Wurth, Timothy J.; Rodzinak, Jason; NuWaves Engineering (International Foundation for Telemetering, 2007-10)
      Meeting the filtering requirements for telemetry transmitters and receivers can be challenging. Telemetry systems use filters to eliminate unwanted spurious or mixing products. The use of tunable microwave filters for both L and S Band can improve filter selectivity and provide low insertion losses in the filter passband. Along with meeting specifications, these microwave filters with the ability to tune an octave, reduce size and cost by the reduction of multiple, fixed-frequency filters. As size, weight and power are often a concern with aeronautical telemetry systems, this paper will demonstrate that microstrip tunable filters can be small in size and use minimal power. Telemetry transmitters are subject to difficult spurious emission and interference specifications and require selective filters to eliminate spurious signals before the final amplification. Telemetry receivers on the other hand are subject to intense Image and Local Oscillator (LO) rejection requirements and demand low insertion loss for front-end filtering. Low insertion loss filtering before the Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) circuit limits degradation to the system noise figure (NF). By using different filter topologies and state-of-the-art, high-Q varactor diodes, tunable microwave filters can be optimized for two different functions. The two functions emphasize either low insertion loss or selectivity. An important design consideration with tunable filters, when compared to typical fixed frequency filters, is the degraded intermodulation performance. This is largely due to the non-linear behavior of the varactor diodes. This paper describes the benefits and limitations of microwave tunable filter architectures suitable for both aeronautical telemetry transmitters and telemetry receivers. Information on the computer modeling of varactor diodes will be covered as a critical part of the design. Potential design considerations for microwave tunable filters will also be covered. Through the use of simulation software and filter prototypes, this paper presents dramatically improved filter performance applicable to telemetry transmitters and receivers.