Project Description

Course Code

RF001

Course Overview

This online RF course is ideal if you need to quickly get up-to-speed with modern RF and microwave communications and measurements without having to spend time searching through a large amount of free online content of variable quality, magazine articles and dry academic textbooks that all too often obscure subjects with complicated mathematics. The course brings together a range of essential RF communications and measurements topics into a single, complete and comprehensive RF and microwave foundation diploma course.

This IEEE approved online course has been designed to provide you with a solid grounding in the principles and practice of modern RF, wireless and microwave communications, test and measurement engineering. Throughout the course, important concepts are simplified and explained in a way that conveys the essence of each topic without resorting to complex mathematics.

Developed by PhD-qualified RF engineers who have contributed over 50 years of combined industry experience and knowledge, the course focuses on the essential real-world knowledge needed to help you develop a successful career in the fast-paced and rapidly changing world of modern RF, wireless and microwave engineering.

This complete online diploma course consists of 35 separate topic modules containing 265 individual video lessons totalling over 700 minutes of video content. Every module includes a short multiple-choice quiz to test your progress and downloadable supporting notes.

Successfully completing all modules and quizzes results in the award of a high-quality printed certificate and transcript to demonstrate your achievement.

The course is based on a series of instructor-led classroom courses delivered in partnership with leading global test equipment manufacturer Rohde & Schwarz. Technical content has been continuously refined based on attendee feedback.

Included with the course is a set of high-quality wire-bound course notes printed full-colour A4-size with heavy-duty plastic covers – ideal for taking into the lab. These notes include copies of all the slides featured in the course videos and space for taking notes as you work through the course. Course notes are packaged and shipped to you worldwide as soon as you enrol.

What You Will Learn
  • Understand fundamental characteristics of RF waves

  • Define common RF and microwave terms such as dB and dBm

  • Describe different types of transmission line and their properties

  • Describe common components used in RF, wireless and microwave systems

  • Understand the fundamentals of RF propagation

  • Understand digital modulation and various modulation methods

  • Describe various RF, wireless and microwave measurement parameters

  • Know how to use a range of RF, wireless and microwave measurement equipment

  • Reduce the risk of expensive test equipment damage, downtime and repair costs

Target Audience

This online RF and microwave course is ideal for graduates, interns and new entrants to the field of RF and microwave engineering. It is also suitable for those with industry experience, but with knowledge gaps that need to be addressed. Students and job seekers will also find the course beneficial since it covers areas likely to arise during a technical interview.

Staff members taking this RF course typically include RF engineers and technicians, RF test engineers and technicians, wireless design engineers, microwave design engineers, RFIC and MMIC design engineers, RF applications engineers, digital design engineers, hardware design engineers, hardware applications engineers, technical sales engineers and technical managers who need to improve their understanding of RF, wireless and microwave communications in order to better manage projects.

  • New Starters

  • Recent Graduates and Interns

  • RF and Microwave Engineers and Technicians

  • RF and Microwave Test Engineers and Technicians

  • RFIC and MMIC Design Engineers

  • RF and Hardware Design and Applications Engineers

  • Technical Sales Engineers

  • Technical Managers

Technical Level

Although there are no formal prerequisites for the certification course, an ability to absorb and understand technical concepts is essential together with a desire to learn more about the topics covered. A technical background is desirable in order to derive maximum benefit from the course. Those taking the course would normally have a college-level technical qualification or equivalent experience in an engineering, physics or mathematics-related subject.

Time to Complete

Approx. 15 hours

What’s Included?
  • Unlimited individual access to all course content on-demand 24/7 for 365 days

  • 706 minutes of focused video content

  • 35 subject modules covering a range of key RF, wireless and microwave topics

  • 265 individual video lessons

  • Over 130 quiz questions to test your learning and progress

  • Printed course notes including 295 course slides posted to you worldwide
  • Downloadable supporting materials and applications notes

  • IEEE Certificate of Completion issued by IEEE on completion (PDF)

  • 1.5 IEEE Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

  • 15 IEEE Professional Development Hours (PDHs)

  • Certificate of Achievement issued by TTA on completion (PDF and hardcopy)

  • Add certificate to your LinkedIn profile

Printed Course Notes

High-quality printed course notes are included with this diploma course. These are posted to you worldwide when you enrol. They are wire-bound and printed full-colour A4-size with heavy duty plastic covers. They include all 295 slides featured in the course videos and space for notes as you work through the course.

Printed Course Notes

High-quality printed course notes are included with this diploma course. These are posted to you worldwide when you enrol. They are wire-bound and printed full-colour A4-size with heavy duty plastic covers. They include all 295 slides featured in the course videos and space for notes as you work through the course.

IEEE Certificate of Completion

This course has been approved by IEEE for the quality of its technical content and adherence to IEEE’s strict criteria for educational excellence. Successfully completing all of the course modules and quizzes results in the award of 1.5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and 15 Professional Development Hours (PDHs). CEUs are widely recognized as the standard of excellence for continuing education programs in IEEE’s fields of interest. An official IEEE Certificate of Completion will be emailed directly by IEEE on completion.

Printed Certificate of Achievement

Successfully completing all of the course modules and quizzes also results in the award of a high-quality printed Certificate of Achievement issued by The Technology Academy. Certificates are made from heavyweight A4 card stock and include a 3D security hologram and attractive gold foil strip – ideal for framing.

Printed Certificate of Achievement

Successfully completing all of the course modules and quizzes also results in the award of a high-quality printed Certificate of Achievement issued by The Technology Academy. Certificates are made from heavyweight A4 card stock and include a 3D security hologram and attractive gold foil strip – ideal for framing.

Course Curriculum

35 modules – 265 video lessons – 706 mins video

1.1 RF Propagation – Ripples on a Pond  
1.2 Definition of RF and Microwaves  
1.3 Supporting Notes  
1.4 Module Quiz  

2.1 Electromagnetic Frequency Spectrum  
2.2 Attenuation of EM Waves by the Atmosphere  
2.3 Frequency Allocations  
2.4 Microwave Frequency Bands  
2.5 USA Frequency Allocations Wallchart  
2.6 Supporting Notes  
2.7 Module Quiz  

3.1 Distributed Not Lumped  
3.2 Electric Fields  
3.3 Magnetic Fields  
3.4 Electromagnetic Radiation  
3.5 Maxwell’s Equations for Harmonic Time Dependence  
3.6 Plane Wave Fields  
3.7 Supporting Notes  
3.8 Module Quiz  

4.1 RF Wave Characteristics  
4.2 Units of RF Power, dB and dBm  
4.3 Application Note – dB or not dB?  
4.4 Supporting Notes  
4.5 Module Quiz  

5.1 Marconi’s Early Radio System  
5.2 Timeline of Wireless Communications Development  
5.3 Supporting Notes  
5.4 Module Quiz  

6.1 Exposure Limits  
6.2 Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) Limits  
6.3 Supporting Notes  
6.4 Module Quiz  

7.1 Power Transfer Efficiency  
7.2 Transmission Line Fundamentals  
7.3 Transmission Line Characteristic Impedance Zo  
7.4 Transmission Line Terminated in Zo  
7.5 Transmission Line Terminated with Short and Open Circuit  
7.6 Transmission Line Terminated with 25 Ω  
7.7 Supporting Notes  
7.8 Module Quiz  

8.1 High-Frequency Device Characterization  
8.2 Reflection Parameters  
8.3 Transmission Parameters  
8.4 Supporting Notes  
8.5 Module Quiz  

9.1 Introduction to S-Parameters  
9.2 Explanation of S-Parameters  
9.3 S-Parameter Equations  
9.4 Supporting Notes  
9.5 Module Quiz  

10.1 Introducing the Smith Chart  
10.2 Smith Charts  
10.3 Supporting Notes  
10.4 Module Quiz  

11.1 Harnessing Wireless Propagation  
11.2 Wireless Channel Characteristics  
11.3 Free Space Propagation  
11.4 Terrestrial Propagation  
11.5 Two-Ray Model for Terrestrial Propagation  
11.6 Multipath Effects  
11.7 Propagation Delay and Delay Spread  
11.8 Multipath Propagation Mechanisms  
11.9 Gaussian Statistics  
11.10 Measured Indoor Propagation  
11.11 Frequency Dependent Fading  
11.12 Link Budget Elements  
11.13 RF Propagation – Sample Calculation  
11.14 Supporting Notes  
11.15 Module Quiz  

12.1 It’s a Digital World  
12.2 The Communications Model  
12.3 What Is Modulation Exactly?  
12.4 Modulation  
12.5 Demodulation  
12.6 Digital Communications Transceiver  
12.7 Supporting Notes  
12.8 Module Quiz  

13.1 Digital Modulation Principles  
13.2 Digital Representation (Ones and Zeros)  
13.3 The Sampling Process  
13.4 How Fast Do I Sample?  
13.5 How Many Bits Do I Need?  
13.6 Simple Communications Example  
13.7 The Bit Error Rate (BER) Function  
13.8 Forward Error Correction (FEC)  
13.9 Supporting Notes  
13.10 Module Quiz  

14.1 Ones and Zeros are Square Waves Aren’t They?  
14.2 Pulse Shaping – Bandwidth and Intersymbol Interference (ISI)  
14.3 Simple Pulse Filtering Example  
14.4 Raised Cosine Example  
14.5 Supporting Notes  
14.6 Module Quiz  

15.1 Bits and Symbols  
15.2 Signal Vector Representation  
15.3 Making a Modulated Carrier  
15.4 Carrier Signal Changes – Representation in the IQ Plane  
15.5 Constellation and Eye Diagrams  
15.6 Signal and Noise Power  
15.7 Shannon’s Capacity Formula  
15.8 Supporting Notes  
15.9 Module Quiz  

16.1 Linear Modulation Schemes  
16.2 M-ary PSK  
16.3 QPSK and OQPSK  
16.4 8-PSK and π/4-QPSK  
16.5 EDGE Modulation  
16.6 M-ary QAM  
16.7 16, 32 and 64-QAM  
16.8 Non-Linear Modulation Schemes  
16.9 Frequency Shift Keying (FSK)  
16.10 Minimum Shift Keying (MSK)  
16.11 Supporting Notes  
16.12 Module Quiz  

17.1 Introduction to OFDM  
17.2 OFDM Concept  
17.3 OFDM Transmitter Signal Generation  
17.4 802.11a Modulator Block Diagram  
17.5 Supporting Notes  
17.6 Module Quiz  

18.1 Spread Spectrum  
18.2 CDMA – How It Works  
18.3 Chip Rate and Spreading Factor  
18.4 CDMA – How It Works (Continued)  
18.5 Supporting Notes  
18.6 Module Quiz  

19.1 Multiple Access Techniques  
19.2 Uplink and Downlink Separation  
19.3 Supporting Notes  
19.4 Module Quiz  

20.1 Transceiver Building Blocks  
20.2 Mixer  
20.3 Oscillator  
20.4 Attenuator  
20.5 Directional Coupler  
20.6 Power Amplifier  
20.7 Duplexer/Diplexer  
20.8 3GPP Duplex Operation  
20.9 Isolator/Circulator  
20.10 Low Noise Amplifier (LNA)  
20.11 GPS Receiver LNA Example  
20.12 Filters  
20.13 Modulator/Demodulator  
20.14 Diode Detector  
20.15 Supporting Notes  
20.16 Module Quiz  

21.1 Introduction to Antennas  
21.2 Types of RF and Microwave Antenna  
21.3 Antenna Terms  
21.4 EIRP  
21.5 Antenna Polarization  
21.6 Antennas for Portable Products  
21.7 Application Note – Designing with an Inverter-F PCB Antenna  
21.8 Supporting Notes  
21.9 Module Quiz  

22.1 Transceiver Architectures  
22.2 Superheterodyne (Superhet) Receivers and Transmitters  
22.3 Superhet Receiver and Basic Offset PLL Transmitter  
22.4 Supporting Notes  
22.5 Module Quiz  

23.1 GSM/EDGE/UMTS Multi-mode Chipset  
23.2 LTE/3G MIMO Transceiver Chipset  
23.3 Bluetooth Radio Chipset  
23.4 Module Quiz  

24.1 Importance of Connector Care  
24.2 Coaxial Connector Categories  
24.3 Common Coax Line Sizes  
24.4 Inner Conductor Concepts  
24.5 Slotted vs Slotless Connector Interface  
24.6 Precision Connector Frequency Ranges  
24.7 The 3.5 mm Connector (APC-3.5)  
24.8 The 7 mm Connector (APC-7)  
24.9 The N-Type Connector  
24.10 The SMA Connector  
24.11 Mechanically Compatible Connectors  
24.12 Cleaning Coaxial Connectors  
24.13 Use of Connector Savers and Adaptors  
24.14 Interface Dimensions and Gauging  
24.15 Application Note – Guidance on Using Precision Coaxial Connectors in Measurement  
24.16 Supporting Notes  
24.17 Module Quiz  

25.1 Vector Network Analyzers  
25.2 How is Reflection Coefficient Measured?  
25.3 How are Two-Port Devices Measured?  
25.4 Test Sets  
25.5 Behaviour of Ideal and Actual Couplers  
25.6 Constituent Parts of Source Match  
25.7 Systematic Measurement Errors  
25.8 Full Two-Port Error Model  
25.9 Supporting Notes  
25.10 Module Quiz  

26.1 Vector Error Correction  
26.2 Calibration Standards and Types  
26.3 Simple Response Calibration  
26.4 Two-Port Calibration  
26.5 Response Versus Two-Port Calibration  
26.6 Calibration Kits  
26.7 Respect Your Cal Kit  
26.8 ECal – Electronic Calibration  
26.9 Thru-Reflect-Line (TRL) Calibration  
26.10 TRL and LRL Calibrations  
26.11 TRL Calibration on Microstrip  
26.12 Semi-Rigid Coax Calibration Kit  
26.13 Video Demo – Performing Network Analyser Coaxial Calibration  
26.14 Video Demo – Defining Waveguide Calibrations Kits  
26.15 Video Demo – Measuring the Return Loss of a Printed Antenna  
26.16 Amplifier Measurements Using VNAs  
26.17 Video Demo – Characterising Power Amplifiers Using a VNA  
26.18 Video Demo – Two Tone Intermodulation Measurements Using a VNA  
26.19 Supporting Notes  
26.20 Module Quiz  

27.1 Introduction to Spectrum Analysis  
27.2 Basic Spectrum Analyzer Block Diagram  
27.3 Microwave Spectrum Analyzer  
27.4 Harmonic Mixer Responses  
27.5 Front-End Filtering  
27.6 Preselector Response  
27.7 Microwave and Low Band Architecture  
27.8 Tracking Generator Architecture  
27.9 Supporting Notes  
27.10 Module Quiz  

28.1 Spectrum Analyzer Controls  
28.2 RF Attenuator  
28.3 Intermediate Frequency (IF) Gain  
28.4 Sweep Time  
28.5 Resolution Bandwidth Filters  
28.6 Resolution Bandwidth Filter Shape Factor  
28.7 Noise Floor  
28.8 Dynamic Range of Modulated Signal Measurements  
28.9 Video Signal Processing  
28.10 Video Filter Bandwidth  
28.11 Detector Sampling Methods  
28.12 Detector Types and Properties  
28.13 Supporting Notes  
28.14 Module Quiz  

29.1 Spectrum Analyzer Specifications  
29.2 Uncertainty Contributions  
29.3 Dynamic Range  
29.4 2nd and 3rd-Order Distortion  
29.5 3rd-Order Intermodulation Levels  
29.6 Dynamic Range, Distortion and Noise  
29.7 Effect of LO Phase Noise  
29.8 Inaccuracies Due to VSWR  
29.9 Video Demo – Measuring Two-Tone Intermodulation  
29.10 Video Demo – Measuring a Modulated Carrier  
29.11 Supporting Notes  
29.12 Module Quiz  

30.1 Measuring RF Voltage and Power  
30.2 RF Power Measuring Equipment Overview  
30.3 Diode Detection  
30.4 Detector Linearity  
30.5 Practical Diode Detectors  
30.6 Effects of Modulation on Diode Detectors  
30.7 Modulation Affects Linearity Correction  
30.8 Thermoelectric Detectors  
30.9 Wider Dynamic Range Diode Detector  
30.10 Example Detector Hardware – R&S NRP Power Sensor  
30.11 Mismatch Errors  
30.12 Summing Errors  
30.13 Supporting Notes  
30.14 Module Quiz  

31.1 What is Noise Figure?  
31.2 Why Do We Measure Noise?  
31.3 What Do We Measure?  
31.4 How Do We Measure Noise?  
31.5 Noise Sources  
31.6 Avalanche Diode Noise Source  
31.7 Typical Noise Figure Measurement System  
31.8 Typical Noise Figure Meters  
31.9 Video Demo – Simplified Noise Figure Measurement with a VNA  
31.10 Video Demo – Noise Figure and Gain Measurements Using a Signal Analyzer  
31.11 Supporting Notes  
31.12 Module Quiz  

32.1 What is Phase Noise?  
32.2 Phase Noise of Sources and Devices  
32.3 Phase Noise Concept  
32.4 Terms Used to Define Stability and Noise on a Carrier  
32.5 Effects of Phase Noise – Reciprocal Mixing  
32.6 Single-Sideband Phase Noise  
32.7 Phase Noise in Digital Communications Systems  
32.8 Constellations with Phase Noise  
32.9 Phase Noise Measurement Methods  
32.10 Basis of All Phase Noise Measurement Techniques  
32.11 Measuring Phase Noise with a Spectrum Analyser  
32.12 Spectrum Analyser with External Preselection  
32.13 Comparison of Methods and Sources of Uncertainty  
32.14 Video Demo – Measuring Phase Noise Using a Spectrum Analyzer  
32.15 Supporting Notes  
32.16 Module Quiz  

33.1 Transmitter Modulation Measurements Overview  
33.2 Power Spectral Density Measurements  
33.3 Why Does Linearity Matter?  
33.4 AM-AM and AM-PM Nonlinearities  
33.5 AM-AM and AM-PM Characteristics from Modulation Measurements  
33.6 Spectral Regrowth  
33.7 Two-Tone Intermodulation  
33.8 Adjacent Channel Power  
33.9 Harmonics and Spurious Signals  
33.10 Power-Time Response  
33.11 Error Vector Magnitude (EVM)  
33.12 EVM Measurement  
33.13 Types of EVM Measurement  
33.14 GSM-EDGE EVM Measurement Example  
33.15 802.11a WLAN EVM Measurement Example  
33.16 EVM Specifications in Practice  
33.17 EVM Combination and Uncertainty  
33.18 Supporting Notes  
33.19 Module Quiz  

34.1 Receiver Modulation Measurements  
34.2 Handset Test Setup  
34.3 Bit Error Rate (BER) Testing  
34.4 Receiver Sensitivity  
34.5 Spurious Response Measurements  
34.6 Receiver Chain Measurements  
34.7 Supporting Notes  
34.8 Module Quiz  

35.1 Radiation from Conducted Currents  
35.2 Types of EMC Measurement  
35.3 EMC Measurements  
35.4 EMC Measurement Antennas  
35.5 Anechoic Chamber  
35.6 Open Area Test Site (OATS)  
35.7 Antenna Parameters  
35.8 Antenna Terms  
35.9 Antenna Characterization – Three Antenna Method  
35.10 Calculation of Antenna Factor  
35.11 Standard Antenna Method  
35.12 Typical Antenna Factor  
35.13 Points to Be Aware Of  
35.14 Power Radiation Pattern  
35.15 EIRP – Effective Isotropic Radiated Power  
35.16 Supporting Notes  
35.17 Module Quiz  

RECENT TESTIMONIALS
“I’d like to thank your team for the service you have provided. This foundation course has proven very useful to me as a beginner in RF technologies. I have taken many notes and will continue to refer back to the course and will be proud to display this qualification on my CV.”

Ben H
RF Engineer, RN Electronics

“The course is very well organised and executed. The presenter is very knowledgeable and engaging and presents the material in a concise and easy-to-follow way. The course slides are also very well structured; they will form a useful reference going forward. Overall an excellent course.”

Peter S
RF Engineer, Airbus Defence & Space

“I liked the enthusiastic and knowledgeable presenter, informative slides and demonstrations of hands-on use of the test equipment.”

Kevin H
Software Engineer, Cambridge Consultants

“Excellent content, very knowledgeable trainer. Very detailed course that flows well.”

Alex T
Graduate Engineer, Arqiva

“After 6 years in the British Army focusing on Advanced Communications (signals) I found trying to get a career as an RF Engineer very difficult without a degree. This course is well presented and much clearer than most online courses. I have found that it has boosted the experience I already have from the military and then some. It also gets you focused on the needs of industry and your military experience compliments this qualification. After putting this course on my CV, I received many interview offers. I highly recommend this course if you wish to enter industry. It clearly explains all the basics you need and unlike a degree that gives you little practical information, it gives you a solid foundation to build on. I would like to thank you for a well presented course."

Alexander G
ex-Signals Regiment, British Army

100% No-Risk Guarantee

We want you to be satisfied with this course and therefore offer a 100% no-risk refund guarantee. To receive a full refund, all we ask is that refund requests are made within 30 days of purchase and that you have viewed no more than 5 individual course videos.

Includes 1-year unlimited individual course access, printed notes, certificates and IEEE CEUs/PDHs

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Enroll on Diploma course $1,345
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