Rohde & Schwarz has implemented a new 90 GHz connector, called the E connector, in two thermal power sensors, the R&S NRP90T and R&S NRP90TN, which are the latest additions to its power sensor family.

With a precise metric fine thread, a reliable pin-gap and an integrated groove for optional push-pull locking, the 1.35 mm E connector fills a gap between the well-established 1.85 mm connector (the V-Band connector) and the 1 mm connector (the W-Band connector).

While the V-Band connector, which was introduced more than 30 years ago, is suitably robust for industrial applications, its maximum frequency is 70 GHz. The W-Band connector performs to 110 GHz, yet is not as robust: it requires fine mechanical accuracy during assembly and frequently loosens during use.

E Connector Development

Emerging applications for automotive radar, from 76 to 81 GHz, and the WiGig extension (IEEE 802.11ay) to 71 GHz highlighted the need for a robust coaxial cable connector suitable for industrial applications operating to 90 GHz.

Seeing the need, four German organizations with microwave expertise initiated a joint project to develop a coaxial connector optimized for E-Band. The group comprised Germany's national metrology institute, the Physikalisch-Technische-Bundesanstalt (PTB), Rohde & Schwarz, Rosenberger Hochfrequenztechnik and SPINNER.

The E connector design was accepted in 2019 for the next edition of the IEEE 287-2007 for precision coaxial connectors and by the IEC, which will publish it as the IEC 61169-65.

Daniel Blaschke, head of development for RF/microwave power meters at Rohde & Schwarz, said, “Power sensors are often the first T&M instruments for which customers request native support of a new connector type. We are happy to be the first to introduce a model equipped with the novel E connector, thanks to this fruitful partnership.”

Dr. Hans-Ulrich Nickel, head of RF Research & Development at the SPINNER Group, said, “We initiated the 1.35 mm project to obtain a robust and future-oriented interface solution up to 90 GHz. It fills me with great joy to see the rapid adoption of our 1.35 mm portfolio.”

Hauke Schütt, executive vice president of test and measurement products at Rosenberger, said, “The new 1.35 mm connectors draw a lot of interest in the 70 to 90 GHz range. We are excited that we are already able to offer a wide range of solutions.”

Karsten Kuhlmann, head of the high frequency basic quantities working group at PTB, said, “International standardization and traceability to national standards are key ingredients for the successful introduction of a new RF connector system.”

The R&S NRPxxT power sensors can be operated remotely when connected to a network, or they can be used locally, connected to a PC, select Rohde & Schwarz instruments or an R&S NRX base unit.