Course Number: 9008
Length: 4 Days
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RF Engineering Training (Live on-line and at your site or Tonex site)

RF Engineering Training Course covers all aspects of Radio Frequency Engineering, a subset of electrical engineering. The course incorporates theory and practices to illustrate the role of RF into almost everything that transmits or receives a radio wave which includes: RF planning, cellular networks including 2G GSM, 3G UMTS, 4G LTE, 5G, mmWave, 6G, Radar, EW, AIGINT, Wi-Fi, Satellite Communications, GPS, VSAT, two-way radio, Point-to-point microwave, Point-to-Multi-Point Radio Links, Public Safety, Testing, Modeling  and Simulation.

RF Engineering Boot Camp provides participants with a solid understanding of RF surveys and planning, electromagnetic modeling and simulation, interference analysis and resolution, coverage analysis, propagation models, RF engineering, system specifications and performance, modulation, antenna theory, link design, traffic engineering, optimization, benchmarking, safety, RF testing and system integration and measurements. Design and production engineers and technicians interested in improving RF engineering skills through a practical approach will benefit from this course.


Learn about RF engineering principles defined by ITU-T and 3GPP.

A Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer is an electrical engineer who specializes in devices that receive or transmit radio waves.

All our wireless and mobile devices operate on radio waves, so our tech-centered society would not be possible without the work of RF Engineers. These Engineers often work in a collaborative environment both with other RF Engineers and stakeholders in other disciplines, including things like:

  • Designing RF schematics for new wireless networks
  • Ensuring regulatory standards are met
  • Communicating data using digital software
  • Optimizing the performance of existing wireless networks
  • Analyzing equipment and identifying areas of improvement

For most RF engineers, it all starts with an understanding of antenna theory. The fundamentals of antenna theory requires that the antenna be “impedance matched” to the transmission line or the antenna will not radiate.

An antenna is an array of conductors (elements), electrically connected to the receiver or transmitter. Antennas can be designed to transmit and receive radio waves in all horizontal directions equally (omnidirectional antennas), or preferentially in a particular direction (directional, or high-gain or “beam” antennas).

An antenna may include components not connected to the transmitter, parabolic reflectors, horns, or parasitic elements, which serve to direct the radio waves into a beam or other desired radiation pattern.

In truth, RF engineering can be both challenging and frustrating.

Communication is a key part of being a radio frequency engineer. A lack of communication can cause a lot of problems in radio frequency engineering because there are so many little details that could change at any time, and if someone does not catch the changes, an entire product could get damaged or completed incorrectly.

Being able to prioritize is also essential. RF engineers often have multiple roles and responsibilities. Quite often a RF engineer will have up to 10 tasks at once. Being able to sort out what tasks take priority over others is a very important skill. Deadlines and importance of the task must be considered to know where to spend the correct amount of time and when.

RF Engineers are a part of a highly specialized field and are an integral part of wireless solutions. Their expertise is needed to design effective and reliable solutions to produce quality results, an in-depth knowledge of math, physics and general electronics theory is required.

RF Engineers are specialists in their respective field and assist in both the planning, design, implementation, and maintenance of different RF solutions. To produce quality results in RF Engineering Training Bootcamp, the program covers an in-depth knowledge of math, physics, general electronics theory as well as specialized modules in propagation and microstrip design may be required.


This course is designed for engineers, scientists, technicians, managers, testers, evaluators, and others who plan, specify, design, test, operate or work with RF systems.


  • An overview of RF theory and operations
  • Explore the latest commercial wireless technologies including Bluetooth, WiFi, LTE, 5G, 6G  and SATCOM
  • An overview of RF spectrum and propagation models
  • Free Space Path Loss: details & calculation
  • How to validate feasibility of custom RF and microwave links
  • How to plan, design, simulate and test various RF and Microwave systems
  • Basics of RF Link Budget
  • Basics of RF systems performance that drive test and evaluation requirements
  • Transmitter and receiver testing
  • An overview of modulation
  • An overview of antenna theory
  • Test and Evaluation (T&E) of RF systems
  • Everything else you need to know

RF Engineering Bootcamp Agenda/Modules

RF 101

  • Radio Milestones
  • RF applications, services, and technologies
  • Types of Electromagnetic Spectrum (EM)
  • Electromagnetic radiation
  • EM Spectrum and wavelength
  • Frequency vs. wavelength example
  • The Radio spectrum
  • Wireless generations and data speeds

Overview of Radio Spectrum and Bands

  • ELF
  • SLF
  • ULF
  • VLF
  • LF
  • MF
  • HF
  • VHF
  • UHF
  • SHF
  • EHF
  • THF
  • Civilian names for various frequency bands
  • Military Names for various Frequency Bands
  • Popular bands
  • L band
  • S band
  • C band
  • X band
  • Ku band
  • K band
  • Ka band
  • Q band
  • U band
  • V band
  • W band
  • F band
  • D band

RF Engineering Principles

  • Fundamentals of RF Systems
  • RF 101
  • History of RF
  • Basic Building Blocks in Radio and Microwave Planning and Design
  • RF Principles, Design, and Deployment
  • RF Propagation, Fading, and Link Budget Analysis
  • Intro to Radio Planning for Mobile and Fixed Networks
  • RF Planning and Design for GSM, CDMA, UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+, LTE, LTE-Advanced 5G NR, mmWave, 6G and other Networks
  • RF Planning and Design for Satellite Communications and VSAT
  • RF Planning and Design for 2-way Radio Communications
  • RF Planning and Design for Radar and Jammers Path Survey
  • RF Impairments
  • Noise and Distortion
  • Antennas and Propagation for Wireless Systems
  • Filters
  • Amplifiers
  • Mixers
  • Transistor Oscillators and Frequency Synthesizers
  • Modulation Techniques
  • Receiver Design
  • Eb/No vs. SNR, BER vs. noise, Bandwidth Limitations
  • Modulation Schemes and Bandwidth
  • RF Technology Fundamentals
  • Types of Modulation: AM, FM, FSK, PSK, QPSK and QAM
  • RF Engineering Principals applied
  • Cellular and Mobile RF
  • Fixed Wireless RF (802.11, 802.16, HF, UHF, Microwave, Satellite, VSAT, Radar and GPS)

A Basic RF System

  • Block diagram of a radio link
  • Basic RF considerations
  • Link use
  • Point to Point (backbone)
  • Point to multi-point (fixed users)
  • Point to multi-point (mobile users)
  • Mesh (any-to-any, peer-to-peer, ad-hoc)
  • Link Type
  • Line of Sight (LOS)
  • Near Line of Sight (nLOS)
  • Non-Line of Sight (NLOS)
  • System gains and loses
  • Overview of modulation
  • Antenna
  • Gain
  • Configuration
  • Height
  • Transmitter
  • Overview of Link Budget

RF Propagation Principles

  • Radio propagation basics
  • Radio signal path loss
  • The atmosphere & radio propagation
  • The Physics of Propagation: Free Space, Reflection, Diffraction
  • Free space propagation & path loss
  • Diffraction, wave bending, ducting
  • Multipath propagation
  • Multipath fading
  • Rayleigh fading
  • Free-Space Propagation Technical Details
  • Propagation Effects of Earth’s Atmosphere
  • Attenuation at Microwave Frequencies
  • Estimating Path Loss
  • VHF/UHF/Microwave Radio Propagation
  • Physics and Propagation Mechanisms
  • Propagation Models and Link Budgets
  • Link Budgets and High-Level System Design
  • Link Budget Basics and Application Principles
  • Traffic Considerations
  • Commercial Propagation Prediction Software

Atmospheric Propagation Effects

  • Attenuation at Microwave, mmWave and THz Frequencies
  • Rain droplets
  • Rain attenuations
  • Reliability calculations during path design
  • Diffraction, Wave Bending, Ducting

Signal Generation and Modulation

  • Overview of Modulation
  • Modulation Types
  • Baseband Signal
  • Amplitude Modulation
  • Frequency Modulation
  • Phase Modulation
  • Digital Modulation
  • ASK, MSK and PSK
  • Example PSK Modulation
  • Overview of BPSK, QPSK, QAM-16, QAM-64 and QAM-256
  • Code Rate
  • Frequency Spectrum Usage as a Result of Modulation
  • Generating Signals
  • Digital Modulation
  • Overview of IQ modulation

Antenna Theory

  • Basic antenna operation
  • Understanding antenna radiation
  • The Principle of current moments
  • What are the antenna parameters?
  • Transmitted power, gain, bandwidth, radiation pattern, beamwidth, polarization,
  • VSWR, Return Loss and impedance
  • Physical parameters
  • Electrical parameters
  • Gain (dBi or dbd)
  • Beamwidth (in radians or degrees)
  • Radiation Pattern (hor & vert)
  • Antenna radiation patterns
  • Patterns in polar and cartesian coordinates
  • 3-dB beamwidth
  • Cross Polarization Discrimination (XPD – dB)
  • Front to Back Ratio (F/B)
  • Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR)
  • Return Loss (RL – dB)
  • What is Effective Radiated Power?
  • EIRP compared with Isotropic antenna
  • How Antennas Achieve “Gain”
  • Quasi-Optical Techniques (reflection, focusing)
  • Array techniques (discrete elements)
  • “Dish” and other Antennas using Reflectors
  • Aperture Antennas
  • Downtilt: Electrical or Mechanical
  • Directional antenna types
  • Parabolic
  • Multiple element patch

Antenna Theory & Design Principles

  • Principle of Antennas and Wave Propagation
  • Antenna properties
  • Impedance, directivity, radiation patterns, polarization
  • Types of Antennas, Radiation Mechanism (Single Wire, Two-Wires, Dipole)
  • Current Distribution on Thin Wire Antenna
  • Radiation Pattern
  • Gain Antenna types, composition and operational principles
  • ERP and EIRP
  • Antenna gains, patterns, and selection principles
  • Antenna system testing
  • Fundamental Parameters of Antennas
  • Radiation Pattern and types
  • Radiation Intensity and Power Density
  • Directivity, Gain, Half Power Beamwidth
  • Beam Efficiency, Antenna Efficiency
  • Bandwidth, Polarization (Linear, Circular and Elliptical)
  • Polarization Loss Factor
  • Input Impedance
  • Antenna Radiation Efficiency
  • Effective Length, Friis Transmission Equation
  • Antenna Temperature
  • Infinitesimal Dipole
  • Small Dipole
  • Region Separation
  • Finite Length Dipole
  • Half Wavelength Dipole
  • Ground Effects
  • Loop Antennas
  • Small Circular Loop
  • Circular Loop of Constant Current
  • Circular Loop with Non-uniform Current
  • Ground and Earth Curvature Effects
  • Mobile Communication Systems Application
  • Types of Antennas
    • Resonant antennas
    • Traveling wave antennas
    • Frequency Independent antennas
    • Aperture antennas
    • Phased arrays
    • Electrically small antennas
    • Circularly polarized antennas
    • Elementary Antenna Elements
    • Omnidirectional Antennas
    • Microstrip Antennas
    • Achieving circular polarization
    • The helix antenna
    • Electrically Small Antennas
    • Fractal Antennas
    • Ultra Wideband (UWB) Antennas

RF and Microwave System Specifications

  • Fundamentals of wireless communications
  • RF Systems
  • Introduction to microwave communication systems
  • Transmitters and receivers
  • Antennas and the RF Link
  • Modulation
  • RF Surveys and Planning
  • Radio Wave Propagation and Modeling
  • Frequency Planning
  • Traffic Dimensioning
  • Cell Planning Principals
  • Coverage Analysis
  • RF Optimization
  • RF Benchmarking
  • RF Performance
  • RF Safety
  • RF Simulation
  • RF Testing
  • RF System Integration and Measurements

Planning of Radio Networks

  • Advanced topics in cell planning
  • Advanced topics in RF planning and architecture
  • Voice and data traffic engineering
  • Cellular and RAN optimization
  • Overview of 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE, 5G and 6G wireless and mobile communications
  • Microwave and mmWave systems
  • RF modeling and simulation
  • RF measurements
  • Basic radar systems
  • Phased-array systems
  • RF trends

Advanced RF Systems Concepts and Designs

  • RF Signals and systems
  • Fundamentals of digital communication for wireless and RF systems
  • RF parameters
  • RF passive and active components
  • RF devices
  • RF noise and system impairments
  • RF system design for wireless and mobile communications
  • Overview OFDM/OFDMA and 4G/5G and 6G systems
  • Overview of MIMO and MU-MIMO for 4G/5G and 6G systems
  • Microwave transmission engineering
  • Optional modules; Software Defined Radio (SDR) and TDLs

RF and Microwave Systems Simulation, Testing and Feasibility Analysis

  • Design of high-quality RF and microwave communication systems
  • RF planning
  • Wi-Fi
  • Cellular networks including 2G GSM, 3G UMTS, 4G LTE, 5G and 6G
  • mmWave
  • Radar
  • Satellite Communications, GPS, VSAT
  • Two-way radio
  • Point-to-point microwave
  • Point-to-Multi-Point Radio Links
  • Public Safety
  • RF Testing
  • RF modeling and simulation
  • Link budget analysis
  • RF and microwave feasibility analysis

VHF/UHF/Microwave/mmWave/Sub THz Radio Propagation

  • Estimating Path Loss
  • Free Space Propagation
  • Path Loss on Line of Sight Links
  • Diffraction and Fresnel Zones
  • Ground Reflections
  • Effects of Rain, Snow and Fog
  • Path Loss on Non-Line of Sight Paths
  • Diffraction Losses
  • Attenuation from Trees and Forests
  • General Non-LOS Propagation Models

RF Optimization Principles

  • Site Acquisition
  • Design, analysis and optimization of wireless networks
  • Verification of network deployments for wireless networks
  • RF engineering principals
  • Good quality network and services
  • Network planning resources
  • Link budgets, scheduling and resource allocation
  • Preparation and Report generation
  • Real-time coverage maps
  • True-up RF modeling software

RF System Optimization

  • RF coverage and service performance measurements
  • System Setting
  • Initial optimization testing of installed networks
  • Antenna and Transmission Line Considerations
  • System field-testing and parameter optimization
  • Functional testing and optimization for implemented sites
  • Test plan development
  • System drive test and data analysis
  • System parameter settings and interference control

Key RF Performance Indicators

  • FER, Mobile Receive Power, Ec/Io, Mobile Transmit Power
  • System accessibility analysis
  • System parameter optimization
  • Regression analysis to measure benefits
  • Frequency/PN offset planning
  • Self-generated system interference
  • Cell site integration
  • Construction coordination
  • Equipment installation/antenna system verification
  • RF parameter datafills
  • Radio testing
  • Initial drive testing
  • Performance monitoring
  • Site migration planning and testing
  • ERP changes
  • Orientation changes

RF Troubleshooting

  • Safety
  • Basic troubleshooting steps
  • Signal tracing
  • Signal injection
  • Lead dress
  • Heat sinks

Labs and Calculations

  • Wireless Network Link Analysis
  • System Operating Margin (SOM)
  • Free Space Loss
  • Freznel Clearance Zone
  • Latitude/Longitude Bearing
  • Microwave Radio Path Analysis
  • Line-of-Sight Path Analysis
  • Longley-Rice Path Loss Analysis
  • United States Elevation Analysis
  • Parabolic Reflector Gain and Focal Point Calculator
  • Urban Area Path Loss
  • Antenna Up/Down Tilt Calculator
  • Distance & Bearing Calculator
  • Omnidirectional Antenna Beamwidth Analysis
  • Return Loss Calculator
  • Knife Edge Diffraction Loss Calculator
  • Scattering: gamma in/out from s-parameters
  • Lumped Component Wilkinson Splitter / Combiner Designer
  • Pi & Tee Network Resistive Attenuation Calculator
  • RF Safety Compliance Calculation
  • Microstripline Analysis & Design
  • Calculating Phase Line Length
  • 3-Pole Butterworth Characteristic Bandpass Filter Calculation
  • RF Pi Network Design
  • PLL 3rd Order Passive Loop Filter Calculation
  • Antenna Isolation Calculator

Radio frequency engineering helps drive the world across many applications in both the public and private sectors.

It’s amazing how far we’ve come in such a short time, and there is no sign of the demand for advanced RF engineering technologies slowing down.

Private companies, governments and militaries around the world are competing to have the latest in radio frequency innovation.

RF engineering’s role in 5G technology is well documented and is expected to increase as standalone 5G becomes common place. By 2027, it’s a safe bet that we can expect 5G networks to have been up and running for some time, and consumer expectations for mobile speed and performance will be radically higher than today.

With more and more people embracing smartphones around the world, the demand for data will continue to rise, and legacy bandwidth ranges, which run below 6GHZ, will simply not be sufficient to meet this challenge.

RF engineering and 5G networks will play an integral part in speeding up wireless communications, perfecting virtual reality, and connecting billions of devices we use today. Electronics, wearable devices, robotics, sensors, self-driving vehicles and more will be connected through the Internet of Things pushed on by RF engineering principles.

The demand for professionals in the RF engineering field has never been greater.

Some of the responsibilities of RF engineer include ensuring RF test equipment is calibrated to industry standards as well as analyzing RF broadcasting equipment and suggesting improvements. Other common jobs:

  • Testing the performance of existing wireless networks
  • Ensuring regulatory standards are met
  • Conducting laboratory tests on RF equipment
  • Using computer software to design RF installations for new wireless networks
  • Troubleshooting network issues

Today’s ideal RF engineer has experience with critical components of a wireless communications network and understands that the primary purpose of RF is to deliver data between two points while providing quality customer experience. These critical components include:

  • Antenna
  • RF front end module, which includes amplification, filtering and switching
  • RF transceiver signal processor

Most experts in this area predict that the demand for qualified RF engineers will continue to grow across all segments of the supply chain from carrier to chip manufactures. This in large part is due to the exponential growth of sensors related to IoT (wearables, home automation, connected cars, etc.)

Also, for RF engineers employed at telecom service providers, the need to find service disrupting interference is more critical than ever. As the spectrum becomes more crowded, and more relied upon for critical applications, telecoms need to ensure that connectivity is fast, stable, and uninterrupted.

Basic and Advanced RF Training Courses

RF Engineering Training




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