# Project in RF/Electromagnetics/Photonics

• shpongle
In summary, the conversation discusses project ideas for a final year engineering project in the field of RF/electromagnetic/Photonics. Suggestions include designing a RF power amplifier with class F power amp, creating a gyrotron or klystron, and studying antenna theory. The use of mathematical concepts such as Fourier Transform and PDEs is also mentioned. The importance of considering demand and potential job opportunities is emphasized.
shpongle
Hello everyone this is my first post on PhysicsForums

I am in my second year of electronic systems engineering degree and I have to choose a final year project. I am really enjoying the modules on RF engineering and electromagnetics, especially electromagnetics is just too interesting

I have chosen the engineering discipline of my final year project to be RF/electromagnetic/Photonics. My university is actively involved with CERN, so one of the project applications is in particle accelerators. However, I can choose a project application in communication as well!

Could you please suggest me some project ideas for my final year. I really like maths a lot (calculus, vectors, complex number) and I am comfortable with visualizing it. it would be nice if you could recommend a 'mathematical project' idea!

Thank you.

If you are interested in RF, how about a RF power amplifier with class F power amp. The concept is driving into saturation so the output is like square wave. The mathematical theory is in Fourier Transform that a square wave composes of odd harmonics and the amplitude of the fundamental is higher than the amplitude of the square wave. This means if you have a 5Vpp square wave, the fundamental is something like 1 or 2 dB higher( don't ask me the exact number as I studied this years ago.). The point is if you over drive the amp, you get 1 or 2 dB more signal out in this class F amp than the class C with given supply voltage. 10% or so more power is a big deal in RF power amp.

This involve design impedance matching network, load pull, filter to remove the higher harmonics. It is very involve. You have to know RF, transmission line distribute element design. You are going to need all the math to learn these.

The book I suggest is power amp design by Steven C. Cripps. You really learn power amp design, this is very different from the regular RF test books. None of the RF books include the one by Pozar deal into this subject.

This might be a little too advance though. It is a little stretch for undergrad. You need all the classes in undergrad to get into RF, and then into power amp design.

Hmm. RF. Particle accelerators. How about making a gyrotron or klystron? Surely that would be impressive for a final year project. I'll recommend a book too. Klystrons, Traveling Wave Tubes, Magnetrons, Crossed-Field Amplifiers, and Gyrotrons by A.S. Gilmour, Jr. I have that book sitting right next to me and I think it's a pretty good introduction to those electron devices which places like CERN or so fond of. I personally think gyrotrons in particular are super cool. I'm hoping to build one myself someday. And there's lots of yummy maths involved.

Only one thing of concern about the Klystron and TWT is it is of very limited use, maybe in very high power transmitter where solid state cannot do it. I think his project should be something that is in demand so it is beneficial to put into the resume.

I myself had been designing electronics for all different mass spectrometers. Particularly Time of Flight which is similar to particle accel. stuff. Actually Stanford Linear Accel. had contacted me in various times for job opportunites but timing was never right. I actually published two papers in AIP RSI on ion imaging and pulse counting. Experience is not very useful in the outside world. Only other place is semiconductor capital equipment companies like KLA Tancor, Applied Material. It is interesting though.

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Thanks for your advice yungman and metiman. I will talk to my tutors and supervisor about the ideas which you have suggested.

yungman, I appreciate your thought about 'demand', because I do not want to narrow down the options for my postgraduate and jobs later. Also, it is quite relevant to antenna technology, something I wish to learn more about.

metiman, "Yummy maths" :D

PS: I never knew PhysicsForums was such a fantastic place, much better than wasting time on Facebook.

shpongle said:
Thanks for your advice yungman and metiman. I will talk to my tutors and supervisor about the ideas which you have suggested.

yungman, I appreciate your thought about 'demand', because I do not want to narrow down the options for my postgraduate and jobs later. Also, it is quite relevant to antenna technology, something I wish to learn more about.

metiman, "Yummy maths" :D

PS: I never knew PhysicsForums was such a fantastic place, much better than wasting time on Facebook.
Oh yeh, I got talked into joining FB, I seldom even visit there! Don't people have better things to do than to tell people what I ate yesterday?

I have been studying some on antenna theory until I started to get busy in some music electronics lately. Power amp and antennas are extension of RF circuits and I don't think there are too many people studying them...Not to many people get into EM, RF period. Most just put up with it and survive those classes. If you are going in this direction, you should study PDE even though it might not be required. You'll have a much better appreciation in boundary problems which is absolutely necessary in EM.

A few ideas:

Broadband antennas for ultrawide band communications
Signal integrity addressed at the IC level
Improvement to bandwidth on compact PCB-based antennas (to improve manufacturing)
Low cost, steered array (i.e. using PiN diodes) for use in car collision avoidance systems.
Soliton production / pulse launching for UWB communications / radar.

Thanks mike!

yungman said:
If you are interested in RF, how about a RF power amplifier with class F power amp. The concept is driving into saturation so the output is like square wave. The mathematical theory is in Fourier Transform that a square wave composes of odd harmonics and the amplitude of the fundamental is higher than the amplitude of the square wave. This means if you have a 5Vpp square wave, the fundamental is something like 1 or 2 dB higher( don't ask me the exact number as I studied this years ago.). The point is if you over drive the amp, you get 1 or 2 dB more signal out in this class F amp than the class C with given supply voltage. 10% or so more power is a big deal in RF power amp.

This involve design impedance matching network, load pull, filter to remove the higher harmonics. It is very involve. You have to know RF, transmission line distribute element design. You are going to need all the math to learn these.

The book I suggest is power amp design by Steven C. Cripps. You really learn power amp design, this is very different from the regular RF test books. None of the RF books include the one by Pozar deal into this subject.

This might be a little too advance though. It is a little stretch for undergrad. You need all the classes in undergrad to get into RF, and then into power amp design.

Some projects from last year! There was one on E class amplifiers! How do you compare the level of mathematics and electronics knowledge involved in these projects(RF/electromagnetics) and the one which you suggested? Did you like any of these project ideas?

Thanks

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Mike_In_Plano said:
A few ideas:

Low cost, steered array (i.e. using PiN diodes) for use in car collision avoidance systems.

Mike I like this idea a lot but someone has already proposed it to the supervisor :(

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shpongle said:
Some projects from last year! There was one on E class amplifiers! How do you compare the level of mathematics and electronics knowledge involved in these projects(RF/electromagnetics) and the one which you suggested? Did you like any of these project ideas?

Thanks

I think E and F are very close, I don't remember the exact difference. They are close.

## 1. What is the purpose of a project in RF/Electromagnetics/Photonics?

A project in RF/Electromagnetics/Photonics is conducted to explore, discover, and innovate in the field of radio frequency, electromagnetics, and photonics. These are interdisciplinary areas of study that involve the manipulation and transmission of electromagnetic waves for various applications such as wireless communication, radar systems, and optical communication. The purpose of a project is to advance the current knowledge and technology in these fields and to develop new solutions to real-world problems.

## 2. What are some examples of projects in RF/Electromagnetics/Photonics?

There are various types of projects that can be conducted in the field of RF/Electromagnetics/Photonics. Some examples include designing and testing a new antenna for improved wireless communication, developing a radar system for detecting and tracking objects, creating a photonic sensor for detecting and measuring environmental parameters, or optimizing the performance of optical communication systems. Other projects may involve using simulation software to model and analyze electromagnetic wave propagation or conducting experiments to study the behavior of different types of materials under electromagnetic waves.

## 3. What skills and knowledge are needed to work on a project in RF/Electromagnetics/Photonics?

To work on a project in RF/Electromagnetics/Photonics, a strong background in mathematics, physics, and engineering is essential. This includes knowledge of electromagnetics, optics, and signal processing. Additionally, familiarity with software tools for simulation and analysis, such as MATLAB or CST Studio Suite, may be required. Practical skills, such as soldering, circuit design, and programming, are also valuable for hands-on projects.

## 4. How long does it typically take to complete a project in RF/Electromagnetics/Photonics?

The duration of a project in RF/Electromagnetics/Photonics can vary depending on the scope and complexity of the project. Some projects may take a few weeks to complete, while others may take several months or even years. It also depends on the resources available, such as equipment, funding, and personnel, to carry out the project. It is essential to plan and schedule the project timeline carefully, taking into account potential setbacks and delays.

## 5. What are the potential career opportunities for individuals with experience in RF/Electromagnetics/Photonics?

Individuals with experience in RF/Electromagnetics/Photonics have a wide range of career opportunities available to them. These include working in research and development for industries such as telecommunications, aerospace, and defense, or in academia as a professor or researcher. Other options include working in government agencies, such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) or the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), or in consulting firms that specialize in electromagnetics and photonics. Additionally, skills in this field are in high demand in the technology sector, where they can be applied to developing new products and technologies.

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