What is Return Loss?

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Editorial Team - everything RF

Nov 10, 2018

When a signal is transmitted through a transmission line, some signal power is always reflected or returned to the source due to discontinuities in the transmission line. The discontinuity could be the connection to a system, another transmission line or connector. The measure of this reflected power is called as return loss.

Return loss (RL) is the ratio of the reflected power to the incident power, in decibels (dB).

A high return loss is a problem as it indicates a large amount of power is being reflected back.

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