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Pulsed-RF S-Parameter Measurements Using a VNA. 2 Agenda Pulsed-RF Overview Pulsed-RF measurement techniques Wideband/synchronous Narrowband/asynchronous.

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Presentation on theme: "Pulsed-RF S-Parameter Measurements Using a VNA. 2 Agenda Pulsed-RF Overview Pulsed-RF measurement techniques Wideband/synchronous Narrowband/asynchronous."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pulsed-RF S-Parameter Measurements Using a VNA

2 2 Agenda Pulsed-RF Overview Pulsed-RF measurement techniques Wideband/synchronous Narrowband/asynchronous

3 3 Why Test Under Pulsed Conditions? Device may behave differently between CW and pulsed stimuli Bias changes during pulse might affect RF performance Overshoot, ringing, droop may result from pulsed stimulus Measuring behavior within pulse is often critical to characterizing system operation (radars for example) CW test signals would destroy DUT High-power amplifiers not designed for continuous operation On-wafer devices often lack adequate heat sinking Pulsed test-power levels can be same as actual operation

4 4 Radar and Electronic-Warfare Biggest market for pulsed-RF testing Traditional applications  20 GHz New applications in Ka band ( GHz) Devices include amplifiers T/R modules up/down converters

5 5 Wireless Communications Systems TDMA-based systems often use burst mode transmission Saves battery power Minimizes probability of intercept Power amplifiers often tested with pulsed bias Most of wireless communications applications  6 GHz

6 6 On-Wafer Amplifier Test and Modeling Most applications are at microwave frequencies Devices lack adequate heatsinking for CW testing, so pulsed-RF used as a test technique to extract S-parameters Arbitrary, stable temperature (isothermal state) set by adjusting duty cycle Duty cycles are typically < 1% Often requires synchronization of pulsed bias and pulsed RF stimulus

7 7 Pulsed Antenna Test About 30% of antenna test involves pulsed-RF stimulus Test individual antennas, complete systems, or RCS RCS (Radar Cross Section) measurements often require gating to avoid overloading receiver

8 8 VNA Pulsed-RF Measurements Average Pulse Magnitude and phase data averaged over duration of pulse Point-in-Pulse Data acquired only during specified gate width and position within pulse VNA data display Frequency domain Time domain Pulse Profile Data acquired at uniformly spaced time positions across pulse (requires a repetitive pulse stream) Magnitude Phase data point Note: there may not be a one-to-one correlation between data points and the actual number of pulses that occur during the measurement CW Swept carrier

9 9 t Data samples Pulsed IF Narrowband detection uses hardware switches (gates) in RF or IF path to define acquisition window Broadband detection uses sampling period to define acquisition window Point-in-Pulse acquisition window Narrowband detection Broadband detection Anti-alias filter ADC IF gate Digital FIR IF filter Pulsed IF Anti-alias filter ADC RF gate Digital FIR IF filter Pulsed RF Defining the Acquisition Window

10 10 NA Demo: Point-in-Pulse, Pulse Profile

11 11 Agenda Pulsed-RF Overview Pulsed-RF measurement techniques Wideband/synchronous Narrowband/asynchronous

12 12 fcfc Pulse repetition frequency (PRF = 1/PRI) 1/PW Time domain Pulse width (PW) Pulse repetition period (PRP) Pulse repetition interval (PRI) Carrier frequency (f c ) Measured S-parameters Pulsed-RF Network Analysis Terminology Frequency domain Duty cycle = on time/(on+off time) = PW/PRI

13 13 Pulsed S-parameter Measurement Modes Wideband/synchronous acquisition Majority of pulse energy is contained within receiver bandwidth Incoming pulses and analyzer sampling are synchronous (requires a pulse trigger) Pulse is “on” for duration of data acquisition No loss in dynamic range for small duty cycles (long PRI's), but there is a lower limit to pulse width Receiver BW Pulse trigger Time domain Frequency domain

14 14 Pulsed S-parameter Measurement Modes Narrowband/asynchronous acquisition Extract central spectral component only; measurement appears CW Data acquisition is not synchronized with incoming pulses (pulse trigger not required) Sometimes called “high PRF” since normally, PRF >> IF bandwidth “Spectral nulling" technique achieves wider bandwidths and faster measurements No lower limit to pulse width, but dynamic range is function of duty cycle IF filter Time domain Frequency domain D/R degradation = 20*log[duty cycle]

15 15 Duty Cycle Effect on Pulsed Dynamic Range Wideband detection Narrowband detection Dynamic Range (dB) Duty Cycle (%) Wideband Detection Narrowband Detection Mixer Narrowband Detection Sampler Wireless Radar Isotherm. The system dynamic range of the microwave fundamental mixing is much better than samplers, helping to overcome the limitations of narrowband detection 0.01

16 16 Agenda Pulsed-RF Overview Pulsed-RF measurement techniques Wideband/synchronous Narrowband/asynchronous

17 17 I Q Pulsed I/Q t Broadband, analog synchronous detector (BW  1.5 MHz) Pulsed SignalBaseband pulsed I/Q A/D converter I(t) Q(t) I Q Pulsed I/Q t Analog Pulse Measurement Technique (Wideband Mode) risetime (1/  ) = 300 ns fall time = 300 ns 20 MHz IF Pulse trigger Fast sample/hold Pulse profile achieved by increasing delay of sample point Sample delay 0o0o 90 o 20 MHz

18 18 Digital Wideband Detection – Point-in-Pulse Set delay of PNA sampling (relative to RF modulation) to establish desired position within pulse (controlled by pulse generator outputs) Width of acquisition window is determined by IF bandwidth Pulsed IF PNA Samples t Modulation triggerPNA sample trigger Point-in-pulse delay 20 us settling time

19 19 Agenda Pulsed-RF Overview Pulsed-RF measurement techniques Wideband/synchronous Narrowband/asynchronous

20 20 Pulsed RF Spectrum of Measurement Example First null = 1/PW = 1/ (7 us) = 143 kHz PRF = 1.7 kHz Pulse width = 7 us Duty cycle = 1.2%

21 21 Pulsed RF Spectrum (Zoomed In) First spectral sideband at 1.7 kHz ( = PRF) Ideal filter Desired frequency component Practical filters 3 dB bandwidth Higher-selectivity (smaller shape factor) filter

22 22 NA’s IF Filters Selectivity of the NA’s digital IF filters is not very high They are optimized for speed Frequency nulls exist at regular spacing (determined by M) log mag lin mag Apparent filter selectivity

23 23 Filtered Output Using Spectral Nulling Pulsed spectrum Output X Digital filter (with nulls aligned with PRF) With “custom” filters, number of filter sections (M) can be chosen to align filter nulls with pulsed spectral components With spectral nulling, reject unwanted spectral components with much higher IF bandwidths compared to using standard IF filters Result: faster measurement speeds!

24 24 Zoomed in View of Spectral Nulling Frequency Offset (Hz) Response of 500 Hz Digital IF Filter and 1.7 kHz Pulsed Spectrum Response (dB) Wanted frequency component Filtered frequency components Nulling occurs at every 3 rd null in this case (BW = 29% of PRF) A narrower IF bandwidth would skip more nulls Trade off dynamic range and speed by varying IF BW

25 25 Delta Bandwidth Comparison IF bandwidth = 984 Hz sweep = 0.5 s IF bandwidth = 95 Hz sweep = 3.3 s Δ noise = 10*log[984/95] = 10.2 dB

26 26 Elimination of Additional Interfering Signals Spectral nulling eliminates main pulse spectrum plus other undesired signals Sources of spectral contamination: Spectral components can wrap around DC and fold back into pulse spectrum Harmonics of "video feed-through" (leakage of baseband modulation signal) due to RF modulator and IF gates DC freq Aliased spectral components Video feedthrough Main spectral components

27 27 Duty Cycle Effects with Narrowband Detection (DUT = HPF) Pulse width = 3  s (DC = 5.1%) Pulse width = 1  s (DC = 1.7%) Pulse width = 100 ns (DC = 0.17%) Pulse width = 100 ns Dynamic range improved with averaging (101 avgs) Note: this is frequency domain data, not a pulse profile

28 28 Calibrating Your Pulsed-RF System Calibration is performed under pulsed conditions Calibration methodology is identical to normal (swept sinusoid) mode ECal or mechanical standards can be used In general, each unique set of pulse and gating conditions requires a separate calibration

29 29 Summary Testing with pulsed-RF is very important for radar, EW, and wireless comms systems Narrowband detection: Spectral nulling technique improves measurement speed For radar and wireless comms applications, offers superior dynamic range/speed No lower limit to pulse widths


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