White Paper: Test & Measurement

Basic RF Amplifier Measurements Using the R&S® ZNB Vector Network Analyzer and “SMARTerCal”

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The ZNB vector network analyzers (VNA) from Rohde & Schwarz are the perfect instruments for analyzing RF amplifier small signal linear and non-linear performance. The R&S® ZNB vector network analyzer provides RF and microwave designers with a single instrument that is well suited for characterizing RF amplifiers.

This application note presents information on how to configure and use the R&S® ZNB vector network analyzer to successfully make accurate and quick measurement of basic RF amplifier parameters such as S-parameters, return loss, gain, isolation, impedance, and stability. Non-linear measurements are also addressed including compression point, harmonics, intermodulation products and intercept points, and Amplitude Modulation to Phase Modulation (AM-PM) conversion.

The “SMARTerCal” calibration tool is presented. This advanced calibration tool couples a R&S® NRP-Zxx power sensor (and a R&S® NRP-Z4 USB interface cable) with a manual or automatic calibration kit. It combines systematic error correction with calibrated receiver power, offering enhanced measurement accuracy with minimum effort.

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