RF Measurement Trends: Part One

RF Measurement Trends: Part One

Published: 18th February 2015

The Radio Frequency Spectrum

VLF = Very Low Frequency around 10KHz and then upwards through
LF = Low Frequency
MF = Medium Frequency
HF = High Frequency and then onto
VHF = VERY HIGH FREQUENCY
UHF = ULTRA HIGH FREQUENCY
SHF = SUPER HIGH FREQUENCY
EHF = EXTREMELY HIGH FREQUENCY with 4G cellular 56 to 100Ghz and beyond

These bands cover AM Broadcast, FM Broadcast, Radar Bands and Microwave. More RF frequency bands are expected to be introduced in the near term so driving the need for measurement of broader bandwidths and higher operating frequencies. In all aspects there are changing needs and demands for testing, test results and test equipment across RF.

Fortunately MCS cover all your RF measurement needs including probes, antennas, couplers, amplifiers, signal generators, power meters, analysers (spectrum and network), communications test sets and much, much more. This is all backed with our dedication to customer service so if you have any questions just get in touch.

Some of the factors driving change include:

  • Inexpensive RF technologies are being integrated into a vast array of everyday applications. The Internet of Things, wearable technologies, RFID and many more.
  • The industry continues to look for better methods and techniques for confidently determining the condition and performance of power products. This is driving innovation within the industry as manufacturers require multi-functional test instruments with advanced features and advanced diagnostics or ‘personalities’ operating at even greater precision and accuracy.
  • A more crowded spectrum requires additional measurement exactness and repeatability. Engineers face tough measurement challenges to ensure that the RF systems interact properly with the rest of the device electronics.
  • The ever advancing mobile communications/ smartphone market challenges engineers to test across a variety of frequencies and in a variety of domains. Test equipment continues to evolve. The performance requirements of the RFICs used in test equipment must remain ahead of the device under test (often by a factor of several generations).

On top of those few major trends there is extensive competition in the market and pressure from manufacturers to continually drive down the cost of test and test equipment. Despite the fact that test solutions are growing in complexity, end customers continue to expect lower overall test costs and hence dynamic growth in the availability of a wider range of low cost but high-spec, multi-function test instruments.

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