ECE 451
Advanced Microwave Measurements

Section Type Times Days Location Instructor
AB1 LAB 0900 - 1150 T   5076 ECE Building  Jerry Yang
AB2 LAB 1400 - 1650 T   5076 ECE Building  Drew Handler
AB3 LAB 1300 - 1550 R   5076 ECE Building  Drew Handler
AB4 LAB 1800 - 2050 R   5076 ECE Building  Zihe Gao
AB5 LAB 1800 - 2050 T   5076 ECE Building  Jerry Yang
AL1 LEC 1200 - 1250 M W F   4070 ECE Building  Jose Schutt-Aine

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Official Description Manual- and computer-controlled laboratory analysis of circuits at microwave frequencies. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. Prerequisite: ECE 350.
Subject Area Electromagnetics, Optics and Remote Sensing
Course Prerequisites Credit in ECE 350
Course Directors Jose E Schutt-Aine
Detailed Description and Outline

To have the student able to assemble, program, and utilize sophisticated automated microwave measurement systems, with an appreciation for the capabilities and the limitations of the microwave measurements and of the automated system.


  • Descriptive parameters at microwave frequencies
  • Measurement instruments and systems
  • Computer-controlled instrumentation
  • Accuracy enhancement techniques
  • Packaging techniques
  • High-speed probing and fixturing techniques
Computer Usage
Error correction for accuracy-enhanced measurement is performed using HP-MDS and RMB on workstations. Data acquisition and network optimization are achieved through the controllers.
No text.
ABET Category
Engineering Science: 1 1/2 credits or 50%
Engineering Design: 1 1/2 credits or 50%
Course Goals

This course introduces senior and graduate students to the fundamentals of high-frequency measurements and the latest techniques for accuracy-enhanced automated microwave measurements. The goal of the course is to provide the special training necessary in high-frequency and high-speed measurements. Computers are used to model, control and remove parts of the systematic errors in the measuring systems.

Instructional Objectives

A. By midterm (after 13 lectures and 7 lab sessions), the students should be able to do the following:

1. Calibrate and characterize a crystal detector for square-law operation (b).

2. Perform complex impedance measurements on a slotted line by measurement of the VSWR and wave profile on the slotted line (a, b, k).

3. Perform swept-frequency scalar reflectometry measurements using directional couplers (b).

4. Evaluate imperfections of interconnects and transmission lines (a, b, k).

5. Use scattering parameters and flow graph techniques. Use Mason's rule to calculate transfer functions (a, k, m).

6. Understand high-speed and high-frequency issues and their relevance in microwave measurements (a, k, m).

7. Understand the functional blocks involved in microwave measurements such as test sets, couplers, harmonic converters and other components (b).

B. By the time of the Final Exam (after 26 lectures and 14 lab sessions), the students should be able to do all of the items listed under A, plus the following:

8. Perform manual measurements on a scalar network analyzer and complex measurements on a vector voltmeter (b, k).

9. Perform manual magnitude and phase measurements on a vector network analyzer. Understand the role of calibration standards (b, k,).

10. Control instruments such as sources, voltmeters via the HPIB bus from a computer using Agilent Vee and National Instrument Labview (a, k).

11. Perform automated scalar reflectometry measurements (a, b).

12. Use one-, two-, and three-term error models to remove errors from reflectometer measurements. This permits the accurate complex determination of a complex unknown (a, b, k, m).

13. Use the automated network analyzers. These are the Performance Network Analyzer (PNA) series: E8358A, E8363B. Use the time-domain option on the E8363B to perform TDR measurements (b, k, l, m).

14. Perform Eye diagram simulations and measurements (a, b, k, l, m).

15. Learn about advanced calibration techniques such as the 8-term and 12-term error models (a, b, k, m).

16. Perform thru-reflect-line (TRL) calibrations for more accurate measurements (a, b, k, m).

17. Perform on-wafer measurements using a microwave probe station (b).

Last updated: 5/23/2013