Heriot-Watt University

Heriot-Watt Students Designs Novel RF Filters


Company Profile

Heriot-Watt University is a public university based in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was established in 1821 as the world’s first mechanics’ institute. It has campuses in the Scottish Borders, Orkney, Dubai, and Putrajaya in Malaysia. The university provides a stimulating environment for researchers to contribute the necessary advances in engineering science and technology to sustain the future. Engineering at Heriot-Watt is within the top ten of UK research institutions.

The Design Challenge

Planar RF/microwave filters are very useful for applications where size, weight, and cost are important. For example, significant filtering requirements exist for planar and drop-in receiver filters at IF frequencies in the up- or down-converter of wireless communication systems, including satellite payloads. Sharp rejection and flat pass-band insertion loss are required, which results in high-Q resonators. Lossy and predistorted design theory for filters can provide the required rejection and flatness, avoiding the use of high-Q materials, which are more expensive, and providing the required compactness.

The Solution

A team of researchers at Heriot-Watt collaborated on the design of a lossy extracted-pole filter to meet the challenges of compact and inexpensive planar filter design. To develop this filter, the team relied on NI AWR Design Environment, which was available to faculty and students at Heriot-Watt University through NI AWR software’s university program.

The filter was fabricated using printed circuit board (PCB) to achieve a lightweight small footprint and profile.

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For more information about this application, the original paper that is the inspiration for this success story can be accessed by IEEE members at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7824292/