Optimizing RF Instrumentation for Challenging Measurements

Author: Steve Nichols
Publication: EUCAP 2018
Copyright Owner: NSI-MI Technologies

As antenna applications evolve to new technologies, test facilities must adapt to them. Broader application of millimeter-wave frequencies, more frequent use of active electronically steered array technology, and a desire for thorough verification are presenting significant challenges to antenna test ranges. The number of measurement points, frequencies, antenna states, and antenna ports has grown substantially and continues to grow. Some antenna test requirements have resulted in extremely long test times with a vast amount of data to be processes and analyzed. The impact of higher test cost and longer delivery schedules can be substantial, and test facility capacity may be stretched to its limits.

As a result, instrumentation products and automated measurements systems are being pressed to provide enhanced performance to meet the challenges of these rapidly growing test requirements. This presentation describes several ways to reduce test time by optimizing the data acquisition process and by giving due consideration to RF and millimeter-wave performance trade-offs. Specific examples of test ranges that illustrate measurement challenges and solutions will be provided. A view to the future will conclude the talk.

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