What you need to Consider When Selecting an Attenuator
A systems engineer will often weigh many factors when selecting the appropriate attenuator for a specific application. An application may demand greater electrical, physical, or environmental properties from an attenuator and these factors will ultimately dictate the design constraints that lead to attenuator selection.
The main electrical parameters considered, are the attenuation level and how exact the attenuation accuracy is maintained over frequency. The input/output impedance and range of frequencies, or bandwidth, how the attenuator behaves according to spec is also a large consideration in broadband telecommunication and test and measurement applications. For precision, defense/aerospace applications, and high-power applications, the reliability and power dissipation capability may become top considerations.
Certain physical and environmental aspects of attenuators may become significant in specific applications. In aerospace applications, thermal range, size, and weight are major design constraints. On the other hand, the attenuation accuracy and repeatability may be significant for test and measurement, along with precision applications.