The revolutionary microwave telecommunication system was demonstrated in the 1930s, and practically during World War II with the development of the radar. Recently, the use of the microwave spectrum by new telecommunication technologies like direct-broadcast satellites and wireless networks has increased exponentially through broadcast radio and television directly to consumer homes.
Microwaves are basically a type of electromagnetic radiation, such as gamma rays, radio waves, ultraviolet radiation, and X-rays. This type of radiation is used in a range of different applications like communications, radar, and some household appliances for cooking.
Communications and Radar
Microwaves are mainly used for point-to-point communications systems to provide all types of information, such as data, video, and voice in both digital and analog formats. At the same time, they are used for supervisory control and data acquisition for remote machinery, signals, switches, and valves.
Radar is also an important application based on microwaves. Originally an acronym for the term Radio Detection and Ranging, radar has become so common and can refer to systems using radio waves and microwaves.
Microwave Heat Sources
Cooking food is also one of the major uses of microwaves, such as those in ovens as they can be used to transmit thermal energy. Microwave ovens were very large and costly when they were first made, but later they became so affordable and are common in homes all around the world until this day. Microwave heating systems were also used in many industrial applications, such as chemical, food, and materials processing, both continuous and batch operations.
Microwave radio links are communications systems that use radio wave beams within the microwave frequency range. This is intended to transmit data, voice, or video information between locations. It offers persistent connection with lower latency and higher capacity compared to satellite solutions. The good thing about microwave radios is that they have lower deployment costs compared to fiber optic cables.
Thus, the microwave radio link is used frequently for long distance transmissions where a cable is not feasible and is costly. Moreover, it is a reliable communication method widely used for offshore communications between platforms.
Advantages of Microwave Radio
- Less distance between switching centers
- Can carry huge quantities of information due to high operating frequencies
- Does not require right-of-way acquisition between stations
- Requires small antennas
- Less crosstalk between voice channels
- Few repeaters for amplification
- Less maintenance, and increased reliability
Applications for Microwave Radio
- Remote Sensing – This is used in earth orbit satellites for anomaly detection with mapping and imaging, broadcasting, high-speed Internet, and space operations.
- Radar and Sonar – This is ideal for impedance matching, intelligence gathering, positioning, signal leveling, topographic mapping, and medical diagnostics.
- Parameter Estimation – Microwave radios can be used for power flow measurements and environmental parameter estimation, such as humidity, soil moisture, and temperature.
- Telecommunication – This also provides multiple networks or point-to-point communications in VoIP telephony.
Microwave radio systems use the equipment for broadcasting and telecommunications transmissions. These include radios situated on top of microwave towers, used to transmit microwave communications with the use of line-of-sight microwave radio technology.
Nearby microwave equipment uses the same frequencies without interfering with each other, unlike lower frequency radio waves.
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