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Statistical Measurements

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RF power measurements are a staple of wireless technological development, proving essential in fundamental design aspects such as performance, regulatory standard fulfillment, and safety specification compliance. In modern communications using digital modulation methods like OFDM with a noise like-like appearance in the time domain, typical characterizations like average power measurements are often insufficient to fully characterize the signals. Therefore, peak power and statistical measurements have become a useful and more effective way to analyze these signals. Among the variety of statistical measurements to depict digitally modulated signals, the complementary cumulative distribution function (CCDF) and underlying crest factor measurements are effective tools that yield important information for accurate signal characterization.

Measuring Basic Pulse Parameters with a Boonton RTP5000 and Boonton Power Analyzer Software

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The RTP5000 Real-Time USB Peak Power Sensors with Real-Time Power Processing (RTPP) technology deliver 100,000 measurements per second, the widest video bandwidth (VBW) of 195 MHz, and fastest 3-ns rise times to ensure no gaps in signal acquisition and zero measurement latency. Using this performance with the Boonton Power Analyzer (BPA) complementary measurement and analysis software, Boonton provides fast, accurate, reliable, and automatic RF power measurements. This article will explain how to harness Boonton’s powerful RF power measurement capabilities to take basic pulse readings using the Boonton RTP5000 Series and BPA.

Boonton’s Wi-Fi 6 Solutions: Video Bandwidth

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Wi-Fi 6 (also known as 802.11ax) is the latest generation of the Wi-Fi standard, anticipated to provide greater network efficiency, increased battery life, and improved operation in dense or congested environments. Among its projected improvements from previous generations is Wi-Fi 6’s ability to utilize channel bandwidths up to 160 MHz. Although widening channel width increases the speed of data throughput, it also increases the video bandwidth (VBW) demands on test equipment.

Boonton’s Wi-Fi 6 Solutions: Packet Time Gating

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RF power measurements are often taken of an entire Wi-Fi data stream to catch important waveform anomalies, such as power droop, signal dropout, and pulse drift. However, sometimes it is of equal importance to take a more focused approach, zooming and testing specific portions of a Wi-Fi packet. For instance, a signal’s preamble section (see Figure 1) is used as an introduction for the receiver so it can prepare for incoming data and synchronize itself with the transmitter. Depending on the application and testing needs, engineers may need to acquire essential measurements like peak, average, and minimum power of only the preamble section of a packet, or its trailing data portion.

Boonton’s Wi-Fi 6 Solutions: Extended Measurement Duration

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Capturing RF power measurements of an entire Wi-Fi data stream over an extended period can uncover critical waveform anomalies that may have otherwise gone unnoticed in tighter measurement windows. For example, this approach can catch amplifier power droop due to waveform degradation from excessive heat dissipation. Long data capture can also reveal momentary signal dropout, as well as inconsistent spaces between successive pulses. Boonton’s real-time USB RF power sensors armed with Real-Time Power Processing (RTPP) technology work along with the RTP Measurement Buffer Mode Application to deliver industry-leading performance and measurement duration for Wi-Fi testing.



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