Microwave Journal

T&M Instrument Amplifiers Cover 700 MHz to 26.5 GHz

August 14, 2018

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Modern applications such as 5G, Wi-Fi and SATCOM require special attention when selecting suitable instrumentation and accessories to perform measurements for characterization, modeling, validation and design. One cannot simply use any available equipment but should select sources, analyzers and amplifiers with a high degree of linearity and sensitivity, to ensure signal fidelity and accurate, repeatable measurements. With these requirements in mind, Maury Microwave has released a line of test and measurement instrument amplifiers based on state-of-the-art, solid-state, GaN power amplifier (PA) modules to specifically address 50 and non-50 Ω measurements for modern applications, including 4G and 5G communications, advanced Wi-Fi standards, radar and SATCOM.


Key features include high continuous saturated output power of 1 to 50 W across the entire bands from 0.7 to 6, 2 to 6, 2 to 18, 6 to 18, 8 to 12 and 18 to 26.5 GHz. Maury Microwave MPA-series instrument amplifiers have high gain—between 30 and 50 dB, with a typical gain flatness of ±2 dB—to amplify the typical signal generator output power to the amplifier’s rated saturated output. Users can manually adjust the gain over a range of 15 to 20 dB using the gain-adjustment knob on the front panel of the amplifier. All Maury amplifiers are unconditionally stable, and signal fidelity and accurate device-under-test measurements are ensured, due to low:

  • Second harmonic output contribution of ‐35 to ‐15 dBc.
  • Spurious signal contribution of ‐65 dBc at rated saturated output power.
  • Third-order intermodulation products (IM3) of ‐48 to ‐33 dBc at 13 dB back-off with 10 MHz signal spacing.
  • ACPR values of ‐50 to ‐40 dBc at 13 dB back-off typical, using an LTE signal with 20 MHz bandwidth and 9 dB peak-to-average ratio.

Figure 1

Figure 1 The LCD display shows operating status, gain level and faults.

MPA-series amplifiers include an integrated LCD display indicating amplifier operating status, gain level and any faults recorded by the internal protection circuitry (see Figure 1). Fault protection includes automatic shut-off due to elevated temperature, fan failure and PA module over-current.


MPA-series amplifiers have been created, in part, by leveraging Maury’s 60+ year history in the RF/microwave industry and 30+ years of direct experience with transistor characterization, modeling, validation and PA design. As application experts, Maury has manufactured, trained and supported turnkey measurement and modeling systems for 4G, 5G, Wi-Fi, radar and SATCOM applications, experiencing the pitfalls of using non-ideal instruments and accessories and, conversely, the benefits of using ideal components. Using this experience, Maury specified and designed application-specific instrument amplifiers to act as the backbone of each measurement and modeling system (see Figure 2). Maury’s unique insight from the application and user perspective enables its engineers to support the customer’s entire test bench, not only the amplifier.

Figure 2

Figure 2 An MPA-series amplifier used in a vector-receiver load-pull system.

Figure 3

Figure 3 The MPA-series amplifiers are tested extensively, including harmonics, intermodulation and ACPR.

Maury MPA-series test and measurement instrument amplifiers are incredibly reliable, in part because of the advanced burn-in and aging procedures performed prior to final electrical test. The process includes exposing the amplifiers to extreme temperature conditions for prolonged duration, to identify premature component failure and mounting deficiencies. In addition, extended operation at the maximum saturated output power over the entire rated temperature range under CW and pulsed-CW operating conditions helps identify MMIC and PA module deficiencies or failures. After burn-in and aging, each instrument amplifier is tested using a state-of-the-art vector-receiver measurement system (see Figure 3). This system independently measures power at the fundamental, harmonic and intermodulation frequencies using single- and two-tone input signals, as well as true ACPR using modulated wideband signals.


In addition to the standard offering, semi-custom models with variations on frequency range, power and gain are offered. Fully-custom amplifiers can also be developed, based on an extensive customer questionnaire covering frequency, output power, gain, harmonic power, spurious signals, intermodulation power, noise floor, mechanical dimensions, cooling requirements, etc.

Maury will release additional PAs during 2018 and 2019: 100 and 200 W between 0.7 and 2.7 GHz, higher power 18 to 26.5 and 26.5 to 40 GHz models.
Maury Microwave Corp.
Ontario, Calif.