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Multi-tone Testing Can Save Both Time and Money

March 14, 2012
KEYWORDS harmonics / ip3 / power amplifier / RF / test / toi
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RichardsonRFPDGiven the huge amount of time required to conduct a radiated immunity test, it is no wonder operators “dream” of ways to improve efficiency to speed up the test. The musings generally go as follows: -Can one antenna cover the entire frequency range? -Can RF switching be automated? -Let’s add a controller to automatically switch antenna polarizations or even go as far as automatically turn the EUT to expose all four sides to the RF field. -What if we could speed up the dwell time just a hair without compromising the test? While all of the above thoughts are useful, they only decrease transition times, which unfortunately comprise only a fraction of the total test time. What if there was a way to dramatically reduce test time while still meeting the stringent requirements of the test standard? This would certainly be a dream come true. Take heart…a way has been found. The title of this article provides a hint as to how this can be accomplished. AR RF/Microwave Instrumentation has developed a product which uses a patented test process that adds additional test frequencies, or tones, for each test period, or dwell time. Rather than testing one tone per dwell period, we add additional tones to effectively increase the test efficiency by a factor approximately equal to the number of tones used. For example, if four tones were used, the test would be completed in about one quarter of the normal time or four times faster.

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