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A novel approach to microwave transmission and components is described. In place of the more familiar waveguide or coaxial structures, this technique utilizes a single conductor supported above a ground plane. Such a configuration is equivalent to a parallel-wire system for the image of the conductor in the ground plane produces the required symmetry. Losses in this system are approximately equal to those of coaxial structures. The extent of the field spread about the conductor is small, thus making possible compact configuration. Printed-circuit techniques are particularly applicable to the construction of compact, rugged, inexpensive, and noncritical microwave components. A general description, background theory, and laboratory experiments are given in this and other papers.