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GaN or GaAs, TWT or Klystron - Testing High Power Amplifiers for RADAR Signals using Peak Power Meters

Measuring and characterizing pulsed RF signals used in radar applications present unique challenges. Unlike communication signals, pulsed radar signals are "on" for a short time followed by a long "off" period, during "on" time the system transmits anywhere from kilowatts to megawatts of power. The high power pulsing can stress the power amplifier (PA) in a number of ways both during the on/off transitions and during prolonged "on" periods. As new PA device technologies are introduced, latest one being GaN, the behavior of the amplifier needs to be thoroughly tested and evaluated. Given the time domain nature of the pulsed RF signal, the best way to observe the performance of the amplifier is through time domain signal analysis. This article explains why the peak power meter is a must have test instrument for characterizing the behavior of pulsed RF power amplifiers (PA) used in radar systems

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Using RF Power Meters for EMC Testing

The complexity of modern digital equipment has caused EMI/EMC susceptibility testing to become increasingly important. Many EMC standards have been created including MILSTD- 461, IEC 61000, ISO 11451 Automotive, EN 50, and FCC part 15 that provide specific guidelines for EMC and EMI test methodologies.

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Statistical Analysis of Modern Communication Signals

The latest wireless communication formats like DVB, DAB, WiMax, WLAN, and LTE cellular use OFDM modulation with multiple carriers to transmit digital information.

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Time Matters — How Power Meters Measure Fast Signals

Modern wireless and cable transmission technologies, as well as radar systems, present demanding challenges for device and system developers. Manufacturers of test and measurement equipment are driven to offer products that fully support today’s needs, while anticipating the requirements of future technologies. Accuracy has always been a critical requirement in the test and measurement world, but modern technologies demand another must-have - highest data acquisition and processing speeds to allow accurate measurements of complex signal waveforms. This paper describes the different techniques RF peak power meters employ to meet these challenges.

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