Radio frequencies are electromagnetic waves that are between 20 kHz to around 300 GHz in frequency. They are known for their unique ability to radiate into space as radio waves. RF tends to flow over surfaces without penetrating deeply and can travel through the air well. This means it has a wide variety of applications in communications and medical technology. Here are three things you should know about radiofrequency systems.
Applications of Radio Frequencies
Radiofrequency technology is used in a variety of applications that affect our everyday lives. Wireless internet, Bluetooth and mobile phone networks all use ultra-high-frequency RF to send information quickly. Both cable television and antenna transmissions utilize radio frequencies. Lower radio frequencies are used for military signaling and AM radio. In the medical field, RF is employed by devices like MRI machines to help diagnose patients. Dermatologists are even working with RF technology to address signs of photoaging.
Active Components in RF Systems
Radiofrequency circuits are systems that contain passive and active components. A mixer is a component that multiplies two signals together to create a third mixed signal. Some RF circuits also have a phase-locked loop which allows for different types of output to be generated. Amplifiers increase the power of a signal before it is transmitted. Some merely boost the signal, but other low-noise amplifiers are also available for radio frequencies if you need to increase your signal-to-noise ratio. Finally, many RF devices now need data converters that can translate an analog signal to digital or vice-versa.
Sampling and Coupling Devices
A directional coupler is a passive device that can sample high-frequency signals such as radio frequencies and measure them. Directional couplers are useful for the distribution of signals, including cable television and telephone transmissions. Different models serve different functions. For example, uni-directional couplers measure a single direction, while bi-directional couplers have four ports and measure forward and reverse signals. An RF directional coupler can be a valuable component in a radiofrequency system.
It’s important to understand radiofrequency technology because it plays a vital role in modern life.