What sort of work has FCL done for previous clients?
This is a summary of the various types of work commissioned by clients and
RF (HF/VHF/UHF) Design and Development, Tasks and Familiarity
- Hands-on fault finding and debugging on multi-layer PCBs, surface mount to 0603
(0402 with suitable magnification).
- VCOs (negative resistance method and Colpitts): development, improving
performance, especially at low temperatures.
- Basic oscillator circuits designed around both bipolar transistors and JFETs: Colpitts, Clapp and Hartley architectures. , 
- S-parameter measurements and applications including: Rollet stability factor, simultaneous conjugate match,
narrowband and wideband matching., , , , , , , 
- Smith chart (Z, Y and YZ planes) analyses, interpretation and matching,
distributed and lumped element., , , , 
- High frequency Q-factor measurements and lumped component selection (particularly
- Low noise amplifiers: bipolar and GaAs MESFET, HEMT and PHEMT (NF circles and optimum source noise match)., 
- Intermediate power amplifiers (few 10s of watts, class A linear, B and AB push-pull) at HF and VHF.
- PIN diode attenuators (bridged-T, pi, single and dual device packages).
- Frequency hopping synthesizer (E-GSM): reduced parts count, rationalised PCB layers,
reduced cost and improved performance.
- PIN diode switches (high isolation) and phase shifters: performed detailed
- Microstrip, CPS, CPW and stripline/triplate controlled impedance lines (FR4 and Rogers/Duroid
substrates): simulated and built.
- Wideband transformers and baluns (HF/VHF): developed twisted wire and transmission line types on
- Space equipment hardware: development, evaluation and results analyses and
processing (multi-port S-parameters).
- Satellite ground station equipment: design and development (intermediate data rate
C and Ku-band).
- GPS receiver development (agile airborne application), bandpass sampling (undersampling).
- Power combining/splitting: developed Wilkinson, branch line, Lange and rat race / ring
- IP3, P1dB, SFDR measurements, their interpretation and calculations (Excel,
ADS systems environment).
- High speed ADC specification (Analog Devices, for bandpass and baseband sampling).
- Dual modulus synthesizers: development, loop filters calculations, programming (National Semiconductor
- Fractional N synthesizers: new (reduced size) die evaluation (GSM 900 MHz
- Dual loop synthesizers: upgrade from switched crystal oscillators (reduced
power, weight, space; airborne
- Legacy (navigational) receiver upgrade: improved and rationalised RF layout,
reduced parts count.
- Passive (LC) sampling bandpass filter design from scratch at HF/VHF using filter tables (Williams - Taylor).
- Characterisation of 'soft' ferrite materials for VHF (Siemens/EPCOS, Fair-rite:
various geometries and materials).
- Designed directional couplers for VSWR monitoring at VHF and UHF (portable
- Design of high isolation double balanced mixers (ferrite torroids, VHF LO),
(large HF OTH
- Design of a high Q absorptive notch filter (critical transmitter spurious measurements
- Developed a Schottky diode envelope detector circuit and
high slew-rate video stages for a radar receiver (Avago 282X).
- Designed a constant delay slope video low pass filter
(for high percentage bandwidth IF detection).
- Evaluated successive detection logarithmic video
amplifiers (SDLVAs) and specified improved versions at half the original cost.
Microwave and Millimetre Wave Design and Development
- Alumina based microstrip development of GaAs FET LNAs (K/Ku-band space
- SSPA and TWTA specifications: their interpretation (power handling and efficiency,
space platform system).
- Space hardware receivers evaluation and development (TV broadcast satellite).
- Lange couplers, branchline couplers (design and evaluation, Ku-band mixers).
- Designed Cassegrain and front-fed parabolic reflector antennas and evaluated
them (far field at W-band).
- Designed a range of dual mode (smooth conical) Potter horn antennas (for W-band
- Designed and developed various passive millimetre wave waveguide structures
(using electro-formation techniques).
- Beam waveguides: via refractive (polyethylene lenses) and ellipsoid reflective transmission
- Designed quasi-optic (Gaussian and Gauss-Laguere) structures for 2D and 3D monopulse tracking feeds
- Developed a precision VNA phase/amplitude interface (lens antenna
measurements using the HP 8510).
- Developed a set of antenna isolators for an ECM product
that improved the receiver threshold by a minimum 20 dB wideband across SHF (X
and K band).
- DC-DC converters (SMPS): specification, heat dissipation and mechanical (seaborne
product, unusual voltages).
- ADC interfacing: anti-alias filtering, offset/gain setting (audio
application and spectrum analyzer interface).
- Linear low power regulators: general specification and use.
- Design of audio amplifiers, buffer circuits and general purpose operational
- DC power reduction techniques for battery operation, component selection for
variety reduction (low-cost portable transceiver application).
- Interfacing to PC architecture: (GP-IB/IEEE-488, RS232/422/485), PIO cards (National
Instruments and Bluechip
- Microchip Technology PIC24F PIC (16 bit) micro-controllers and DSP ICs: IDE
Systems Level Development and Implementation
- Improved terrestrial broadcast quality of service
performance for MF and VHF radio, UHF TV and DAB, local and national
- RF over optical fibre system development and implementation (DWDM, lambda =
1550 nm, seaborne application).
- Specification and evaluation of fibre optic components: EDFAs, Mach Zehnder optical intensity modulators, circulators, WDM filters
(add-drop multiplexers), laser diode sources and control ICs (RF over optical
- Proposed high level satellite payload DSP architectures to replace analogue
ones (design study, presentation).
- Multiple port amplifiers, as an alternative to switched redundancy on
satellite payloads (design study and presentation).
- Proposed high level active transmit and receive antenna arrays to replace passive antennas (X/Ku bands
study and presentation).
- HF over-the-horizon radar systems: receiver and LO distribution, design support and implementation.
- Provided engineering support for communication equipment proposals: transportable digital tropospheric scatter equipment, microwave LOS links, HF broadcast stations, satellite receivers and
IF group delay
- Propagation studies and performance predictions for HF channels, VHF (Bullington),
tropospheric scatter and microwave LOS/diffraction links.
- Frequency planning to manage intermodulation distortion and harmonic products
(wide range of products).
- Interfacing to SDH/SONET data rates (ECL, CML, LVDS on FEC modules with Reed Solomon 15/14 coding).
- Specified a high stability, high reliability local oscillator distribution
system (HF OTH calibration receiver).
- Developed Fortran-77 program suite for digital LOS link performance predictions
(from Smith ).
- Authored worst case analysis (WCA) reports and failure mode, effects and criticality analyses (FMECA),
- Systems analysis support for performance improvement of an ELINT radar
receiver (to zero-IF complex baseband).
CAD Packages, Applications and Languages Experience
Good working knowledge:
- Microsoft Office: Word , Access, PowerPoint (2003)
- Microsoft Excel 2002 with Analysis ToolPak 2002
- Visual Basic 6
- FrontPage 2003
- Visual Basic for Applications
- Agilent Advanced Design System (ADS) 2006A
- Microwave Office 2006
- Visio Professional 2003, Turbo-CAD 9
- Microsoft Access 2002 database management system
- Ansoft Designer 2.2.0
- Mentor Graphics (Unix)
- Eagleware/Genesys 2005
- ANSI-C (David Himmel)
- Microsoft Visual C++ and Borland 4.5 C++
- Microsoft C++ Net 7.1
- SuSE 8.1 and Ubuntu (Linux)
- Easy PC 5.0, ViewDraw 7.5.3, CircuitCAM, Cadstar Viewer
- MathCad 8, MatLab 5.3, Aplac 6.10
- Microsoft PowerPoint 2002
Documentation and Presentations
- Authorship of customer deliverable design proving specifications, test plans,
test specifications and requirements definitions to MIL standards.
- Writing application notes, user manuals, datasheets.
- Presentations: technical to specialists and critical peer groups; non-technical to senior management
(engineering support 'point of contact').
- Day to day technical notes, formal and informal progress reports (registered
Test, Evaluation and Results Processing
- Multiport S-parameter (full complex) measurement processing using VBA: gain, return loss / VSWR, microwave test results processing and analysis.
- Assessing Rollet stability, group delay (Excel with analysis Toolpak 2002,
- AM noise, phase noise and jitter measurements (HP/Agilent 3048) , , .
- Electrical performance evaluation over temperature and vacuum.
- Conducted emissions and susceptibility, performance correction measures
- Radiated emissions and susceptibility, with debugging (MIL-STD-462D).
- PLL lock time measurements (synthesizer phase lock and frequency lock).
Test Equipment Familiarity
- Vector and scalar network analyzers.
- S-parameter test sets including coupling for high power characterisations.
- Power meters including sensors.
- Spectrum analyzers (conventional and real time) HP/Agilent 4402B.
- Signal sources (personality types).
- Digital storage oscilloscopes.
- Noise figure meters and analysers (SSB, DSB, with and without frequency
- Precision reflectometers and test jigs.
- Automatic test equipment control (GP-IB/HP-IB, National Instruments PCI and
- Digital signal processing (key techniques, especially Fourier transforms).
- Coded orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (COFDM).
- Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11).
- Wi-Max (IEEE 802.16).
- Software implemented radio.
- Zero-IF and near-zero-IF receiver architectures.
- Electrically small antennas.
- Very high RF power generation and transmission (fusion engineering).