Microwave Journal

Rohde & Schwarz Presents Cutting-Edge Conformance Testing Solution for 5G NR FR2

March 18, 2020

5G NR necessitates new testing approaches. The introduction of the new mmWave based FR2 frequency range for 5G and the increased use of active antennas without physical connectors requires testing to be performed over the air (OTA). Rohde & Schwarz has developed a test solution able to perform the first tests for RF conformance in 3GPP FR2. The device under test, a 5G smartphone, is placed in the R&S ATS1800C chamber. The chamber is also available in a new special configuration for extreme temperature testing in 3D.

A test system for mobile technologies up to 5G The R&S TS8980 is a well-established family of RF conformance test systems. With the addition of the new R&S CMX500 radio communication tester, the RF conformance system gets 5G NR signaling functionality.

The upgraded R&S TS8980FTA is the only RF conformance test system in the market supporting mobile technologies all the way from 2G to 5G on one platform. A unique feature of the R&S TS8980FTA is the smooth upgrade path to 5G. Users who already have the previous version of the R&S TS8980 can upgrade to 5G RF FR1 testing by adding the R&S CMX500 as an extension box. While in FR1 all the tests are done in conducted mode the need in FR2 is to test OTA. This is realized by extending the TS8980FTA by a very compact antenna test range (CATR) system.

Compact, flexible CATR system for FR2 testing A CATR testing solution features a reflector to minimize the space requirements for OTA tests. For the 5G frequency range FR2 user equipment conformance test, CATR designs are the best practical choice since the required plane wave signals are available in distances measured in decimeters from the reflector, instead of meters as in direct far field chambers. A CATR setup is reciprocal and can be used for the transmission characteristics of the device, as well as the receiver characteristics.

The setup includes the new CATR based R&S ATS1800C for FR2 testing. It is a turnkey, high-end chamber with the smallest footprint in the industry of only 1.3 m², featuring class-leading signal integrity and shielding in a small space. The solution includes a gold-coated reflector providing a large quiet zone of 30 cm, fulfilling 3GPP 5G NR conformance test requirements. Completing the test setup is a configuration for extreme temperature testing. With a frequency range 18-90 GHz, the solutions have potential applications well beyond the current FR2 bands.