Aerospace & Defense Technology - April 2021 - 25

RF & Microwave Technology

components in the source or measurement loops. The stimulus to the module
can be either stepped CW, pulsed, or
two-tone. The pulsed and two-tone stimulus are usually stepped across the frequency range of the module. The stimulus can also be swept input power.
On the transmit side, high-power
couplers are useful when making highpower PA measurements. As with the
RX tests, this setup can be customized
with the addition of user-inserted components in the source or measurement
loops. The transmitter stimulus may
also be either stepped CW, pulsed, or
two-tone.

The receiver characteristics like gain,
noise figure, and linearity are measured
along with the transmitter characteristics
like output power, compression, and intermodulation distortion. Measurements
may be made in either direction under
swept, CW, multi-tone, or pulsed stimulus. Data is typically collected over all the
T/R module states of gain and phase settings. If the VNA has an embedded PC, it
can be used to directly control the T/R
module directly. This simplifies test setups and reduces test time. Hardware
handshaking also allows for buffered
data transfer while acquiring data for further speed improvement.
When measuring the RX side of the
module, four VNA sources allow twotone stimulus using the internal combiners of the extension unit. For these receiver tests, the internal preamp can be
used to measure the noise figure of the
LNA. This setup can be customized with
the addition of user-switched inserted

Testing parallel modules or partial
modules can be a great way to speed up
measurement throughput and reduce
the cost of testing. Measurements on
two parallel receive chains can be done
by using all available ports. Similar to

Aerospace & Defense Technology, April 2021

Free Info at http://info.hotims.com/79412-779

Parallel Module Testing

Cov

ToC

the RX path, the same is possible for
testing of transmitter paths in parallel.
Adding a simple switch matrix allows
for multiple T/R module bi-directional
testing. With a single connection, the
system can measure the entire suite of
T/R module measurements in both
transmit and receive mode.

Summary
As phased arrays spread into more applications, the need for improved test
solutions is increasing. Accurately characterizing T/R modules at a high
throughput rate can challenge a test system's performance and flexibility. By
adding user-supplied accessories and instruments to the VNA, almost any combination of tests may be performed.
This article was written by Darren McCarthy, Technical Marketing Manager at
Rohde & Schwarz America, Columbia, MD.
For more information, visit http://info.
hotims.com/79412-509.

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Aerospace & Defense Technology - April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Aerospace & Defense Technology - April 2021

Aerospace & Defense Technology - April 2021 - Intro
Aerospace & Defense Technology - April 2021 - Sponsor
Aerospace & Defense Technology - April 2021 - Cov1
Aerospace & Defense Technology - April 2021 - Cov2
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Aerospace & Defense Technology - April 2021 - Cov3
Aerospace & Defense Technology - April 2021 - Cov4
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