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Industry News / Test and Measurement Channel

Why Replace a RF Detector for Pulse Power Measurements

April 11, 2011
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Boonton has shown the value of using a two-channel peak power alternative to traditional approaches of an RF detector.

What a single-ended detector doesn't tell you:
- Antenna return loss measurements can be cumbersome when using a single ended RF envelope detector. Below is a typical block diagram.

- The system requires the detector, a digital oscilloscope, and average power meter and assorted connectors and couplings to monitor a single output.
- Complex calibration is often required when measuring outside the linear, or square lwa region of the detector.

The value of a Boonton two-channel peak power alternative:
A peak power meter provides fully calibrated measurements using an absolute reference, not just the pulse shape with a relative average power value.

A two channel meter allows the simultaneous measurement of:
- Foward and reflected power (return loss)
- Amplifier input and output (gain)

Below is a typical two channel peak power setup measuring amplifier gain, or return loss. Both envelopes are displayed on the same screen for comparision and parametric measurement.

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