Professional and Continuing Education

Pawley Hall, Room 440G
456 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-3177

A colorful graphic image of radio frequency waves.

Radio Frequency Certificate Program

Certificate #1 – Radio Frequency (RF) & Wireless Technologies

Course Overview

The 18-week, 135 hour program covers fundamental topics exposing students to radio frequency (RF) engineering and wireless technologies in the automotive sector.   The program is ideal for technicians, graduating and working engineers wanting to learn more about the technologies driving automotive connectivity and autonomy. Each module includes active learning and homework assignments.

A PACE Certificate of Achievement will be awarded upon successful completion of the program to all students who finish all three modules within 24 months of starting the certificate program.


Module #1: RF and Wireless System Basics

Introduction to fundamental concepts and devices in RF including decibel scale (voltage, current, and power), electromagnetic wave properties, frequency spectrum, S-parameters, Smith Chart, Impedance Matching, Transmission Lines (coaxial cables, microstrip, strip lines), link budgets, radar range equation, power amplifiers, low noise amplifiers, attenuators, cables, antennas, mixers, Analog/digital frequency modulation, bias-T, directional couplers, diplexers, duplexers, RF filters, inter-series adapters, RF and antenna challenges,  System-level concepts of wireless communication systems including satellite links, terrestrial links and point-to-point links with examples on Global Positioning System (GPS), Cellular 5th Generation (5G), and Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X), respectively.  Introduction to RF measurement devices such as signal generator, spectrum analyzer, and vector network analyzer.  Introduction to simulation software for the design and analysis of antennas, RF passive circuits, filters, amplifiers, and communication system performance.

Module #2: Antenna Topologies for Cellular 5G, V2X and GNSS

Overview of antenna performance parameters such as directivity, gain, input impedance, efficiency.  Common antenna designs for the Global Positioning System (ceramic patch), Cellular 5G (Monocone, 2-arm monopole, and planar inverted F (PIFA)), and Vehicle-to-Everything antennas (quarter-wave monopole and yagi-uda array. Types of antenna chambers, pattern measurements (near field vs far field), Examples of antenna applications and choosing specific antennas, introduction to smart antennas architectures such as multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO).  Antenna simulation and measurements will be covered in further detail.

Module #3: Wireless System Performance: Specification and Validation

Wireless propagation simulation tools will be used to evaluate the performance of cellular 5G and Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communication systems in various channels such as rural and urban environments.  Overview of RF system performance parameters such as: SNR, receiver sensitivity, TRP, TIS, noise power and coverage area. Virtual drive test examples will be provided for various configurations of Cellular 5G and V2X communication systems based on on-vehicle antenna pattern based on placement.  Comparisons will be made for single input single output (SISO) to multiple input multiple output (MIMO) antenna configurations in various channels in terms of system availability and throughput.  Examples with be provided on how to extend simulations to over-the-air (OTA) measurements for system-level performance analysis and to ultimately road testing.

Schedule and Pricing

Each module will be offered twice per year.

Days/Time:  T/W/R from 7-9:30pm Eastern Standard Time

Location:  Online

Module 1. RF and Wireless System Basics
Dates:  Week of Jul. 5 - Week of Aug. 16, 2022

Module 2. Antenna Topologies for Cellular 5G, V2X and GNSS
Dates:  Week of Aug. 23 - Week of Sept. 27, 2022

Module 3. Wireless System Performance – Specification & Validation
Dates: Week of Oct. 11 - Week of Nov. 15, 2022


  • Individual: $9,000 ($3,000 per module)
  • Alumni Discount (10%): $8,100 ($2,700 per module)
  • Company Discount with 5 or more registrants (20%): $7,200 ($2,400 per module)