An introduction to Mobile Station Over-the-Air measurements

Author: Gregory F. Masters
Publication: AMTA 2006
Copyright Owner: NSI-MI Technologies

Active antenna measurements are familiar to traditional antenna test range operators. Pulsed, multi-beam, multi-frequency, phased-array measurements have become quite popular for military and space-based applications. These combine typical antenna patterns with active RF excitation in order to create a system-like capability. A new type of measurements called Mobile Station Over-the-Air (OTA) Measurements is emerging, which attempts to include even more of the communication system (antenna, amplifier, receiver and electronics) in the measurement. Promoted by CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association), OTA measurements attempt to test system components closer to the environment in which they will be used. RF excitation is no longer just an RF source in pulsed or CW modes, but requires a Base Station Simulator (BSS) with protocols such as GSM, CDMA, Bluetooth, 802.11g, etc. Traditional antenna patterns are less important than the newly required measurements of TRP (Total radiated power) and TIS (Total isotropic sensitivity). Range operators must become familiar with these concepts in order to keep up with the ever-changing requirements of the future. This paper provides the reader with an overview of Mobile Station OTA measurements, techniques and sample data.

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