ECEN 4634/5634, Microwave Lab, Fall 2015


Weekly updates:


-          Welcome to the class!

-          All relevant information for the current week will be posted here, so please READ ON.

-          Please come to your assigned lab section on Aug. 25th and Aug. 27th. We will do a review of the material and make sure everyone is placed in an appropriate lab section.

-          Lab groups have a maximum of 3 students, and there are 4 lab groups per section.

-          There is a review homework due Thursday, September 3, in my mailbox, by 5pm: HW1-ECEN4634-5634-2015.pdf

-          All other homework for this class will be lab-related. The first two prelabs will be assigned on August 28 and due at the beginning of your lab session when you are doing either Lab 1 or Lab 2. We will make the lab schedule during the first week of classes.


Lab manual:  4634-Lectures-Labs.pdf


Past assignments and other material, in order of posting:

None so far.


General Class Information:


ECEN 4634

Microwave and RF Lab

ECEN 5634

Graduate Microwave and RF Lab


Section 020

M 5:00 – 6:15pm



Section 020

M 5:00 – 6:15pm


Lab Section 021

T 12:00 – 2:30 pm


Lab Section 021

T 9:00 – 11:30am


Lab Section 022

Th 2:00 – 4:30 pm

Lab Section 022

Th 9:00 – 11:30am



Instructor: Prof. Zoya Popovic (ECOT-252) Office hours: Monday noon-2pm


Class organization and rules: 

-          There will be 10 experiments this semester. You must complete all of these to pass the course. There will be a single make-up lab session near the end of the semester only for students that miss a lab for a good reason and who inform me ahead of time.

-          If you arrive more than 10 minutes late for your lab section, you will not be allowed to do the lab, and will have to make it up during the make-up week.

-          A prelab homework is due at the beginning of your lab section each week. Be sure to do the homework appropriate to the lab that your group will be doing each week.

-          You will not be allowed to do the lab work (and hence will not get credit for that week's experiment) unless the pre-lab has been handed in at the beginning of the lab. The pre-labs are designed to help you finish the labs.

-          Lab reports are due in lecture the Monday after your lab.

-          Although you carry out the lab experiments in groups, everyone must turn in their own individual lab report that shows your own understanding of the material. Only the data you took should be the same among reports from the same lab group.

-          Grading of pre-labs and lab reports is as follows: 10 – complete and all correct; 8-9 – complete and mostly correct; 5-7 – complete but some errors; 3-4 – complete but mostly wrong; and 0-2 – incomplete or wrong.

-          There will be a 1-hour written and a 20-minute lab oral final exam. The lab oral exams will be during the last week of labs.


Recommended textbook: Pozar.

Additional material will be provided when needed.

Background text (free): Introductory Electromagnetics, Popovic and Popovic, on ECEN3400 web page, and Electromagnetics by B. Notaros.

Some other good books will be kept in my office and you can borrow them for a few hours if you wish.


Software:  In this class we will use an industry-standard   circuit simulator tool from National Instruments Applied Wave Research (AWR): Microwave Office. NI/AWR has generously allowed our class to obtain free licenses. Please follow the instructions below to obtain a license for your computer:

  1. Go to
  2. If for some reason you have previously already registered on the AWR website, you will use the same account to get the software.
  3. If you have not previously registered, the license generation will send you an email with the account login information.
  4. You will then obtain a license file with a link to the software download area.

If you are asked for a faculty contact name, use "Prof. Zoya Popović". It is probably best if you download from an on-campus location, or use a VPN. The domain "" is added to the system so you should not have any problems, but please let me know as soon as possible if you have trouble downloading the software. The AWR software runs on the Windows OS. If you run another OS, you will have to run it in a virtual machine.


AWR and some other EM/RF/microwave software have been installed on four computers in the outer lab (room ECEE 254) for use by students in this course. These computers are shared with other classes (e. g., ECEN 5134), and in addition to the TA office hours, other classes may also use this room for a few hours each week for various purposes. Use of these computers will be on a first-come, first-served basis, and you may not leave a computer running your program without being present yourself.


Grading (preliminary)



(ECEN 4634)

(ECEN 5634)

Homework and Prelabs



Lab Write-ups



Midterm Exam (written)



Practicum (lab exam)



Final Exam (written portion: covers the entire course)



*Note that the total is 110%, and the grade is based on 100% (built-in curve)


Copying other students’ work, or letting other students copy your work is considered dishonest and if proven will result in an F in the course.  


Below is the class and homework schedule for the semester. It will be updated as needed, so please check periodically.



Class Topics


Week 1


Introduction and review

Network Analysis and calibration 

HW1 assigned.

Come to your assigned lab time; I will use the lab times to finish review

Week 2

Aug. 31

Power measurements

No labs this week

Homework 1 due in class.

Week 3

Sept. 7

No class on Sept. 6 (Labor Day)

Labs held on Sept. 8 and 10

Lab 1: Artificial transmission line

Lab 2: Network analyzer basics

Week 4

Sept. 14

Transmission lines in time domain and TDR 

Lab 1 and Lab 2

Week 5

Sept. 21

Multiport networks

Lab 3: Power measurements

Lab 4: TDR using a network analyzer

Week 6

Sept. 28


Lab 3 and Lab 4

Week 7

Oct. 5

Finish oscillators and start antennas

Lab 5: Gunn diode

Lab 6: Multiport networks

Week 8

Oct. 12


Lab 5 and Lab 6


Week 9

Oct. 19

Antennas and propagation

Make-up lab

Week 10

Oct. 26


Lab 7: CAD Lab using AWR

Week 11


Mixers and superhet    


Lab 9: Antennas

Lab 10: Amplifiers

Week 12

Nov. 9

Radar fundamentals

Lab 9 and Lab 10

Week 13

Nov. 16 

Review or topic on demand 

Lab 11: Superheterodyne link

Lab 12: Radar

Week 14

Nov. 23

Thanksgiving and Fall Break

Week 15

Nov. 30

Review or topic on demand

Lab 11 and Lab 12

Week 16

Dec. 7




Final exam

Dec. 14, 7pm (tentative)


Policies and Regulations: 


This course strives to provide the student with a variety of specific learning outcomes. These include the student outcomes identified by ABET, and adhered to by the ECEE department, related to the skills, knowledge, and behaviors that students acquire as they progress through the program.  The specific Student Outcomes can be found here:


Honor Code. All students of the University of Colorado at Boulder are responsible for knowing and adhering to the academic integrity policy of the institution. Violations of this policy may include: cheating, plagiarism, aid of academic dishonesty, fabrication, lying, bribery, and threatening behavior. All incidents of academic misconduct shall be reported to the CU Honor Code Council (, 303-725-2273). Students who are found to be in violation of the academic integrity policy will be subject to both academic sanctions from the faculty member and non-academic sanctions (including but not limited to university probation, suspension, or expulsion). Other information on the Honor Code can be found at


The instructor reserves the right to use anti-plagiarism software to help determine the originality of term papers.


Cell phones and PDAs. Out of respect for the students and instructors as well as to minimize interference to laboratory measurement it is mandatory that cell phones or other devices with annunciators or other disturbing audio capabilities be turned off before entering the classroom or laboratory. Calculators may be used during exams, but personal digital assistants or other devices with communications capabilities are not permitted.


Electronic Communication. Questions on the course material, schedule, or policies may be e-mailed to the instructors at the above-listed addresses. E-mailed questions will be addressed as soon as possible, although given the volume of e-mail received by the instructors a delay of up to several days may occur. All course-related e-mails should include the course number in the subject line.  Voice mailed questions will be handled similarly but with e-mailed responses.


Disability. Students who qualify for accommodations because of a disability should submit to the instructors a letter from CU Disability Services in a timely manner so that needs can be addressed.  Disability Services determines accommodations based on documented disabilities.  Contact: 303-492-8671, Willard 322, or .
Religious Observances. Campus policy regarding religious observances requires that faculty make every effort to reasonably and fairly accommodate all students who, because of religious obligations, have conflicts with scheduled exams, assignments or required attendance. Conflicts between scheduled course activities and religious observances should be made known in writing to the instructors at least two weeks in advance of the activity so that alternate arrangements can be made. See full details at .
Discrimination and Harassment. The University of Colorado at Boulder policy on Discrimination and Harassment (, the University of Colorado policy on Sexual Harassment, and the University of Colorado policy on Amorous Relationships applies to all students, staff and faculty.  Any student, staff or faculty member who believes s/he has been the subject of discrimination or harassment based upon race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status should contact the Office of Discrimination and Harassment (ODH) at 303-492-2127 or the Office of Judicial Affairs at 303-492-5550.  Information about the ODH and the campus resources available to assist individuals regarding discrimination or harassment can be obtained at .