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Modeling and Simulation of Via Conductor Losses in Co-fired Ceramic Substrates Used In Transmit/Receive Radar Modules
Keywords: HTCC, Interconnects, Transitions
Transmit receive (T/R) modules are the key enabling component of phased array radar systems. They provide the high power signal amplification, phase shift across the face of the array, and calibrate the signal at each element in the array. T/R modules at microwave and millimeter-wave frequencies often use co-fired ceramic substrates which carry the radar signal and are the motherboard for the required integrated circuits and other parts. The co-fired ceramic substrates often use buried transmission lines or radar signal connections that must pass through the substrate. In these cases, the frequency of operation requires the use of specially designed transitions and interconnects as shown in [1, 2]. These transitions have been analyzed and methods have been developed for their design and optimization. However, the conductor loss of vias used in vertical transitions have not been the subject of detailed analysis. Yet, understanding the contributor to the insertion loss of the transition allows the designer to make proper choices during product development. Therefore, we analyze the impact of the conductor losses in the center conductor of quasi-coax transitions. We develop a lumped element model that accounts for the conductor loss and we show the accuracy of the model when compared to full 3D finite element method analysis using High Frequency Structure Simulator (HFSS) from Ansys Corporation. We show that the lumped element model accurately predicts the insertion loss contribution that can be expected from the conductor loss of the via. We conclude our analysis by presenting simple rules of thumb that can be used for estimating the vias loss contribution as a function of the via conductivity and the via dimensions.
Rick L. Sturdivant, President
MPT, Inc.
Fullerton, CA

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