Biases and Uncertainties of RF Noise Power Measurements

Authors: Brett T. Walkenhorst, Ryan T. Cutshall, and Daniel R. Frey
Publication: IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine, October 2021
Copyright Owner: IEEE

In this paper, we explore various methods of measuring noise power in RF systems. We discuss some of the systems commonly used to make such measurements, then analyze each system’s architecture to obtain the measurement bias and uncertainty for six different combinations of noise models (real and complex noise) and methods of averaging (linear power, magnitude, and logarithmic). Equipped with this knowledge, users can correct for post-measurement biases and determine the number of averages required to yield a desired uncertainty level.

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