Test bench for prototyping and verification of microwave devices of the millimeter wave (5G mmWave)

Home Microwave & SDR systems Test bench for prototyping and verification of microwave devices of the millimeter wave (5G mmWave)

 The mmWave microwave test bench gives engineers responsible for characterization and validation of 5G millimeter-wave beamforming devices very high speeds for spatial sweep of OTA in 5G millimeter-wave bands from 24 GHz to 44 GHz, reducing test time DUT from hours to minutes.  

 

 Engineers working on the latest 5G Antenna-in-Module (AiM) and Antenna-in-a-Box (AiP) devices now have the advantage of reducing development time and meeting beamforming requirements with broader and more complex 5G NR signals. In addition, NI's faster test speed allows engineers to use denser spatial grids for finer resolution and dramatically improved measurement uncertainty. A test bench for prototyping and verification of microwave mm-range devices helps engineers create a very cost-effective and fast-response solution.

 

Features of the

Rapid lab validation and characterization of phased array antennas with 5G millimeter wave beamforming

Measure narrowband (CW) and wideband (5G NR) signals with the same setting

No bulky external switches with powerful bi-directional ports

The mmWave test bench   allows engineers to tune spatial sweeps using a thin (dense) 3D mesh and perform RF measurements of thousands of points in space using autonomous movement. That is, as soon as the sweep begins, the positioner and mmWave VST synchronize and operate independently using trigger signals, without having to rely on software commands from the controller. Since this approach avoids the more time-consuming, software-driven execution of "action -> stop  -> measure ", the results will be available in no time.

Consequently, validation engineers improve the resolution of beamforming measurements while reducing test time. Using the mmWave OTA Validation benchmark, engineers can create, store, or distribute detailed parametric results.

 

Equipment

The mmWave test bench  includes:

  • NI Millimeter Wave Vector Signal Transceiver (VST) for Generating and Measuring Broadband RF Signals
  • PXI-formatted tools for repeatable, fluid and precise motion control
  • Isolated RF Chamber for Testing Millimeter-Wave Far-Field AiP Devices in Quiet Environments
  • High gain antennas, cables, adapters and other accessories
  • MmWave OTA Validation Test software for interactive use and automation

 

Structural diagram of the mmWave OTA test bench

 

  The test bench can perform transmission and reception tests using narrowband signals, and then generate and analyze broadband new radio waves. Unlike competitive solutions, the NI approach does not require a separate VNA + VSG + VSA.

 

 The mmWave OTA test bench takes advantage of the newly released NI mmWave VST and the tightly synchronized PXI backplane to create a fast, affordable and ready-to-use OTA reference test system that engineers can tailor to their test needs. ... In addition, using other platform elements such as TestStand and LabVIEW, the mmWave Test Bench gives users the ability to customize their tests, create and store reports, and visualize their test results interactively.

 

Measurement capabilities

• Total isotropic sensitivity

• Total radiated power

• Effective isotropic radiated power

• Effective isotropic sensitivity

• Partial upper hemisphere radiated power

• Partial isotropic upper hemisphere sensitivity

• Incomplete isotropic sensitivity near the horizon

• Partial isotropic radiated power near the horizon

• Intermediate channel

 

Protocols 

GSM, GPRS, EDGE, CDMA2000, CDMA 1xEVDO, CDMA 1xRTT,

WCDMA, HSDPA, Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g, BLUETOOTH 802.15.1.2,

PHS, TD-SCDMA, HSPA, WiMAX, GPS, DVB-H, A -GPS

 

The list of compatible protocols is constantly expanding. Contact us for updated information

 

mmWave VST for IF-to-RF and RF-to-RF measurements

 The modular architecture of the NI mmWave VST allows it to scale to accommodate the diversity and complexity of 5G mmWave devices. Using the NI VST, engineers gain fast, laboratory-scale, wide-bandwidth IF and MW signal generation and analysis for OTA testing of 5G semiconductor devices.

 For testing RF-to-RF devices, the mmWave OTA Validation Test reference architecture places mmWave VST radio heads with powerful bi-directional ports very close to the RF connectors on the outside of the anechoic chamber. Engineers can also use the VST IF ports to interface the IF-RF TC.

 

MmWave VST architecture

 

This approach creates:

  • IF and Millimeter Wave Generation and Analysis Capabilities for Various DUTs
  • Future-ready, modular system that engineers can adapt without changing any other part of the test solution as the 5G standard evolves to include higher frequencies
  • A way of moving the millimeter-wave test ports closer to the device under test, minimizing signal loss and increasing the signal-to-noise ratio
  • A complete test solution with high data rates and signal processing at the speed of the latest multi-core processors.

 

RF Isolated Anechoic Chamber

   Correctly characterizing the beamforming characteristics of AiP devices requires a controlled and quiet RF environment in an anechoic chamber with high quality radio-absorbing material that minimizes reflections. In addition, to ensure repeatability of measurements, the motion system must provide a high angular resolution and each time move to an exact point in space.

  The test bench includes a carefully selected anechoic chamber with a 2-axis (azimuth and elevation) DUT positioner at the bottom and a fixed measurement antenna at the top. This camera includes a National Instruments real-time motion controller that enables NI to use a fast, continuous motion OTA test method.

  The distance between the positioner and the DUT allows far-field testing of 5G MW AiP devices with an antenna aperture of 5 cm or less (in accordance with 3GPP specification 38.310 for category 1 DUTs).

 

High Isolation Millimeter Wave Anechoic Chamber

 

This approach creates:

IF and Millimeter Wave Generation and Analysis Capabilities for Various DUTs

Future-ready, modular system that engineers can adapt without changing any other part of the test solution as the 5G standard evolves to include higher frequencies

A way of moving the millimeter-wave test ports closer to the device under test, minimizing signal loss and increasing the signal-to-noise ratio

A complete test solution with high data rates and signal processing at the speed of the latest multi-core processors.

 

Software

  The MMW Prototyping and Verification Test Bench includes test software that helps engineers quickly set up extensive spatial sweeps to characterize their device's antenna patterns while they manufacture, render, store, or distribute detailed parametric results. 

 

  Users can use the mmWave test bench software as a complete test environment for OTA validation tests. Alternatively, users can incorporate some of its components into their existing test environment, or use individual components as stand-alone utilities.

 

 OTA testing needs can vary greatly for different applications and DUT types. To help engineers adapt to different test situations, mmWave OTA Validation Test Software offers a modular approach that is extensible for different user needs such as custom DUT control, special sweep configurations, signal routing, etc.

 

 Engineers working on both manual and automated verification tests of mmWave OTA devices will benefit from the following components built with LabVIEW and TestStand:

 

  • MmWave OTA Test Configuration User Interface: An open source LabVIEW graphical user interface (GUI) that helps users configure the test matrix to run, including measurement parameters, sweep parameters, and connection settings
  • TestStand Template Launch Sequences: The mmWave OTA Validation Test Software installs test sequence templates that engineers can use to launch the configuration files they create using the mmWave OTA configuration UI.
  • Soft front of the mmWave OTA Test Positioner: The mmWave OTA SFP test positioner allows users to operate the positioner interactively.
  • mmWave OTA Test Visualizer: OTA Test Visualizer mmWave completes offline setup and analysis of OTA test data for antenna measurements. Engineers can use the OTA Test Visualizer mmWave to invoke various visualizations of results and analyze measurements and antenna patterns.
  • OTA measurement interface: To simplify the process of storing measurement values, importing and exporting measurement data, and interpreting measurement results using automated sequences in TestStand.
  • System Calibration Utility: NI provides RF System Calibration Assistant, a free software utility that controls RF devices, including an external RF power meter, to perform system loss calibrations on all RF equipment components in the signal path (cables, adapters, antennas, etc.) t.D.) taking into account both horizontal and vertical polarization.

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