White Paper: RF & Microwave Electronics

Improving T/R Module Test Accuracy and Throughput


While phased arrays have been used in radar applications for decades, recent trends are driving the adoption into other applications such as electronic warfare, satellite systems, and even 5G communications.

Characterizing a T/R module places high demands on a test system’s performance and flexibility. The test system needs to support a variety of test modes while maintaining accuracy and constantly improving throughput. In many cases, it must measure high output power, while at the same time delivering very low, highly accurate stimulus power. Intermodulation, noise figure and/or spectral measurements are often required. T/R modules with separate TX and RX paths and an antenna connector call for three-port measurements and typically require two local oscillator (LO) signals in addition.

This white paper provides an overview of the basic building blocks of a phased array system and discusses how the nature of their design leads to a challenging test environment.

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