U.S. Particle Accelerator School

RF Engineering and Signal Processing course

Sponsoring University:

Cornell University


RF Engineering and Signal Processing


John D. Fox, SLAC/Stanford University

Purpose and Audience
This course is intended for accelerator physicists, operators and electrical engi­neers who have some general background in electronics but are interested in better understanding the techniques and practical details of radio frequency and microwave circuit techniques commonly used for particle accelerator purposes. The course will attempt to balance the physics of waves and impedances, the technology of RF/microwave circuit components, and the systems (such as beam position monitors) built using RF/microwave techniques. The course should be accessible to those with an undergraduate exposure to electricity and magnetism fundamentals and fundamentals of electronic circuits..

This course will consist of two parts - a technical introduction to RF circuitry and signal processing techniques, followed by example implementations of RF processing and control functions as used in several particle accelerators. This class will stress important concepts, and is intended to reduce some of the “mystery” surrounding RF circuits and techniques. The class will stress signal processing techniques, rather than high power RF sources, or the design of high-power accelerating cavities (though resonators in several geometries will be covered)

Instructional Method
The course will consist of lectures, as well as two computer lab exercises. If available, there will be one (possibly two) laboratory sessions with common RF instruments including a Spectrum Analyzer, Network Analyzer and TDR. The labs should offer the opportunity to allow practical learning about the devices and components discussed in the course

Course Content
Important signal processing concepts will be developed starting from the essentials of linear time invariant signals, use of Fourier transform methods, and time and frequency domain descriptions of RF signals. Non-linear processing techniques, including modulation, heterodyning and quadrature (I&Q) processing will be presented. The course assumes some level of familiarity with circuit fundamentals, and will cover electromagnetic wave fundamentals, transmission lines, S-parameters, impedances, resonators and key RF processing components (such as hybrids, circulators, waveguides, mixers, diode detectors, etc.). The course will attempt to stress both frequency-domain descriptions as well as time-domain descriptions of these circuit elements and behavior.

The second portion of the class will examine the system implementations of several linac and storage ring RF systems, as well as look at the detailed implementation of several important accelerator instrumentation problems (such a beam position monitor signal processing, broadband feedback systems) that rely on RF signal processing systems.

Reading Requirements
(to be provided by the USPAS) "Microwave Engineering", (third edition) by David M. Pozar, Wiley & Sons publishers (1998) and papers from accelerator literature. Another excellent reference is "Fields and Waves in Communication Electronics" (Third Edition) by Simon Ramo, John Whinnery and Theodore Van Duzer, Wiley & Sons publishers (1994).

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated as follows: final exam (50 % of final grade), homework assignments (30% of final grade), computer/lab sessions (20% of final grade).