider when developing a communication datalink range is the ability to provide sufficient signal strength out to the intended operational range of the platform. Modern radios provide a starting point for this effort as they provide options such as […]
NuWaves Engineering Multi-Octave RF Up Converter
The increasing availability of COTS RF modules and subsystem components has made it convenient to design and assemble a custom high-performance RF communications system from off-the-shelf parts. However, while availability and selection has increased, top-of-the-line performance is still expensive. Being familiar with each category of RF […]
Significant advances continue with respect to unmanned aerial systems in both defense and domestic applications. In fact, their acceptance into the national airspace system is fast becoming a near-term reality. The pace of development has led to an ever-expanding list of missions which increase the demands […]
Radio Frequency (RF) Filters are special circuits that allow a signal of interest to pass through while attenuating any undesired signals.  And while there are a large number of different filter topologies, there are generally 4 filter responses, or shapes, when plotted in the frequency domain.  […]
Our standard products are designed to MILSPEC product qualification and to work in a myriad of applications, including ground, surface, and airborne systems. The standard environmental specifications for our products include a wide temperature range (-40°C to 85°C), operation to 30,000 feet altitude, humidity up to […]
An RF circuit that generates a Radio Frequency (RF) signal, is very sensitive to power supply noise.  If not controlled, the power supply noise can significantly degrade the performance of the system.  So, what are the sources of noise and how can they be addressed? The […]
Every quarter at NuWaves, our team joins the President for discussion of a book that is intended to help improve the company. We are currently on book #38, which revolves around the topic of ownership; we read books on various topics including leadership development, business challenges, […]
A very important consideration when operating a power amplifier is its ability to remove the heat generated by the device. Power transistors, like all semiconductors, must remain below their maximum permitted junction temperature. If too much power is dissipated through the transistor, the junction temperature will […]
Without additional information, a statement that a product is MIL-STD-810 certified or a requirement that a product be developed to meet MIL-STD-810 does not provide meaningful information about the environmental resiliency of a product.  MIL-STD-810 is a test method standard that defines the environmental test procedures […]
From the moment that a modulated Radio Frequency (RF) signal leaves a Power Amplifier and begins its journey to a receiver, the amplitude with respect to the ambient noise starts to decrease.  When the signal arrives at the receiver, it needs to be sufficiently higher than […]
NuWaves Engineering Range Systems
If you ask any company what their biggest opportunity for improvement is, they will say in one way or another that it’s communication. Some companies might not communicate enough, some might not give enough context or the ‘why’, some might communicate too much, but very few […]
In order to deliver the maximum amount of power from a power amplifier to an antenna, the impedances must be matched. The parameter used to measure how well the impedances are matched is the Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR). VSWR is a reflection coefficient known as […]
In today’s complex world of wireless communications, the radio frequency (RF) power amplifier (PA) provides the final boost in power prior to a signal going out over the air or down a cable. However, choosing the appropriate amplifier for your system can be challenging. While there […]
The electronic components that make up Radio Frequency (RF) modules come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and functions (e.g. capacitors, resistors, inductors). But what’s consistent among these components is they have a limited lifespan and become obsolete electronic components. Component manufacturers design these parts with […]
The “Yates Memorandum” from the US Department of Justice (September 9, 2015) makes very clear that individuals, not just corporations, will be a focus of any criminal or civil investigations and subsequent penalties surrounding the illegal export of controlled items. Each engineer must not only understand […]
In recent years, NuWaves has received a lot of positive feedback regarding their small form factor and light weight RF products because we understand heat transfer and the role it plays with our products. Maintaining good thermal management for your system is one of the biggest […]
Many engineering services companies have the ability to develop and deliver tailored products or services customers desire.  However, real value is gained when an engineering services company implements effective project management or program methods to deliver solutions that not only meet all the customer’s requirements, but […]
A few days ago, I received a call from one of our domestic sales reps, Jon, talking about some potential sales leads he uncovered while attending a conference on cyber security a few days prior. I listened as Jon talked about a growing demand for RF […]
Every small business owner knows that their company is only as good as their employees. Growing individuals to their maximum potential can pay serious dividends in the long term, though certainly dependent on retaining those individuals. Personal and professional growth depends on a myriad of factors; […]
Data communications systems for small form-factor platforms and applications – for instance, unmanned vehicles, unattended sensor systems, etc. – oftentimes require GPS signals for either position or timing information. There are several GPS receiver chips on the market that offer an integral patch antenna for ease […]
For a manufacturing company, having a strong Enterprise Resource Planning System, also known as an ERP System, can be a competitive advantage. Some systems integrate with the entire business to provide Accounting, Project Management and other functions in addition to the Logistics-related functions (e.g. purchasing, inventory […]
I recently had the pleasure of attending the engineering career fair at my alma mater as one of several co-op seekers in the building. It was great to be back to the place where I earned by BSEE degree, and to see how much had changed, […]
In the past five years the Electronic Components market has shifted dramatically. The RF/Microwave semiconductor sector of this industry, in particular, has featured a spate of headline-grabbing mergers and acquisitions (e.g. Infineon’s purchase of Cree’s Wolfspeed Division, RF Micro Devices’ merger with TriQuint Semiconductor to form […]
If you’ve been involved in Talent Management in the last few years, you’ve probably noticed a trend: great talent is hard to come by, and when you find it, you’re going to pay for it. Companies big and small are on the hunt for great talent […]
What does it take to compete in the defense electronics industry? Time. More precisely stated, it is the lack of time.  One of the most important success factors for product sales in today’s market is the speed at which a company can deliver product to the […]
Why Should I Consider Paying an Engineering Design Services Supplier to Help Define My Product Requirements? When customers call an engineering design services company to talk about designing a custom product there are some obvious first questions. What is it that you want designed, built, and […]
One of the most commonly overlooked building blocks of a UAS communication system is RF filtering. Whether your system is for command and control or streaming sensor data such as live video, proper filtering can be the key element in achieving the communications range or data […]
To say that Software Defined Radios (SDR) are ubiquitous in 2016 is an understatement. What once was limited primarily to the military radio market is now absolutely everywhere, from mobile phones, to Wi-Fi routers, to ham radio development boards, to extremely inexpensive (<$20) USB dongles for […]
One of the biggest challenges for small businesses in the Aerospace and Defense industry is the high cost of entry. From Quality to Accounting and now to Information Systems compliance, not only is meeting contractual/regulatory requirements time-consuming, but it’s also costly. On 31 December 2017, new […]
In an engineering laboratory, certain Radio Frequency (RF) measurements such as data throughput (radio sensitivity) is commonly made by direct connection via coaxial cable with an adjustable attenuator in line. This enables the technician to simulate a range in free space for the purpose of measuring […]
Product testing can consume an inordinate amount of time and resources, slowing the time to market. Traditional technician-on-the-bench testing can take up to two weeks to fully characterize a product such as an RF power amplifier (PA). It’s a long, tedious, and repetitive process. It’s costly […]
No one wants to pay Non-Recurring Engineering (NRE) to have a widget designed and developed. Let’s get that out of the way immediately. And who can blame you? With the global economy, and through the wonders of Internet marketplace giants such as Amazon and Alibaba, one […]
One of the biggest challenges for small businesses in the Aerospace and Defense industry is the balance between efficiency and regulatory compliance. Every year it becomes more critical to achieve quick-turn solutions as we see the market shift from multi-year, multi-million dollar projects to projects spanning […]
An RF Preselector (a.k.a an RF Tuner or “front-end”) is used to prevent out-of-band signals from entering the radio receiver. In a super-heterodyne type of receiver, front-end filtering is essential to prevent unwanted signals from degrading the performance of the receiver. Without filtering, the frequency conversion […]
Eliminate Employee Performance Reviews
  Performance reviews typically consist of a form whereby the supervisor rates the employee on various criteria based on their performance and provides feedback. In most companies, performance reviews are held quarterly or annually, but is the leadership in those companies really getting the bang for […]
DoD Cloud Technology
While cloud technology is becoming more ubiquitous, government contractors and agencies must be vigilant with the control of their data. If you’re working with the Department of Defense (either directly or through a subcontract), hopefully you are aware of and abide by export control regulations. These […]
The choice of RF Power Amplifier (PA) depends on the end-user’s application. The operating frequency range, output power, linearity, form-factor, and DC power consumption requirements help define the PA that is right for the application. In unmanned aircraft system (UAS) applications, form-factor and DC power consumption […]
Virtually all disciplines apply certain inherited tricks-of-the-trade to expedite tasks. RF engineers and technicians are no different from anyone else…in that respect at least. Oftentimes there is a need for a quick and easy-to-build simple notch filter to improve laboratory measurements. For instance, an RF signal generator’s […]
There is often a need to phase-lock two or more RF signal sources so that there is no frequency drift between the signal sources. This discussion will be limited to the case where the RF signal sources are of the ubiquitous integer phase-lock loop (PLL) type. […]
RF Board
Over the last decade, military project development design cycles have decreased dramatically; from several years to multiple months. Even more, the competition for these design programs has increased leaving behind mediocre companies – the competition today is first-rate and the projects will only be awarded to […]
The Department of Defense RF Power Amplifier market has broad uses for a high-performance L-Band Power Amplifier. This includes the following high-tech applications: RF Communication Systems Electronic Warfare Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Broadband RF Telemetry Software Defined Radios Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) As an example, the […]