Why Quality is Imperative for High Frequency Waveguides
The quality of the construction and materials used can have a large impact on the performance of a waveguide system, especially in microwave frequencies and high power applications. This can become difficult to manufacture and evaluate, as the waveguide tolerances are extremely small at microwave and millimeter-wave frequencies.
For instance, with millimeter-wave components and interconnects, quality soldering must be performed along with a detailed visual inspection to ensure that no pits or holes in the solder exist. If there are even minute holes or pits in space applications, flux could leak from the material and increase losses and degrade performance.
The machining tolerances for waveguides can be very tight, not only to ensure mechanical stability and strength but also because the RF performance depends upon the precise relationship between the geometries, the plating and the smoothness of the inside waveguide walls and flanges. Any tooling marks or imperfections in the material can later cause losses, reduced VSWR, and misalignment when connecting with outer waveguide components.
Partnering with a high quality source of waveguides is paramount to ensuring optimal waveguide performance and system uptime.