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RF coaxial connector or waveguide interconnect, coaxial technology is generally preferred


Depending on frequency, power level and physical requirements, coaxial connectors or waveguide interconnects are used for high power RF and microwave applications. The size of these two technologies varies with frequency and requires higher precision materials and manufacturing to handle higher power levels.

Generally, as a product of the way RF energy passes through waveguides with air dielectrics, waveguides tend to be able to handle higher power levels than comparable coaxial connector technology. On the other hand, waveguides are usually more expensive than coaxial technology, custom mounting and narrowband solutions.

 That said, for applications that require lower cost, more flexible installation, higher signal routing density, and medium power levels, coaxial connector technology may be the first choice. In addition, due to reduced cost and size, there are more options for using coaxial interconnect components on waveguide interconnects. Although broadband and generally more direct installations, waveguide technology often surpasses coaxial in terms of high performance, ruggedness, and reliability. Typically, these interconnect technologies are used in series, and where possible, the highest power and fidelity signals are routed through the waveguide interconnect.

 An important feature to pay attention to in coaxial connector technology is that their power and voltage related dielectric breakdown is much lower than waveguide interconnects of similar frequencies. If weight and cost are of high concern, this may be acceptable. However, issues of material outgassing and material property changes at high temperatures and pressures may reduce the feasibility of coaxial technology in aerospace applications.

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