The millimeter wave industry is experiencing enormous growth from an increasing and diversified customer base, created by new consumer demand and continuing defense requirements. There is an undeniable call for new technologies in both connectivity and radar applications. With the current amount of research and development invested in new systems at multi-gigabit rates (e.g., WiGig, 802.11ad, 5G, last mile connectivity, small cells, cube satellite networks, driver assisted automotive systems and the IoT), low cost instrumentation and measurement solutions are greatly needed at millimeter wave frequencies.
Responding to these marketplace demands, SAGE Millimeter called upon its millimeter wave expertise to extend its reach into test and instrumentation. Known for high performance millimeter wave components, the company drew from its broad product offering to develop three new VNA extenders, which were introduced at IMS2016. SAGE Millimeter’s vertical approach is what provides RF engineers with a cost-effective solution for their test environments.
Models STO-15-S1, STO-12-S1 and STO-10-S1 are millimeter wave, full waveguide band vector network analyzer (VNA) extenders that enable a standard 20 GHz VNA to cover the frequency range from 50 to 110 GHz. The extenders are offered in three waveguide bands: V-, E- and W-Band and are designed to work with multiple VNA systems (see Figure 1). The extenders function seamlessly with Rohde & Schwarz, Keysight Technologies and Anritsu’s VNA systems that have direct receiver access, preserving the full functionality offered by the original VNAs. The extended VNAs in the millimeter wave bands are capable of performing full S-parameter measurements as well as the other functions of the standard 20 GHz VNA, such as gain compression, IMD, etc. Figure 2 shows the measured insertion loss of a 73 to 83 GHz bandpass filter measured using the E-Band extenders.
The VNA extenders include two identical transmitter/receiver boxes (see Figure 3), with a simple interconnection and setup process. The test ports of the VNA extenders are standard waveguide. The interconnections between the extenders and OEM low frequency VNA are made through four, 3"long, high performance, phase stable cables with SMA male connectors at both ends. The extenders are powered by the standard wall outlet, with a voltage range from 100 to 240 VAC. To ensure full product integrity and control, all the VNA extender models are built with SAGE Millimeter’s in-house components, which include amplifiers, harmonic mixers, isolators, multipliers and filters. The specifications of the standard V-, E- and W-Band VNA extenders are shown in Table 1. The designs can be customized to specific customer requirements, leveraging SAGE Millimeter’s extensive component capabilities.
A full line of waveguide calibration kits has also been developed to complement the VNA extenders. These kits allow for full two port calibration of the extended VNA in their respective millimeter wave bands.