In this course we will introduce multiport network analysis methods. These are network characterization methods that describe a network purely through its externally observable behavior at a finite number of points where energy enters and exits the system, known as “ports.” We will begin by introducing the black box model, which is a system modeling technique that chooses to focus on the set of externally observable system characteristics while “hiding” all internal processes of the network. This is commonly used to simplify analysis of large systems so that each individual element of the system need not be separately analyzed. We will then look specifically at several examples of multiport analysis methods, which utilize a black box method to characterize a network in terms of its behavior at a finite number of ports. This course was created for Ansys Innovation Courses by Dr. Kathryn Leigh Smith, assistant professor, UNC-Charlotte, in partnership with Ansys.

In this course we will discuss scattering parameters, or S-parameters. This is a method of network characterization that describes what happens to an input wave that impinges on one of the ports. This input signal may be reflected at the port or it may be transmitted through the system to one or more output ports.