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EE Science II Laboratory #10
Transmission Lines and Standing Wave Ratio
Transmission lines refer to structures that guide electromagnetic energy from one point to another. Examples of transmission lines include coaxial cables that connect television sets to antennas or internet modems to phone lines, microstrips printed on circuit boards like the ones in your phone, optical fibers that carry high-bandwidth signals over large distances, etc. Study of transmission line theory is essential for high-frequency circuit design where the ratio of line length to the wavelength of operation is not negligible unlike wires and interconnects used in low- frequency circuits. In such cases, electromagnetic signals undergo phase shifts resulting from significant time delays when traveling through the transmission line and some portion of it may even be reflected at the load!
You will be introduced to the basics of transmission line theory in this laboratory. During the course of this laboratory, you will:
- Understand how waves propagate down a transmission line and how the physical properties of the transmission line (dimensions and material) affects this propagation
- Understand how the load impedance acts as a boundary condition that can result in wave reflection if the load impedance does not match the characteristic impedance of the transmission line; you will calculate the reflection coefficient for different load impedances
- Learn that the magnitude of the total voltage at different points on the transmission line forms a standing wave pattern due to the presence of two waves traveling in opposite directions
- Measure and study the properties of the standing wave pattern for different load impedances using a coaxial cable test bed
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