Transmitters, Receivers, SDRs, Amplifiers
Of course, working in the field of RF, microwave, wireless, and Internet of Things is ultimately about transmitters, receivers, SDRs (Software Defined Radios), and amplifiers. Aerospace Consulting has been involved in all of these areas. SDRs are becoming an increasingly important technology now that analog to digital (A/D) and digital to analog (D/A) converters have passed the gigasample per second mark. It used to be that a software defined radio was a dream, or at least extremely expensive and prone to all sorts of problems. But, today you can buy relatively inexpensive A/D converters that can handle over 1.25 GSPS, and D/A converters that work at over 2.5 GSPS. This means that many transmitters and receivers can now be designed totally in the digital domain, except for the analog power and low noise amplifiers (LNAs) that are still needed in many communications systems.
Today, you can buy a device for under $20 that can act as a receiver from about 70 MHz to almost 2 GHz with a bandwidth of about 2 MHz. This $20 USB device can be used to receive and demodulate, with appropriate software, most types of transmitted signals. And, even newer chips, like the AD9361 from Analog Devices, are complete 2 channel transceivers operating from 70 MHz to 6 GHz! This means that with one chip, and the appropriate microprocessor and/or FPGA, a complete 1 or 2 channel transceiver can be designed and developed using 1 integrated circuit. (Along with the necessary power supply and digital signal processing circuitry such as a FPGA or a DSP microprocessor.) And, these chips have a modulation bandwidth of over 50 MHz. Chips from Analog Devices and other manufacturers allow for even wider bandwidth signals, up to at least 600 MHz modulation bandwidth! Aerospace Consulting has experience with these chips and development platforms such as Matlab, SystemVue, Xilinx ZC706, AD-FMCOMMS3, and AD-FMCDAQ2, as well as other systems for designing and developing software defined radios.
Of course, these new SDR chips can also be used for developing very low cost, low power sophisticated test equipment that takes up very little space. These devices are already revolutionizing the test equipment industry and will allow for very low cost, sophisticated test equipment in the very near future.
Because of the small size, low power consumption, and high performance, software defined radio chips will also allow for the development of new, highly sophisticated satellite and wireless communications systems, along with avionics. Of course, if you are a military or similar organization like DARPA or NASA, aerospace company like Boeing, Lockheed, Airbus, or startup looking to innovate in any way in space or terrestrial communications, call Aerospace Consulting for design, development, research, and consulting on your new projects.
I recently added Keysight ADS to my existing software tools that include Genesys and SystemVue, along with the Modelithics model libraries. ADS gives me access to many excellent non-linear semiconductor models that are not available for Genesys for such things as load-pull simulations for high power amplifier designs. I also have Matlab, Solidworks, and Altium Designer.