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Test and Measurement Channel

What Is a Vector Signal Transceiver (VST)?

October 16, 2012

Software-defined RF test system architectures have become increasingly popular over the past several decades. Almost every commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) automated RF test system today uses application software to communicate through a bus interface to the instrument. As RF applications become more complex, engineers are continuously challenged with the dilemma of increasing functionality without increasing test times, and ultimately test cost. While improvements in test measurement algorithms, bus speeds, and CPU speeds have reduced test times, further improvements are necessary to address the continued increase in the complexity of RF test applications.

Signal Integrity:Frequency Range Matters!

October 15, 2012

Higher data rates introduce new challenges for test solutions. There are several 20+ Gbit/s high speed standards (Table 1) that are driving the upper end of the test spectrum to 70 GHz and even 110 GHz. Accurate measurements are needed to better understand higher order harmonics, as will new challenges related to conductor skin effects and dielectric losses on PC boards, along with the design trade-offs related to choices of vias, stackups, and connector pins.

Testing New-generation Wireless LAN

September 18, 2012
The "Testing New-generation Wireless LAN" application note discusses the differences between 802.11ac (designed for Very High Throughput - VHT) and previous WLAN standards, the test requirements and the new challenges VHT brings. The application note also introduces the WLAN new-generation testing technology of 802.11ac and explains in detail Agilent's 802.11ac software which allows engineers to view and troubleshoot all 802.11ac modulation formats.

Solutions for Enabling Fast, Accurate and Efficient Testing of Voice Quality in LTE User Equipment

September 18, 2012
This application note is designed to provide you with the latest insights on how to best address the long list of test requirements when testing the voice quality of LTE UE, with the right VoIP test building blocks. Successfully providing voice support on LTE will require UE developers to bring together a host of new features and capabilities. Many of these items have been around for a while but have not yet been applied to mobile networking. Others are completely new. Regardless, bringing them together will likely cause significant test pain, as they will need to be tested in conjunction with LTE and/or IMS to be fully exercised.

Using RF Power Meters for EMC Testing

September 17, 2012
The complexity of modern digital equipment has caused EMI/EMC susceptibility testing to become increasingly important. Many EMC standards have been created including MILSTD- 461, IEC 61000, ISO 11451 Automotive, EN 50, and FCC part 15 that provide specific guidelines for EMC and EMI test methodologies. Early standards required a CW carrier, or single tone with constant modulation as the disturbance test signal. This article will discuss how a peak power sensor can replace an average diode detector in a field probe to measure pulse power, improve repeatability and increase dynamic range of the power measurement.

Load-Pull in the 21st Century: A Review of the Past and Look to the Future

September 17, 2012
This paper provides a comprehensive review of modern automated load-pull, including a discussion of early impedance synthesis methods, and how they were improved with breakthrough innovations such as Focus MPTTM technology and systematic high-VBW sub-1 Ω test-fixture design techniques. More recent developments are next treated, including active-loop and active-injection impedance synthesis architectures, time-domain data acquisition, and advanced data processing and visualization.

Application Guide to RF Coaxial Connectors and Cables

August 13, 2012
There is a wide variety of coaxial connectors and cables available for use in the RF and Microwave spectrum. While often not much thought is given to these essential components, a misstep here can result in undesirable system degradation. Given that typical RF systems are comprised of any number of items, e.g. RF generators, amplifiers, attenuators, power meters, couplers, antennas, etc., it is not uncommon that a great deal of thought is given to these “high end devices while mundane items such as connectors and cables are often treated as an afterthought".

Making successful, confident NF measurements on Amplifiers

August 13, 2012
The Anritsu VectorStars Noise Figure Option 041 enables the capability to measure noise figure (NF), which is the degradation of the signal-to-noise ratio caused by components in a signal chain. The NF measurement is based on a cold source technique for improved accuracy. Various levels of match and fixture correction are available for additional enhancement. VectorStar is the only VNA platform offering a Noise Figure option enabling NF measurements from 70 kHz to 125 GHz. It is also the only VNA platform available with an optimized noise receiver for measurements from 30 to 125 GHz.

Radio Channel Emulation for LTE User Equipment Testing

July 13, 2012
This White Paper begins by explaining how fading occurs and describing traditional methods of radio channel emulation. It continues to describe the innovative, all-digital, approach used in the Aeroflex 7100 Series Radio Test Platform. It will be demonstrated that the Aeroflex platform allows realistic testing of LTE user equipment to be performed in a way that is impractical with traditional methods.

Statistical Analysis of Modern Communication Signals

May 14, 2012
The introduction of this digital transmission technology has made it necessary to deal with peak power levels up to 20 dB above the average value. All of the RF power components must be capable of handling these high voltage peaks to avoid break down, or flash over.

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