Waveguide Circulators and Isolators Explained

Waveguide circulators are devices with three ports developed to create isolation between transmitted and received signals. These are commonly used for electronically steered antenna (AESA) arrays, telecommunications applications, and satellite communications etc.

A waveguide isolator is a modified circulator having one port terminated with a matched impedance. Both the devices are typically used for preventing high powered transmitter outputs interfering with sensitive receiver circuitry. It efficiently does so by separating received signals at the input of the antenna from the transmitter’s signals.

Most of the circulators that are based on passive ferromagnetic technologies are coaxial or waveguide packaged devices. These types of circulators work best in their frequency range of operation by providing very high isolation. As compared to cavity duplexers being used for in-building telecommunications installations and base stations.

Both of these are used in the applications ranging from hundreds of megahertz to tens of gigahertz, it makes them perfect for operations in radar and communication bands. Many factors limit the frequency bandwidth of operation of a circulator like the geometry of the magnetic material used, the impedance matching network of the circulator, and the design of the transmission line along with manufacturing techniques and the types of ferrite.

The performance of waveguide circulators and isolators is measured on the parameters of isolation, bandwidth, and insertion loss etc. Other important factors that should be considered are power handling, size, interconnect technology, and temperature range.

You can find a wide range of waveguide isolators and circulators catering to your different needs on the Raditek website www.raditek.com