Attenuators are passive linear components, being used to reduce the input power in a system by a certain amount. The ratio of input power versus output power is generally expressed in decibels (dB).
Attenuators are needed to control the microwave energy, mainly during measurement. They are also used to protect systems from excess energy, to extend the
dynamic range of measuring equipment, such as power meters, spectrum analyzers, amplifiers, receivers, etc.
The attenuation or insertion loss of an attenuator is the ratio of input power versus output power, providing that the input power is generated by a matched generator and the output of the attenuator is delivered into a perfectly matched load.
The standard attenuation values are available from 0 dB to 60 dB. In the range of 0 dB to 20 dB, smaller attenuation ranges are available, e.g. in steps of 1/2 dB. Above 20 dB and up to 30 dB, step sizes of 1 dB are standard, while the higher attenuation values are then usually specified by the customer.
This is the maximum allowable CW power to which the unit can be subjected to without suffering permanent damage, or without changing permanently the specified characteristics of the device. The power handling of absorptive units is a function of temperature. High temperature units are supplied with cooling fins or heat sinks or both for better power dissipation.
Attenuators are available with a large variety of connectors, meeting the appropriate standard interface specifications, such as MIL-Standards, DIN- or IEC-
In addition to the standard terminations shown in this section, Spectrum Elektrotechnik GmbH has been designing and supplying special models to suit particular requirements, such as unique mechanical outline, unusual mounting or special connector requirements, extended frequency operation, special attenuation values, or in between
attenuation values, higher power dissipation, harsh environment, etc.
Coaxial Attenuators do usually operate over a multi-octave bandwidth. In special applications they may be tuned to certain criteria in narrower bands.
Most of the attenuators can also be supplied to Customers High Reliability Specifications, environmental, military or governmental requirements, and/or to customer specified test procedures.
This is the maximum allowable Peak power to which the unit can be subjected to without suffering permanent damage, or without changing permanently the specified characteristics of the device. The peak power is transmitted using a certain pulse width and pulse repetition rate. The percentage of transmitted power, compared to CW power is called Duty Cycle.
The attenuation value of an attenuator will vary with temperature. The maximum change of attenuation or insertion loss per degree Centigrade over a specified temperature range is called the temperature coefficient.
Spectrum Elektrotechnik GmbH offers custom compiled sets of attenuators, if needed optimized for specific frequency bands.
Each attenuator within any set is 100% tested to ensure optimum performance over its full frequency range. To enable the user to maintain these quality attenuators in pristine condition, they are supplied in a nicely finished wooden case.
For details please contact us.