aSLIM: Automated Slotted-Line Impedance Measurement Device
Team members: Isaac Bettendorf, Peter Handjinicolaou, Andrew Huttner, Ian Kanyamanza, Valentina Morrison, and Charles Pitchard
Faculty Supervisors: Dr. Peter Pachowicz
The aSLIM is an instrument that measures the impedance of an antenna using the slotted-line approach. Ideally, this device is designed as an affordable replacement for the vector network analyzer used in an educational setting, such as a university engineering lab.
Currently, automated impedance measurement devices of RF components, such as Vector Network Analyzers (VNA), are prohibitively expensive to be used in an environment conducive to teaching. Mistakes can be made,
and equipment can be broken. As such, the motivation of this project is to create a low-cost, automated alternative to a VNA that is based on the slotted-line concept, so that it is less of a risk to be used in an educational setting. Allowing a tool such as this to be used by students would be advantageous toward practical application and understanding of fundamentals when designing a precision antenna. Selected slotted-line approach with supporting RF devices will also provide a great platform for teaching practical aspects of electromagnetics. The automated slotted-line that has been envisioned with this project will reduce the cost tremendously. This will be achieved by leveraging new technology to replace components that previously were prohibitively expensive. Integrated Circuits, Chebyshev filters, and System on a Chip technology have provided low-cost alternatives that can be used from signal generation to impedance calculation. While this design is squarely aimed at educational environments, it could also provide a low cost solution to hobbyists and tinkerers as well.