RF Measurements:Principles & Demonstration
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This 5-day lecture-based course explains essential RF measurements that must be made on modern wireless communications equipment - mobile/smart phones, wireless LANs, GPS navigation systems, and others. Current models of the essential test instruments will be explained and demonstrated, including vector network analyzers, power meters, spectrum analyzers, digitally modulated signal generators and vector signal analyzers.
All of the measurements will be demonstrated on actual RF wireless components including power amps, LNAs, mixers, upconverters, and filters. These measurements will include traditional tests of power, gain, group delay, S parameters, AM to PM, intermodulation products, harmonics and noise figure. The unique measurements of wireless communications will then be made with PSK and FSK digitally modulated signals including spectral regrowth, constellation diagram distortion, error vector magnitude (EVM), and bit error rate.
Upon completing the course, the participant will be able to:
- describe the RF measurements that must be made on modern wireless communication equipment.
- take proper care of RF cables and connectors in the lab
- explain why the various measurements must be made.
- operate the RF test equipment that is used to make these measurements
- setup and calibrate a Vector Network Analyzer measurement
- make measurements on power amps, LNA's, mixers, upconverters and filters
- make traditional tests of power, gain, group delay, S parameters, AM to PM, intermodulation products, harmonics, and noise figure with CW signals.
- ensure that distortion products from the instrumentation are not corrupting the measurement results
- make measurements with PSK and FSK digitally modulated signals of spectral regrowth, constellation diagram distortion and ISI, error vector magnitude, and bit error rate.
- develop reasonable expectations for measurement uncertainties.
Design and production engineers and technicians interested in improving measurement skills through a practical approach will benefit from this course. The lecture includes a review of wireless communication systems, RF components and the tests that must be made, making this an ideal course for professionals wishing to have a thorough grounding in the knowledge of how wireless systems operate.
Day OneCourse Objectives and Course Outline
Review of RF principles Wave parameters : frequency, amplitude, phase basics of propagation dB and dBm Mismatches Conversion between mismatch expressions : Reflection coefficient, return loss, mismatch loss, SWR The Smith Chart - an overview S-parameters
RF Test Equipment - Principles of Operation
Cable and connector types/proper care Signal generators Power meters and power sensors Frequency counter Vector network analyzer Demonstration: how to setup and calibrate a basic VNA measurement Vector network analyzer measurements on non-packaged devices
Day Two Spectrum analyzer Demonstration: how to operate a spectrum analyzer : Resolution Bandwidth, Video Bandwidth, Attenuation, Scaling Noise figure meter Vector signal analyzer
Mismatch uncertainty VNA - motivation for measurement calibration
RF Communication system block diagram
Specifications of components to be tested
Phase locked oscillator
principles of operation measurement of phase noise : log/video vs. rms averaging on Spectrum Analyzer, Marker noise function
Modulation basics principles of operation demonstration: measurement of conversion gain using a spectrum analyzer : output spectrum of upconverter
Day ThreePower Amplifier
principles of operation demonstration measurement : swept gain, power sweep/1 dB compression point, AM to PM distortion, phase on the Vector Network Analyzer Harmonic power using Spectrum Analyzer checking for distortion products in the test equipment
Noise and Noise Figure
Noise figure measurement demonstration measurement using Y-factor technique
Principles of operation Demonstration measurement : passband, inband loss, match, group delay on the Vector Network Analyzer
Day FourLow Noise Amplifiers
principles of operation Noise figure intermodulation products demonstration measurement : gain/1dB compression point, output power, phase using power sweep on Vector Network Analyzer demonstration measurement : S-parameters vs. frequency on the Vector Network Analyzer
principles of operation : conversion gain, output power
description of intermodulation products Demonstration: IP3/TOI using a spectrum analyzer definition of IP2
Overall Receiver Performance
Typical overall receiver performance Calculating system performance
Day FiveMultiple Access Techniques
FDMA TDMA CDMA OFDMA
Performance of RF components with digital signals
Block diagram Digital modulation fundamentals demonstration measurement : Adjacent Channel Power (ACP) performance vs. power amplifier nonlinearity with different modulation techniques zero span function on Spectrum Analyzer
Vector Signal Analyzer Modulation Quality Measurements
Principles of operation EVM/Distortion of digital signal due to power amplifier nonlinearity EVM/Distortion of digital signal due to IF filter group delay EVM/Distortion due to LO phase noise with mixer Troubleshooting digital modulation with a Vector Signal Analyzer
Description of Bit Error Rate (BER)
RF Communication System Operation
Subject Areas Covered
Check the above links for other courses that may interest you based on subject matter.
PA class A,B, C etc. • ACP • AM-AM/AM-PM Distortion • Filters • PLL/PLO • BER • Conversion gain/loss • dB and dBm • Digital Modulation • Gain • Group Delay • Harmonics • Intermodulation • Intermodulation • Intermodulation • Impedance Matching • LNA • Mismatches • Mixer • Noise, Noise Figure • Noise, Noise Figure • Phase • Upconverter • S-parameters • S-parameters • Overall Receiver Performance • Receiver block diagram • RF Communication system block diagram • RF Test Equipment • Transmitter Architecture/Block Diagram