Extension unit enables full characterization of active components

October 6, 2014. The new R&S ZVAX-TRM from Rohde & Schwarz is an extension unit for high-end network analyzers from the Rohde & Schwarz R&S ZVA family. The R&S ZVAX-TRM can be combined with an R&S ZVA to yield a compact and highly customizable system. The R&S ZVAX-TRM conditions the signals from the network analyzer as required for a given task and either returns them to the analyzer or outputs them via its integrated high-power test ports. The combination of an R&S ZVA and an R&S ZVAX-TRM enables users in development and production to measure parameters such as compression, noise figure, and group delay even on three-port T/R modules, with the DUT having to be connected only once (single-connection device characterization).

Combining the R&S ZVAX-TRM with a four-port R&S ZVA with four internal sources enables users can perform intermodulation measurements on modules with two conversion stages without the need for external signal generators. Such measurements require up to four signals (RF1 and RF2, LO1 and LO2), which are delivered by the above combination. Plus, measurement time is significantly reduced, since only internal sources are used.

Featuring integrated high-power test ports as standard, the R&S ZVAX-TRM base unit allows bidirectional high-power measurements up to +43 dBm. Diverse hardware options are available to tailor the unit to user requirements. Optional output amplifiers can be inserted into the measurement paths to compensate for internal losses. As a result, output power levels can be achieved at the R&S ZVAX-TRM test ports that are comparable to those at an R&S ZVA analyzer?s standard test ports. Via switch-selected access points, users can access reference signals or insert external components such as power amplifiers or attenuators into the generator or receiver path.

When equipped with optional combiners, the R&S ZVAX-TRM can be used to deliver two-tone signals for intermodulation measurements as well as for special group-delay measurements on frequency-converting T/R modules with an internal LO. The optional pulse modulators allow bidirectional, pulsed signal measurements. The R&S ZVAX-TRM generates the pulsed signals and feeds them to the DUT. The R&S ZVA then performs the measurements, e.g. pulse profile, point-in-pulse, pulse average.

The R&S ZVAX-TRM comes in different models, ranging from 10 MHz up to 24/40/50/67 GHz to match the diverse R&S ZVA models. It can also be used with network analyzers from the R&S ZVT family. The R&S ZVAX-TRM decouples signal conditioning from the network analyzer, which offers an additional benefit: When the R&S ZVA/ZVT is used to perform standard network analyzer tasks, i.e. without the R&S ZVAX-TRM extension unit, the user benefits from the full RF performance of these high-end network analyzers with respect to output power level, dynamic range and long-term stability. The transfer switches required for integrating the signal conditioning components have no impact on the measurements.

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