I am trying to become more knowledgeable in the microwave field. I currently work in the field dealing with radars and electronic protection. I would like to learn how some of these complicated systems work so I can eventually participate in some of the advanced/new designs. I graduated last year with an EE degree so I still remember some of the emag fundamentals.
How does one start learning this material? I plan to watch and take new notes on all my emag 1 and 2 lectures, barrow an antenna theory book to read, and read through ew101 by David L Adamy. Is this a good place to start? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
Build the NorCal 40 HF transceiver with the companion book by David Rutledge, working through all the problems in the book. You'll just need a 10 MHz signal generator and scope. This is RF (not microwave), but the fundamentals are the same.
Then start playing with true distributed circuits, building perhaps a stepped impedance filter, small-signal amp with matching (gain, noise, stability circles from s-parameters), Wilkinson power divider, rat-race mixer, quadrature hybrid coupler, frequency doubler, oscillator, PLL. This is where you'll actually need traditional RF/Microwave equipment and simulation software. Though the simulation software you could actually start to use with the RF book, as an extra step.
There are some really great microwave design tools you can download on your phone. RF Designer is six bucks. You can design simple circuits such as rat-races, Wilkinsons, Gysels, without the need for $20,000 in EDA software.