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Recall History at the 2018 International Microwave Symposium

June 11, 2018
The 2018 IMS Historical Exhibition is a chance to travel back in time and see the products and technologies from years past.

For those arriving for the full week, the 2018 IEEE International Microwave Symposium (IMS) in the Pennsylvania Convention Center (Philadelphia, Pa.), the opening Sunday, June 10, featured many special events. Among them were the RF Integrated Circuit (RFIC) plenary session and reception, along with a wide assortment of workshops and short courses.

On Monday, the IMS Historical Exhibit offers a look back through the years at notable developments and changes in technology, while the RFIC technical sessions provide engineering-eye views of many of the latest mixed-signal technologies in ICs and their packaging approaches. There’s no competition for time with the IMS Exhibition, which starts on Tuesday, June 12, allowing early visitors to IMS week to take full advantage of these technical sessions and workshops in a relaxed atmosphere.

The IMS Historical Exhibit is the place to look back through time at some of the technologies, such as this TWTA from Hughes Aircraft Co., that once dominated this industry. (Courtesy of eBay)

Although the Historical Exhibit begins on Monday, June 11, it will be open to visitors during the week, providing a chance to see how systems were powered in the past. For example, the event will showcase some of the vacuum electron tubes, such as traveling wave tubes (TWTs), which were once the active devices of choice in TWT amplifiers (TWTAs) for radar systems (see figure).

Some of the radar systems on display will evoke memories of technology-leading companies, such as Hughes Aircraft Co., which once dominated this industry. A wide range of older radar and electronic-warfare (EW) systems will be on tap from past and present suppliers, including Hughes, Raytheon Co., Northrop Grumman, RCA (and many technologies from David Sarnoff Laboratories), and Western Electric. The historical exhibition features an array of artifacts and documents representing the beginning of the microwave industry, with a visit to the exhibition providing the opportunity to take in those formative years.