Pre-Engineered Circuit Elements Contribute to Rapid Prototyping

Sept. 21, 2016
A unique rapid prototyping method helps to quickly develop custom RF/microwave frequency-conversion solutions.

Most high-frequency communications, radar, and electronic-warfare (EW) systems rely on frequency conversion, and the OpenRFM rapid development capability helps to provide timely, practical frequency-conversion solutions based on optimum commercial components. Employing an open systems architecture (OSA) approach and pre-engineered function blocks to standardize the electrical and mechanical design of an RF/microwave (RFM) frequency-conversion block in a system, the modular design method reduces the risk, cost, and time required to complete wideband RFM circuit and subsystem designs.

The design approach, developed by Mercury Systems and X-Microwave, employs an ecosystem of pre-engineered RFM elements for rapid prototyping. With access to a complimentary on-line layout tool, clients can quickly produce layouts meeting desired application requirements. Components can even be assembled using a standard interface which optionally can be solderless.

Each circuit element has valid S- and X-parameter values which are used to perform rapid simulations of layout designs. Each high-frequency element in a layout uses a common mounting, bias, and control interface, allowing components to be tested individually or cascaded together for measurements and simulations. Custom components can be developed quickly as needed. The high-frequency layout assemblies employ a single RFM probe, eliminating the need for custom test fixtures.

To learn more about the OpenRFM rapid prototyping technique, visit Mercury Systems at Booth #826 or X-Microwave at Booth #426.

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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