These are exciting times to be working in any field of engineering, but especially in the radio frequency industry. The modern economy simply cannot function without RF technology, and as we transition into a world of ever-faster mobile service, civilian and military space-based systems and the Internet of Things, we’ll increasingly be relying on microwave, low-frequency engineering.
RF engineering is a massive and growing industry. Over the last quarter-century, it has gone from simple commercial radio, TV and military communication/detection systems to being an indispensable field of technology that is required for the global economy to function. Wi-Fi, satellite communications, 4G networks and more are all made possible by RF technology, and with exciting developments like 5G and “Space 2.0” just around the corner, the demand for skilled RF engineers is only going to increase. So, if you’re an aspiring engineer who wants to get in on the action, where do you start?
RF engineering is an indispensable part of human space activity. In both the commercial and government spheres, radio frequency signals serve as the backbone of all communication systems between spacecraft, satellites and their control centers on Earth, as well as critical satellite navigation and telecommunications infrastructure used on the surface.
From smartphones to satellite service, GPS and more, RF technology is a feature of modern life that is so ubiquitous that many of us simply take it for granted. Radio frequency engineering continues to help drive the world across many applications in both the public and private sectors. But technology advances so fast, it’s sometimes hard to predict what the world will look like in just a few years. Back in 2000, how many people outside the industry would have guessed that within 10 years, they’d be watching streaming videos on their phone?
The Need for "Out-of-this-World" RF Engineers
A Radio Frequency (RF) engineers are responsible for all the wireless communication equipment found aboard a spacecraft. This includes being in charge of:
- Maintaining all the wireless communication equipment
Since the radio frequency signals are the sole means of communication between a spacecraft in orbit and the Earth-based mission control, this is a very important position that entails a great deal of responsibility and scientific expertise. Want some more details? You got it! We'll cover it all for you in this post!
Hope we have enough SPACE! (Sorry bad joke...moving on!)
What You're About to Discover
You can have the best equipment at your disposal, and even that doesn't guarantee a strong, constant radio frequency signal that you can use to carry out your work. There are a host of factors responsible for signal strength, and many depend on the immediate environment of the location where you are trying to catch a signal. By the end of this post, you'll get an understanding of the different types of interference and how to eliminate them in your future designs.