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Noise Figure Uncertainty Calculator


Calculator Used With Applies to Extra Features Platform / Requirements Revision

Y-factor method

● Signal analyzers with noise figure application
● Noise figure analyzers

Exposed equations, instrument specifications, statistics Downloadable Excel file May, 2015
On-line Sweepable parameters, default 1 GHz specifications data Modern web browser: Firefox, Safari, Chrome, IE (9.0+)... May, 2015
PNA-X Cold source method ● PNA-X microwave network analyzers   Downloadable zip file, requires VEE Jan, 2012

Rapid growth in satellite and wireless communications markets has contributed to the need for improved overall system performance which, in turn, applies pressure to improve the noise figure measurement and performance of subsystems and their components.

To do this accurately, it is necessary to understand how a number of variables affect the overall measurement uncertainty. For measurements with an analyzer that measures noise figure, the measurement system contributors typically include:

  • the analyzer itself
  • the noise source
  • the characteristics of the device under test (DUT)

These factors interact in a complex way, but the overall measurement uncertainty can be modeled.  The purpose of our 'Noise Figure Uncertainty Calculator' is to provide the measurement uncertainty associated with a particular DUT based on its characteristics and the specifications of the measurement system. For the model to be accurate in the Y-factor measurement technique case, the DUT must have reasonable reverse isolation, so that mismatch on one port does not drastically affect the impedance seen at the other port. For a more complete analysis refer to the article "Calculate the Uncertainty of NF Measurements", written by Duncan Boyd, Microwaves & RF October 1999, pp.93-102.

Documents & Downloads

Fundamentals of RF and Microwave Noise Figure Measurements - Application Note 
This 32-page, black-and-white application note providesinformation on RF and Microwave noise figure measurementts. Topics include noise figure and temperature, noise characteristics of two-port networks, and the measurement of noise figure.

Application Note 2010-08-05

Noise Figure Measurement Accuracy - The Y-Factor Method - Application Note 
Specific to instruments that use the Y-factor method for noise figure measurements, this app note discusses measurement basics, avoidable errors, loss and temperature corrections, and uncertainties.

Application Note 2014-02-26

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