2019 will be the year 5G becomes a reality, with initial field deployments and commercial services. As the industry converges on the best practices for installation and maintenance, a new generation of test equipment is needed to support both existing LTE networks and the unique technology used by 5G networks: mmWave frequencies, active antenna systems, beamforming and dynamic physical layer attributes. RF technologies are touching ever more areas of our lives, with the RF spectrum becoming more crowded. In addition to the demands of cellular systems below 6 GHz, 5G radios are now deployed at 28 and 39 GHz. The ability to view the RF spectrum and measure transmissions from all these systems is important to avoid interference and guarantee performance.
As the leading designer and manufacturer of high performance, handheld RF spectrum analyzers, Anritsu introduces the Field Master Pro MS2090A spectrum analyzer, a compact, handheld instrument delivering performance not previously available and providing field service engineers and technicians with the performance of a benchtop analyzer in a handheld, battery-powered instrument (see Figure 1). With continuous frequency coverage from 9 kHz to a wide range of upper frequency options (9, 14, 20, 26.5, 32, 44 and 54 GHz), the Field Master Pro MS2090A was designed to meet the challenges of 5G test, while maintaining support for the range of wireless technologies in use, including wireless backhaul, satellite systems, radar and other aerospace and defense applications.
The Field Master Pro MS2090A delivers the highest levels of RF performance available in a handheld, touch screen spectrum analyzer, with a displayed average noise level (DANL) less than −160 dBm and a third-order intercept of +20 dBm (typical). This makes measurements such as spectrum clearing, radio alignment, harmonics and distortion more accurate than previously possible. For modulation measurements on digital systems, 100 MHz modulation bandwidth coupled with best-in-class phase noise maximizes measurement accuracy, and 0.5 dB typical amplitude accuracy provides confidence when testing transmitter power and spurious levels.
Ruggedized for field use, all versions of the Field Master Pro MS2090A provide a comprehensive range of features to speed and simplify measurements, as well as enhancing usability. The built-in real-time spectrum analyzer (RTSA) provides the ultimate signal analysis and interference capture tool, with spans of 20 (standard) to 100 MHz (optional) providing the capability for cellular interference monitoring to full ISM band signal analysis. In addition to being a full span, swept tuned spectrum analyzer, all versions include a spectrogram display to monitor the RF spectrum for intermittent or interfering signals. Integrated channel power and occupied bandwidth measurements simplify the characterization of common radio transmission. I/Q data capture of 5G frames enables the capture and saving of I/Q data for off-line processing on a PC using standard data analysis tools.
The Field Master Pro MS2090A supports a variety of critical applications used in the installation, commissioning and maintenance of wireless networks. 4G and 5G coverage mapping provides a clear representation of the signal strength of 5G transmitters over geographic areas. The Field Master Pro MS2090A provides continuous measurement of RF data, including 5G channel power, effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) or reference signals received power (RSRP). When combined with the NEON®MA8100A signal mapper, users have a powerful indoor and outdoor coverage mapping solution that displays results on a digital map or in a building floor plan.
As cellular and broadcast operators expand their networks, new technologies are moving into the sub-6 GHz bands. Many national regulatory authorities now auction the spectrum for exclusive access, and the new owners need to validate that legacy users have stopped all transmissions, so that networks are efficiently deployed. The Field Master Pro MS2090A fast sweep speeds, low distortion front-end and spectrogram displays make it a powerful tool for spectrum clearance. Using omnidirectional antennas, all signals are captured across a defined frequency band, while the built-in preamplifier optimizes the sensitivity to capture low-level signals.
With microwave radio links becoming central building blocks for cellular and data networks, the Field Master Pro MS2090A helps installation crews align radios over distances from a few 10s of meters to several kilometers. Using a waveguide horn antenna, the power and modulation bandwidth can be verified during installation and ongoing maintenance testing.
With the introduction of the 5G New Radio (NR) network, instruments are needed to validate the performance of gNB base stations in a field environment (see Figure 2). In the 3.5, 28 and 39 GHz bands, the adoption of active antenna systems means new test methods need to be developed and used. With full compliance to the 3GPP TS 38.104 V15 requirement, the Field Master Pro MS2090A provides support for essential measurements, including frequency error, time offset, cell/sector ID, modulation quality, unwanted emissions, occupied bandwidth, adjacent channel leakage ratio, EIRP and transmitter spurious to 12.75 GHz. Measurements of the synchronization signal block (SSB) are also supported, enabling over-the-air (OTA) transmitter testing on a live gNB.
NEXT-GENERATION SPECTRUM ANALYSIS
With the launch of the Field Master Pro MS2090A, Anritsu has introduced the world’s first field portable solution with continuous frequency coverage for sub-3 GHz, sub-6 GHz and mmWave 5G NR measurements. The instrument was developed closely cooperating with all the leading 5G base station manufacturers and is being used to install the first commercial 5G NR networks. With a continuous frequency coverage from 9 kHz to 54 GHz, 100 MHz analysis bandwidth, 5G NR demodulation capabilities, RTSA for interference hunting, built-in EIRP and gated sweep for transmission testing and a 10.1 in. multi-touch screen user interface, the Field Master Pro MS2090A spectrum analyzer is the most comprehensive solution for field service engineers and technicians supporting the installation, commissioning and maintenance of the RF industry’s wireless technologies.