You are on page 1of 5

2017613 AntennaTutorialsReflectionCoefficientandVSWR

TransmissionLines:ReflectionCoefficientandVSWR

Previous:TxLineModelsand Next:InputImpedanceofa
TxLineTableofContents
Z0 TransmissionLine
RelatedTopics Antennas(Home)

Wearenowawareofthecharacteristicimpedanceofatransmissionline,andthatthetxline
givesrisetoforwardandbackwardtravellingvoltageandcurrentwaves.Wewillusethis
informationtodeterminethevoltagereflectioncoefficient,whichrelatestheamplitudeofthe
forwardtravellingwavetotheamplitudeofthebackwardtravellingwave.

Tobegin,considerthetransmissionlinewithcharacteristicimpedanceZ0attachedtoaload
withimpedanceZL:

Attheterminalswherethetransmissionlineisconnectedtotheload,theoverallvoltagemust
begivenby:

[1]

Recalltheexpressionsforthevoltageandcurrentontheline(derivedonthepreviouspage):

Ifweplugthisintoequation[1](notethatzisfixed,becauseweareevaluatingthisataspecific
point,theendofthetransmissionline),weobtain:

http://www.antennatheory.com/tutorial/txline/transmission3.php 1/5
2017613 AntennaTutorialsReflectionCoefficientandVSWR

Theratioofthereflectedvoltageamplitudetothatoftheforwardvoltageamplitudeisthe
voltagereflectioncoefficient.Thiscanbesolvedforviatheaboveequation:

Thereflectioncoefficientisusuallydenotedbythesymbolgamma.Notethatthemagnitudeof
thereflectioncoefficientdoesnotdependonthelengthoftheline,onlytheloadimpedanceand
theimpedanceofthetransmissionline.Also,notethatifZL=Z0,thenthelineis"matched".In
thiscase,thereisnomismatchlossandallpoweristransferredtotheload.Atthispoint,you
shouldbegintounderstandtheimportanceofimpedancematching:grosslymismatched
impedanceswillleadtomostofthepowerreflectedawayfromtheload.

Notethatthereflectioncoefficientcanbearealoracomplexnumber.

StandingWaves

We'llnowlookatstandingwavesonthetransmissionline.Assumingthepropagationconstant
ispurelyimaginary(losslessline),Wecanrewritethevoltageandcurrentwavesas:

Ifweplotthevoltagealongthetransmissionline,weobserveaseriesofpeaksandminimums,
whichrepeatafullcycleeveryhalfwavelength.Ifgammaequals0.5(purelyreal),thenthe
magnitudeofthevoltagewouldappearas:

http://www.antennatheory.com/tutorial/txline/transmission3.php 2/5
2017613 AntennaTutorialsReflectionCoefficientandVSWR

Similarly,ifgammaequalszero(nomismatchloss)themagnitudeofthevoltagewouldappear
as:

Finally,ifgammahasamagnitudeof1(thisoccurs,forinstance,iftheloadisentirelyreactive
whilethetransmissionlinehasaZ0thatisreal),thenthemagnitudeofthevoltagewould
appearas:

http://www.antennatheory.com/tutorial/txline/transmission3.php 3/5
2017613 AntennaTutorialsReflectionCoefficientandVSWR

OnethingthatbecomesobviousisthattheratioofVmaxtoVminbecomeslargerasthe
reflectioncoefficientincreases.Thatis,iftheratioofVmaxtoVminisone,thenthereareno
standingwaves,andtheimpedanceofthelineisperfectlymatchedtotheload.Iftheratioof
VmaxtoVminisinfinite,thenthemagnitudeofthereflectioncoefficientis1,sothatallpower
isreflected.Hence,thisratio,knownastheVoltageStandingWaveRatio(VSWR)or
standingwaveratioisameasureofhowwellmatchedatransmissionlineistoaload.Itis
definedas:

Thisparameteriscommonlyquotedinantennaspecsheets.Itistypicallygivenovera
bandwidth,sothatyouhaveanideaofhowmuchpowerisreflectedbytheantennaovera
frequencyrange(oralternatively,howmuchpowertheantennaradiates).

LoadCellManufacturerHighAccuracyLoadCell
WeighingIsBelievinggavincc.com

Next:InputImpedanceofaTransmissionLine

Previous:TxLineModelsandZ0

TxLineTableofContents
http://www.antennatheory.com/tutorial/txline/transmission3.php 4/5
2017613 AntennaTutorialsReflectionCoefficientandVSWR

AntennaTutorial(Home)

http://www.antennatheory.com/tutorial/txline/transmission3.php 5/5