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In the fast-paced microwave and RF industry, it is important to recognize the accomplishments of the companies and individuals that are at the forefront of providing and sharing critical information. With this in mind, Microwaves & RF developed the “Best of Microwaves” industry awards. These honors are derived from the community, using polled answers to select the best websites, blogs, videos, educational tools, and more. Of particular importance is the recognition of major individual contributors within the field, who receive the prestigious Living Legends award for their impact on the industry.

Best Website

In this process, Microwaves & RF’s editorial board combs through numerous surveys to tally up and track down the highest performers and their runners-up in every category. These awards are given out with much excitement and enthusiasm at the International Microwave Symposium every year, and this year’s event in Tampa Bay, Fla.,  was no exception. Companies in seven categories and their runners-up were recognized for their efforts this past June in addition to the 2014 Living Legends award.

The Best Industry Website is awarded to the company that has the most complete combination of aesthetics, usability, and quality information on its site. The winner’s website must feature easily navigable search options so that users can quickly find products and services. For example, Cobham Antenna Systems, this year’s winning site, features a product support section that details the various services offered.

In addition, a sidebar allows users to jump to a different type of technology with ease. The technology pages on the website have straightforward and helpful summaries of technologies with readily available links to more detailed information.  specializes in advanced antenna technology for satellite communications, avionics, radar, surveillance, and other military and commercial applications.

The runner-up in this category, AR, offers EMC and RF testing as well as amplifier systems/modules and receiver systems (Fig. 1). The company’s website features new “Find It Fast” charts in the RF/microwave instrumentation section. This capability allows users to rapidly search for solid-state RF amplifiers and microwave amplifiers as well as TWTAs, hybrid power modules, and antennas. With many hyperlinked items on the home page, AR World turns finding exactly what a visitor is looking for into a stress-free task.

Other highlights of this website include a homepage slideshow showcasing different products and events. In addition, free, downloadable software promises to make testing “quicker, easier, and more accurate.”

Blogging is a productive and quick way to keep a company’s or individual’s customers/fans actively engaged with their products and services. It can even offer a fast-paced avenue for sharing knowledge. The key to successful blogsespecially in an industry as complex as oursis their combined offering of rich technical information mixed with personality, which keeps the audience members coming back.

This year’s Best Industry Blog, which can be found on www.microwaves101.com, is extremely useful and interesting while being refreshingly funny. As the “Unknown Editor” behind the blogging and other information provided on it, Steve Huettner finds ways to relate current topics with microwave technologies, trends, products, and more. In fact, no matter what topic Huettner is tackling, his blog always relates a seemingly unconnected event back to microwaves.

The blogs are written in a casual, yet informed manner that really holds the reader’s attention. Recently, Huettner partnered with the IEEE MTT-S to increase the efforts and resources invested in the site, which serves as an industry resource via its encyclopedia, hall of fame, and other key features such as the blog.

Best Customer Service

Of course, dedicated information-based blogs have a place in the industry as well. They can fill a valuable knowledge gap for novice to experienced professionals in a given field. This year’s runner-up for Best Industry Blog, Anritsu’s The PIM Source, covers the issues associated with locating and testing passive intermodulation (PIM), the basics of PIM measurements, and how to prevent/eliminate PIM in cellular networks. The blog features many descriptive entries and photos, which help present information in an at-a-glance manner while providing in-depth technical information.

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