RF Innovations Group Capabilities

Transmitters and receivers

The transmitters and receivers incorporate special circuits or wave guiding structures such as waveguide, microstrip or quasi-optical Gaussian beam lens trains based on technology spun off from radio-astronomical telescope design over the last twenty years or so. In the final stages of development is the extension of this technology to allow the telescope lenses to process both millimetre wave and Infrared (IR) radiation using the same aperture. Together with novel structures as microstrip patch antennae, they make use of Gunn Effect and Schottky barrier semiconductor devices in order to realise the required receiver or transmitter functions.

They can also feed into a lens antenna and incorporate a circular polarizer. One of the group’s specialities is the design and manufacture of low cost high accuracy monopulse tracking antennae, which make use of this technology. They can also incorporate a special type of circular polarizer called a Quarter Wave Plate.

Antenna design

The antenna design team has experience of the design, development and manufacture of small aperture high efficiency antennas which are custom designed for the application. The group has the expertise to tackle any antenna design task over he frequency range of 1-100GHz using state of the art tools for detailed modelling of the electromagnetic fields present within the antenna and its associated feed network. The group also has software for the prediction of the antenna polar diagram, which is used at all stages of the design process as well as during design validation, during which the measured and modelled results are compared.

Servo subsystems

One of the group’s core skills is the design of high accuracy servomechanism sub-systems, which are used whenever it is required to produce a mechanically steered antenna. As the performance of this item can have a direct bearing on the overall system performance, the work is carried out in the same group as the RF design. These skills are equally applicable to a system employing a slotted array antenna or a fully gimballed cassegrain antenna.

Simulation and modelling

The group possesses state of the art microwave simulation and systems modelling tools. These enable state of the art designs, which are right first time. This is essential if time to market is to be minimised. These tools have proven particularly valuable especially with the special challenges faced when extracting state of the art performance from low cost designs. An examples is the FMCW (Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave) Transceiver which is just one of the many high range resolution radar waveforms that can be selected when specifying a radar system depending on the application and other engineering trade-offs encountered during the design of the radar.

Synthetic Aperture Radar

A unique innovation from the RF Innovations Group has been the realisation of a fully imaging synthetic aperture radar which provides real time images of the same standard as produced by imaging IR systems. These systems make use of a Doppler beam-sharpening technique to improve the angular resolution of the radar. At last, this gives our customers the ability to produce real time images that are less sensitive to adverse weather, smoke, dust and foliage obscuration.