Interconnect Advances Fuel Technology Growth
By Orwill Hawkins, Vice President of Marketing, LadyBug Technologies

With increased frequencies, higher data rates, and lower noise levels, the microwave industry serves as a leader in technological capability. Demand for quality interconnects has increased right along with other higher-performance areas in the industry.


Uncertain Times for DefenseIn Defense of DARPA; Lamenting Bell Labs
By Barry Manz

A federal agency like DARPA is a sitting duck for politicians and assorted other critics. It has come up with some truly bizarre programs over years that ultimately either delivered no tangible results, were canceled before they could cause any damage, or attempted to answer questions that nobody was asking or needed answers to. Read More...


E-Band Active X5 Multiplier
Model SFA-743843516-12SF-N1 is an E-band X5 active multiplier with center frequency at 79 GHz with minimum +/-5 GHz operational bandwidth. It converts 14.8 to 16.8 GHz/+5 dBm input signal to deliver 74 to 84 GHz frequency band with more than +16 dBm power.
Sage Millimeter

Hand-Flex™ Coaxial Cable
Covering DC to 12.5 GHz, this 8” coaxial cable, 141-8SMNB+, has a bulkhead Female Type-N connector at one end and SMA-Male at the other. Features include low loss, excellent return loss, hand formable, and an 8mm bend radius for tight installations.

Phase Trimmer Series
This new phase trimmer series is designed for RF applications where phase match between two cables is needed for proper system performance. Phase trimmers, offered from DC to 50 GHz, will give an accurate phase adjustment over a specified frequency range.
RLC Electronics

Planar Monolithics Industries
Model PTRAN-100M18G-SFB-3UVPX-MAH is a transceiver covering the frequency range of 100 MHz to 18 GHz. The transceiver fits into a 3U Open VPX form factor utilizing the high speed VITA 67 RF connector.
Planar Monolithics Industries

SMT High-Power Attenuators
Now available with full design support capabilities are three new SMT high-power attenuators from Anaren. These 30 to 50W devices are high-performance, high-power chip attenuators covering DC to 3.0 GHz and feature high return loss and small footprints.
Richardson RFPD

See all products in this issue


Hope for the MRE: Microwave-Assisted Thermal Sterilization
Hope for the MRE: Microwave-Assisted Thermal Sterilization
Lauren Oleksyk at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center's Combat Feeding Directorate, is working to revolutionize what warfighters eat on the battlefield. “Our mission is to provide warfighters with near-fresh, high-quality, shelf-stable rations,” said Oleksyk, team leader for food processing, engineering and technology at the Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center. “What we’re really going for is that even if they get something that may be three years old, for them to feel like it was made yesterday, or even that same day,” she said. To achieve this, they will, in part, relay on the utility of the ubiquitous microwave oven.

Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), the centerpiece of the combat feeding program, are processed using retort thermosterilization, which is similar to canning, with items cooked at high temperatures and under pressure for as long as three hours to kill any bacteria. You get the sterilization that you need,” says Oleksyk, “but because it involves cooking a product for a long period of time, it can be detrimental to the product itself.”  Foods typically become stew-like, with mushy textures, bland colors and little flavor after extended cooking. The nutritional value drops, too. That led Natick engineers to explore new processing methods that commercial food service companies are emulating.

Microwave-assisted thermal sterilization is one of the most promising techniques. The process uses giant commercial microwave ovens that kill bacteria within just 8 min. and heats packaged foods uniformly in a way that traditional microwaves don’t. The result is higher-quality products with firmer textures, more natural colors, and fresher-tasting flavors, and it’s expanding what can be included in in combat rations.
Pasta, for example, tends to get mushy and lumpy using the retort method. The protein in fish and seafood breaks down, giving entrees a soft texture and an unpleasant “fishy” flavor and odor. Eggs take on a greenish cast. Fruits and vegetables become the consistency of baby food.

But a new developmental dish Oleksyk and her colleagues are advancing, Cajun chicken pasta, shows the difference microwave sterilization makes. When presented side-by-side with the same recipe processed using the retort method, the microwaved entree features al dente noodles, juicy chicken pieces and a just-cooked consistency and flavor.

“When you taste the microwave sterilized chicken, you really wouldn’t know that it was processed two years ago,” Oleksyk said. “You would think it was just prepared. And that is the goal.” A salmon-in-alfredo-sauce MRE under development using microwave sterilization delivers a firm texture and fresh-caught taste. “It’s shelf-stable for three years,” said Jeremy Whitsitt, technology integration analyst for the center’s Department of Defense combat feeding directorate.




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MMD March 2014
New Military Microwave Digest

The Design of Ultra Narrowband Amplifiers Using Small-Signal Varactor Upconverters
This paper presents a method of realizing tunable microwave amplifiers with ultra narrow bandwidths that can be less than 0.5% by the use of a varactor up-converter (UC).
Planar Monolithics

Directivity and VSWR Measurements
Return loss and VSWR measurements are complicated by the finite performance of the directional device used to measure the reflected power. The only accurate and convenient way to make return loss measurements is with a well matched high directivity directional coupler or bridge.
Marki Microwave

Switch Solutions for Systems with Low PIM Requirements
Dow-Key Microwave has invested in R&D for new RF switch products designed specifically to reduce intermodulation (IM) in coaxial switches.
Dow-Key Microwave

How to Specify RF and Microwave Filters
Covers cavity, ceramic, LC, crystal and helical filters.
Anatech Electronics

Mounting Considerations for Medium Power Surface-Mount RF Devices
Covers all factors that must be considered when mounting SMT devices.
TriQuint Semiconductor

Biasing MMIC Amplifiers
How to bias MMICs along with theory and techniques.

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