Radio-frequency engineering is a subset of electrical engineering that deals with devices that are designed to operate in the radio frequency (RF) spectrum. These devices operate within the range of about 3 kHz up to 300 GHz.
Radio-frequency engineering is incorporated into almost everything that transmits or receives a radio wave, which includes, but is not limited to, mobile phones, radios, Wi-Fi, and two-way radios.
Radio-frequency engineering is a highly specialized field falling typically in one of two areas:
- providing or controlling coverage with some kind of antenna/transmission system
- generating or receiving signals to or from that transmission system to other communications electronics or controls.
To produce quality results, an in-depth knowledge of mathematics, physics, general electronics theory as well as specialized training in areas such as wave propagation, impedance transformations, filters, microstrip circuit board design, etc. may be required. Because of the many ways RF is conducted both through typical conductors as well as through space, an initial design of an RF circuit usually bears very little resemblance to the final optimized physical circuit. Revisions to the design are often required to achieve intended results.