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# 2017613 AntennaTutorialsReflectionCoefficientandVSWR

TransmissionLines:ReflectionCoefficientandVSWR

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TxLineTableofContents
Z0 TransmissionLine
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Wearenowawareofthecharacteristicimpedanceofatransmissionline,andthatthetxline
givesrisetoforwardandbackwardtravellingvoltageandcurrentwaves.Wewillusethis
informationtodeterminethevoltagereflectioncoefficient,whichrelatestheamplitudeofthe
forwardtravellingwavetotheamplitudeofthebackwardtravellingwave.

withimpedanceZL:

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
theimpedanceofthetransmissionline.Also,notethatifZL=Z0,thenthelineis"matched".In
shouldbegintounderstandtheimportanceofimpedancematching:grosslymismatched

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:

whilethetransmissionlinehasaZ0thatisreal),thenthemagnitudeofthevoltagewould
appearas:

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

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

Thisparameteriscommonlyquotedinantennaspecsheets.Itistypicallygivenovera
bandwidth,sothatyouhaveanideaofhowmuchpowerisreflectedbytheantennaovera