Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a waveguide?

    A waveguide is a structure that guides waves by restricting the transmission of energy to one direction.Waveguides are used to transmit high frequency signals with low attenuation and large bandwidth.

    Waveguides are usually composed of thin metal wires or rods that form a periodic structure along the direction of propagation. They can also direct power precisely to where it is needed and function as a high-pass filter.  Space waveguides can be used for applications such as transmitting signals between satellites, creating artificial plasma channels, and enhancing laser beams.

    Common types of waveguides include acoustic waveguides which direct sound, optical waveguides which direct light, and radio-frequency waveguides which direct electromagnetic waves other than light like radio waves1.

  • What is a Space Waveguide?

    Space waveguides are a type of waveguide that can guide electromagnetic waves in the vacuum of space. They are usually composed of thin metal wires or rods that form a periodic structure along the direction of propagation. Space waveguides can be used for applications such as transmitting signals between satellites, creating artificial plasma channels, and enhancing laser beams.

  • What are the primary applications of waveguide assemblies?

    Waveguide assemblies are commonly used in Missile navigation, weather radar systems, satellite communications, medical equipment, and various industrial and scientific applications requiring high-frequency signal transmission and low insertion loss.

  • What are the advantages of using waveguide assemblies over other transmission lines?

    Waveguide assemblies offer low loss, high power handling capability, and excellent electromagnetic shielding, making them ideal for high-frequency applications.

  • How do I choose the right waveguide assembly for my application?

    Selecting the appropriate waveguide assembly involves considering factors such as frequency range, power requirements, and environmental conditions. Consult with our engineering team to learn more about what SME can offer.

  • What are the advantages of using a waveguide?

    Some of the advantages of using waveguides are:

    • They can handle very large power in kilowatts
    • They have low insertion loss and low attenuation
      They provide wide bandwidth and high frequency transmission
    • They can direct power precisely to where it is needed
    • They can function as a high-pass filter due to their cut-off frequency
    • They can modulate, amplify, or switch light signals for various optoelectronic applications.
  • How do waveguides work?

    Waveguides work by restricting the transmission of energy to one direction and guiding the waves along a specific path. The shape and size of the waveguide determine the type and frequency of the waves that can propagate through it. The waveguide acts as a high-pass filter, allowing only waves above a certain cut-off frequency to pass through. The waves inside the waveguide can have different modes, depending on how the electric and magnetic fields are oriented with respect to the direction of travel. The most common mode is the TEM (Transverse Electric and Magnetic) mode, where both fields are perpendicular to the direction of travel. This mode can only exist in two-conductor transmission lines, such as coaxial cables. In single-conductor waveguides, such as hollow metal tubes or optical fibers, other modes such as TE (Transverse Electric) or TM (Transverse Magnetic) can exist, where either the electric or magnetic field has a component along the direction of travel1

  • What materials are commonly used in waveguide assembly manufacturing?

    Common materials include brass, aluminum, copper, and stainless steel, depending on the specific application and frequency range.

  • Can waveguide assemblies be used in outdoor or harsh environments?

    Yes, waveguide assemblies can be designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions and are often used in outdoor applications, such as radar systems. Please ensure you have the right finish specification for outside applications.

  • What factors negatively affect VSWR in a waveguide Channel?

    The Voltage Standing Wave Ratio is a measure of how much of a signal is reflected and is a key metric for how effective a waveguide is doing its job. Ideally there would not be any signal reflected, but that is never the case. Discontinuities are the enemy of VSWR. Any mismatch between mating flanges breaks up the perfectly smooth surface. This results in a portion of the signal “bouncing back” on the protruding metal. Additionally, each bend or twist in a waveguide run will slightly increase reflection.

    VSWR can be tuned to exhibit less reflection over a specific frequency. This is done by a specialized RF technician who introduces very slight deformations to the outside of a waveguide. This results in little “bumps” on the inside of the waveguide which distort the signal to cancel out the imperfections. This is similar to pressing a fret on a guitar to change the pitch.

  • What certifications or standards should waveguide assemblies adhere to?

    Depending on the application, waveguide assemblies may need to meet specific industry standards or certifications, such as MIL-STD-1678 or ISO 9001. At Space Machine, we have fully integrated AS9100 in our manufacturing process.

  • Where is Space Machine Engineering located?

    Space Machine is located at 2327 16th Avenue North, St. Petersburg, FL 33713.

  • Are Space Machine products Made in the USA?

    Space Machine products are designed, manufactured, assembled and tested in the USA.

  • When was Space Machine established?

    Space Machine is a privately held small business incorporated in 1962.

  • Who is the CEO of Space Machine?

    The CEO of Space Machine is Sargoun Shammas.

  • What is the typical lead time for manufacturing waveguide assemblies?

    Lead times can vary depending on the complexity and quantity of the assemblies. It’s best to contact our sales department for more specific lead time information.

  • What quality control measures are in place during assembly and manufacturing?

    Quality control measures typically include dimensional checks, visual inspections, and performance testing to ensure the assemblies meet specifications. At Space Machine, we follow AS9100D and ISO9001:2015

  • Do you offer technical support and troubleshooting assistance for waveguide assemblies?

    Yes, many manufacturers provide technical support and assistance to help customers with designing, installation, integration, and troubleshooting all types of waveguide assemblies.

  • Are there any safety precautions to consider when working with waveguide assemblies?

    Safety precautions may include RF exposure guidelines and proper grounding to prevent electrical hazards. Consult with your manufacturer or follow industry standards.