Topic outline

  • This course is closed. Thank you all for your participation.

    After learning the basics of microwave engineering, you can now apply your knowledge and start designing real microwave components and radio systems.

    Radio systems consist of passive and active components (such as filters, couplers, resonators, microstrip-lines, amplifiers, mixers, oscillators etc.) which need to be combined properly (remember especially the topic impedance matching) and evaluated for their performance (losses, non-linear effects, noise). In this course you discuss and practise the design of passive and active components. You will carry out computer-aided component design assignments using AWR Design Enviroment software, which facilitate the design of a small radio system that is part of your final project. The AWR software (v. 16) is available in the PC classes in Maarintie 8 (rooms "1174 TU4" and "1621 AS5") and in Maarintalo (room "219") - which are accessible both physically as well as through*. Alternatively, students can download and install AWR to their own PC, along with a 180-day student license, from (please mention prof. V. Viikari in the form). (*To access the workstations in the above mentioned PC classes please follow the instructions by the university found at

    • resource icon
      Course Introduction Lecture slides File
      Not available unless: You are a(n) Student

      Lecture slides for the first contact-session on March 21, 2022.

    • resource icon
      General homework exercise instructions File
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      You return your exercise answers during one of the contact sessions. Each student presents his/her answers (one problem at a time) to one of the course teachers. Based on this discussion, the teacher decides the number of points for the exercise. Grading criteria and a checklist for preparing your problem answers can be found in the attached PDF file, please read!

    • resource icon
      Smith Chart with unity circle File
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    • General discussion for everyone

  • Contact sessions

    On Mondays at 10:15 - 12 and Thursdays at 9:30 - 12 in Maarintie 6, room A113. 

    Teacher team

    Prof. Ville Viikari, Univ. Lect. Clemens Icheln, and course assistants Veli-Pekka Kutinlahti and Albert Salmi.


    This course requires students to have passed ELEC-E4420 in order to achieve the learning goals of this course with the given workload allocation corresponding to 5 ECTS. (Lack of pre-requisites means a student needs to independently study more in order to pass this course.) Essential pre-requisites are the ability to use CAD tools (e.g., AWR), matching circuit design, understanding S-parameters, and the use of the Smith chart.

    Learning outcomes
    • After the course, an average student (grade 3) can design and analyze simple microwave circuits and components using analytical and computer-aided design tools. The student knows the key characteristics of different components and has pre-requisites for designing microwave systems. The student is familiar with the selected computer-aided microwave circuit design tool(s).
    • Students have had the opportunity to improve their presentation skills, group-working skills, documentation skills, and problem-solving skills.   
    Course literature
    • The course book is David M. Pozar Microwave Engineering (either 3rd or 4th ed.)
      • the course book is available online as well as in the Aalto Learning Centre
      • there, you can also find the supplementary textbook in Finnish for this course: Lehto/Räisänen "RF- ja Mikroaaltotekniikka", Otatieto, TKY 547, 2006
      • Generally, if getting the course book from the library is a problem (e.g. too few copies), please let us teachers know. We don't have a copy for every student since many students have own copies already, but we want to have just enough so that all who need can borrow one copy.
    Course content
    1. Recap of the fundamentals of impedance matching-circuit design
    2. Design of passive microwave components (resonators, dividers, couplers, filters, Pozar Chapters 5-8)
    3. Design of active microwave components (amplifiers, oscillators, mixers, rectifiers, Pozar Ch. 10-12 in 3rd ed., or Ch. 10-13 in 4th ed.)
    4. Design of a small radio system using computer-aided design tools, as group work.

    Principles of the teaching
    • There will be quizzes embedded in each lecture, and answering these affects grading positively.
    • The course consists of 6 main topics, plus the final project: see the subpages of each topic to the left. Each subpage contains lecture slides and assignments. There will be several homework assignments for each topic, and regular in-class homework returns make up a major part of the final course grade.
    • To support the design- and practice-oriented learning goals, all contact sessions are held on-site and physical attendance is required.

    • 5 ECTS 5 x 27 hours = 135 hours of working
    • 10 x (2+3) hours = 50 hours of contact teaching 5 hours per week
    • 85 hours of independent working average 8.5 hours per week
    • The number of hours for independent work is only indicative. It is subject to the pre-knowledge, skills and working "efficiency" of the student.
    Communication and news
    • The main forums for the communication and information are the contact sessions and the top-level News forum on this MyCourses course page. Registered students get these news as an e-mail. All important information will be published in the News forum. 

      The students' questions should be addressed during the lessons or in the corresponding Discussion forums in MyCourses. This is because the same question is very likely interesting for the other students, too!

      If you have a personal question that you cannot ask during lessons, you can send an e-mail to one of the teachers. 


    The course is graded 0-5. Since all grading happens in class (!), physical attendance in most of the contact sessions is required to be able to pass this course. The final grade is based on the following assessment methods (including their weights in the final grade in %).

    • In-class quizzes (15 %): Students have to answer quizzes during each lecture, and attendance in class is required to have these graded.
    • Homework exercises (55 %): Assignments are solved either analytically (calculations) or using computer-aided design tools (e.g. AWR), depending on the topic. The computer exercises can be solved individually or collaboratively in groups depending on students' own choice. However, students return all their solutions to homework assignments individually during a contact session where they are presented to a teacher in order to be graded. The group-project presentation (and physical attendance) in the final seminar contributes to this grade.
    • Final quiz (30 %): The goal of the final quiz is to assess students' overall comprehension of the course, whereas homework assignments concentrate on a more detailed level. Physical attendance is required to have the final quiz in class graded (no remote participation).


    This course substitutes the discontinued course S-26.3100 RF and microwave engineering. If you have passed the course S-26.3100 you do not need to pass this course. If you need to pass S-26.3100, you can substitute it with this course.

  • All common sessions are held in Maarintie 6 (OIH) Room A113 (SimuLab)!

    Mon 21.3.2022 10:15-12:00 Course introduction

    Thu 24.3. 9:30-12:00 Impedance matching, lecture with quiz and homework support session

    Mon 28.3. 10:15-12:00 Dividers & couplers, lecture with quiz and homework support/return session

    Thu 31.3. 9:30-12:00 Dividers & couplers, lecture with quiz and homework support/return session

    Mon 4.4. 10:15-12:00 Filters, lecture with quiz and homework support/return session

    Thu 7.4. 9:30-12:00 Filters, lecture with quiz and homework support/return session

    Mon 11.4. 10:15-12:00 Non-linearity, lecture with quiz and homework support/return session

    Thu 14.4. 9:30-12:00 Non-linearity, homework support/return session

    (no lecture on Mon 18.4. - Easter break)

    Thu 21.4. 9:30-12:00 Amplifiers, lecture with quiz and homework support/returns

    Mon 25.4. 10:15-12:00 Amplifiers, lecture with quiz and homework support/return session

    Thu 28.4. 9:30-12:00 Oscillators & mixers, lecture with quiz and homework support/returns

    Mon 2.5. 10:15-12:00 Oscillators & mixers, homework support/return session

    Thu 5.5. 9:30-12:00 Oscillators & mixers, lecture with quiz and homework support/returns

    Mon 9.5. 10:15-12:00 Oscillators & mixers, homework support/return session

    Thu 12.5. 9:30-12:00 Radar project kick-off session, and homework support/returns.

    Mon 16.5. 10:15-12:00 Radar project, support session

    Thu 19.5. 9:30-12:00 Radar project support, and final homework return session!

    Mon 23.5. 10:15-12:00 Radar project support and Final quiz (on-site)

    (no lecture on Thu 26.5.2022 - Ascension Day)

    Mon 30.5. 10:15-12:00 Radar project seminar (on-site)

    (Thu 2.6. - no contact session)

  • At the beginning of this course we will recap the important topic of impedance matching, including wideband, multi-resonant matching circuits, and you will then practice the essential art of optimising a realistic PCB matching circuit using the AWR Design Enviroment.

  • In this section we study passive three-ports and four-ports. Prepare for the lecture and homework assignments by reading Chapter 7 in our course book (3rd or 4th ed.). You can skip Section 7.4 Waveguide Couplers and Section 7.9 Other Couplers!

    The book discusses the main operating principles of three-ports and four-ports (and n-ports), as well as typical practical applications in RF circuits. Do not try to memorise formulas, but instead pay attention to concepts such as reciprocity and coupling, as well as n-port-specific characteristics such as symmetry, but also general properties such as losses and bandwidth of microstrip-line n-ports.

  • In this section we study the most important microwave filter topologies and characteristics, as well as their implementation. Prepare for this lesson and the homework assignements by reading only Sections 8.3, 8.4, 8.6, and 8.7 from Chapter 8 in the course book (3rd or 4th ed.), which describes in large detail the most popular microwave filter-design strategies and their main characteristics, along with practical implementations using parallel stubs, coupled lines, or lumped components..

  • In this section we discuss how non-linearity affects microwave circuit performance, through e.g. gain compression, distortion and intermodulation. Furthermore we study the practical use of basic active components such as diodes in detectors/rectifiers, switches and phase shifters. To prepare for this lesson and homework assignment, study sections 10.2 - 10.3 in the 3rd edition, or sections 10.3-10.4 and 11.1 in the 4th edition of the course book.

  • in this section we study basic amplifier definitions such as gain and stability in real transistor amplifiers. To prepare for lesson and homework assignment read and study sections 11.1-11.3 in the 3rd edition, or sections 12.1-12.3 in the 4th edition of the course book. There are a lot of mathematical derivations that you do not need to memorize. The main point is to grasp what this all means in practice! Hence, pay attention mainly to the definition of transducer power gain, the role of unilaterality and unconditional stability (or potential instability) in real transistor amplifiers, as well as the use of constant-gain circles and constant-noise figure circles in the amplifier design process.

  • In this section you continue to study Active Components, with a close look at the important design of oscillators. To prepare for lesson and homework assignment, read and study the according sections in the course book:

    • Course book 3rd edition: Chapters 12.1-12.2 (and lecture slides).
    • Course book 4th edition: Chapters 13.1-13.2 (and lecture slides).

  • In the final section before the actual radar project you will study the design of mixer circuits. To prepare for lesson and homework assignment, read and study section 12.5 in the 3rd edition, or section 13.5 in the 4th edition of the course book.

  • In the last part of the course you design a Doppler radar. You have designed most parts/components of the radar circuit in the homework exercises. In the final project work you integrate those components and fine-tune them, and finally verify in AWR that the complete radar circuit operates as desired. The project work may be done either individually or in pairs. More instructions are found in the attachment below.

    You can get your own student license for AWR (only for Aalto students)!The AWR Desing Environment is available in both PC classes in the TUAS building (TU4&AS5), and in Maarintalo PC class "Maari-E". 

    Example diagram of a radar circuit

    Fig. Illustration of a possible radar circuit. The use of commercial amplifiers is optional e.g. if your oscillator power level is too low or the mixer conversion loss too high for a reasonable radar range. The ADC at the end of the green signal line is given (NI MyDAC), see its measured noise floor below.

  • This final quiz is taken individually and requires presence in class, no remote participation allowed. The final quiz is a set of 12 questions, of which eleven are "multiple-choice", whereas one question requires you to write a short essay. Having been active in class should suffice as preparation. If a student has not been active in class, only reading lecture slides will not contain quite enough information (they are just summarising main concepts), but rather studying the text-book sections mentioned in MyCourses.

    The quiz is found here in MyCourses (see below) at the given time and you will have a maximum of 45 minutes to answer all questions once you started the quiz!