Radio-frequency engineering is a subset of electrical engineering that deals with devices that are designed to operate in the radio frequency (RF) spectrum. These devices operate within the range of about 3 kHz up to 300 GHz.
Radio-frequency engineering is a highly specialized field falling typically in one of three areas:
To produce quality results, an in-depth knowledge of mathematics, physics, general electronics theory as well as specialized training in areas such as wave propagation, impedance transformations, filters, microstrip circuit board design, etc. may be required. Because of the many ways RF is conducted both through typical conductors as well as through space, an initial design of an RF circuit usually bears very little resemblance to the final optimized physical circuit. Revisions to the design are often required to achieve intended results.
Typically, such circuits must operate at radio frequency and power levels, which imposes special constraints on their design. These constraints increase in their importance with higher frequencies. At microwave frequencies, the reactance of signal traces becomes a crucial part of the physical layout of the circuit.
List of radio electronics topics:
Radio-frequency engineers are specialists in their respective field and can take on many different roles, such as design, installation, and maintenance. Radio-frequency engineers require many years of extensive experience in the area of study. This type of engineer has experience with transmission systems, device design, and placement of antennas for optimum performance. A radio-frequency engineer at a broadcast facility is responsible for maintenance of the station's high-power broadcast transmitters and associated systems. This includes transmitter site emergency power, remote control, main transmission line and antenna adjustments, microwave radio relay STL/TSL links, and more.
In addition, a radio-frequency design engineer must be able to understand electronic hardware design, circuit board material, antenna radiation, and the effect of interfering frequencies that prevent optimum performance within the piece of equipment being developed.