KD6029 - Wireless and RF Systems Design

What will I learn on this module?

This module aims to introduce you to the theory, design and analysis of RF and wireless communication systems. Wireless communication will be delivered via two key curriculum themes of Microwave circuit design and Antenna design.

All modern high frequency mobile communication systems can be split into two distinct sections. The first key section if the design of circuitry to generate and modify the performance of RF signals. This part will be covered in the microwave circuit design part of this module and will cover the key concepts of microwave circuit design for wireless and RF systems. Once the RF signal has been generated, it must then be converted to a signal that can be transmitted through air. This is the second key concept to be covered in this module – namely antenna design. The antenna design section covers the key principles of transmitting an RF signal through free space. The antenna design topic also examines the key concepts of antenna design related to modern communication systems, including mobile telephone systems from 1G to 4G.

Two key areas within these two topics are identified:

Microwave circuit design

Transmission Line Basics, Smith Chart, Impedance Matching techniques, Lumped Elements, Impedance / Admittance parameters, ABCD parameters , S-parameters, Passive microwave circuits.

Antenna design
Basic antenna parameters, outline of antenna types, wires, apertures, dishes, patch antennas, antennas required for
mobile systems, Structure of Cellular systems. Base station design, Typical RF transmitter layout, Antenna types for mobile handset and base stations. Factors affecting reception.

How will I learn on this module?

This module will be delivered using a mixture of lectures supported by laboratories, workshops, online videos, together with directed learning and independent learning. An assignment is included to reinforce the theory provided in the lecture sessions.

Before each lecture you will be expected and encouraged to read ahead by reviewing the support material provided via eLP to support your own learning outside of timetabled hours. This will allow for meaningful discussions to take place during lectures.
Practical examples and analysis will be explored during lectures with active participation by students being employed. This will involve tutor lead Q+A sessions and student to student explanation and response at the front of class. A key element of learning on this module includes student led discussion of the key design principles and trade-offs associated with practical antenna design.
During the laboratory sessions you are presented with a design problem, typical of the types of problems faced in the engineering industry. An example of this is that you are given a brief to design an antenna for a communication system. You must complete the entire design process, from initial idea generation to final product and present your results in the form of a final report. By following this process you will develop key transferable skills that can be applied to most industries.
Directed learning for laboratory sessions will include comprehensive learning guides available for computer simulation packages.
Lab sessions will include detailed guided introduction to a wide range of practical Wireless and RF measurement systems.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module is delivered as noted in both lectures and workshops. These provide the key academic support to the module; however around this is built a number of support structures.
Workshops, supported by lab tutors, effectively provide verbal feedback and comments throughout the session. Such comments may be generic and applicable to you, typically noting procedures or some technical guideline or could be may be more directed to the individuals learning. Online screen videos are included on the eLP platform to help you understanding of key concepts related to this module.
The most appropriate use of blackboard (online platform) is made in the module where the module taught content is provided along with links to the reading list.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Demonstrate the application of knowledge in the design of wireless and RF circuits and systems with application to real world problems. (SM1m, SM6m, D4m)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. Simulate build and test RF circuits and antennas using simulation and practical lab equipment (EP1m, EP3m)
3. Analyse the specification and performance requirements necessary for the operation of wireless and RF links within a regulatory framework (ET5m, EP4m)
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
4. Mathematically model system-level, circuit-level and component-level solutions to wireless and RF systems (EA3m, EA4m, D4m)

How will I be assessed?

Summative assessed is by an unseen formal examination to assess their understanding of the lecture material, application and appraisal. This will cover LO1, LO3 and LO4. An assignment which includes the practical design, measurement and analysis of a key component of a communication system also forms part of the summative assessment. LO2, LO3 will be addressed.

Formative assessment using e-portal software and e-learning tests and MCQ tests within lectures.

Feedback occurs during lab sessions, seminars and via the e-learning portal tests.

Feedback on formal examination will be given after the examination with a formal session





Module abstract

In this module you will study key aspects of mobile communication using wireless technology. You will be taught via lectures, which will be recorded live and will be available online for you to watch in your own time. You will also get to experience practical sessions in our state-of-the-art microwave facilities, which are highly regarded as being amongst the best in the UK. An example of what you will study includes what happens during a mobile phone conversation, whether you are using a 1G, 2G, 3G or 4G mobile phone. As technology is constantly evolving the syllabus is continuously updated to reflect this. Our academics are all heavily involved in researching new ideas and technology and this is reflected in our teaching, so you can experience the next generation of technology whilst it is still being developed.

Course info

UCAS Code H602

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years full-time or 5 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023 or September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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