VSWR – Voltage Standing Wave Ratio is a result that happens from having an impedance mismatch between a source (an amplifier) and a load (test application). This mismatch can influence the performance of the source. VSWR is not a hard concept to grasp, but its effects on the instrumentation can be more difficult to realize.
For this article, we will focus on RF/Microwave high power amplifiers and how they react to this common physical problem. Amplifiers sometimes need to institute protections to safeguard itself from being damaged. First, let’s understand VSWR. Most RF & Microwave systems are based on a specified impedance which is usually 50 Ω.