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Peak Power Solutions for Radar and Wireless Applications


Peak Power Solutions for Radar and Wireless Applications

Best Practices for Making the Most Accurate Radar Pulse Measurements


Accurate and fast RF and microwave power measurements are critical in radar system life cycles. Power meters and sensors play a critical, yet most cost- effective role in measuring the output power from the radar system. As a long time, manufacturer of power measurement tools for the aerospace and defense industry, Keysight has the following invaluable knowledge to share on making optimal radar measurements accurately and effectively.

IEEE 1394 standard for pulse standard

The power envelope of a radar RF pulse can be analyzed using the IEEE standard 181-2011, “IEEE Standard for Transition, Pulses, and Related Waveforms.” Obtaining a common understanding of each terminology is critical to establish a common ground for parameter and performance comparisons. A list of some commonly used terms in radar pulse measurements are listed in the application note referenced below.

Hints and tips

  • Reference level adjustment to ensure consistent and accurate transition duration (rise/fall time) measurement
  • Tips to achieve accurate and consistent rise/fall time measurement
  • Hysteresis and hold-off setting to stable capture of noisy pulse envelope
  • Achieving extended dynamic range measurements with different trigger and video bandwidth settings
  • Maximizing your measurement speed while maintain same test coverage
  • SCPI for ten consecutive pulses for advanced radar measurements

Key products/solutions

  • U2020 X-Series USB peak and average power sensors
  • P-Series power meters and P-Series wideband sensors

Single/Multi-Channel and Extended Distance Power Measurement with USB/LAN Power Sensors


In today’s power measurement applications, there is a need to make multiple power measurements simultaneously. For instance, a base station commonly includes a compact equipment shelter or outdoor enclosure panels along with antennas that may be mounted on a roof, the wall of a building, or on a freestanding mast. A given base station may operate several channels (typically 2 or 3), where each channel uses a specific set of frequencies: one for the uplink and one for the downlink.

Test challenges

  • Measurements required from different power sensors and at hourly, daily or monthly intervals
  • Distance between the antenna and control room over distances > 5 meters and sometimes as far as 50 meters (exceeds the IEEE industry-specified USB cable length of 5 meters (16 feet))
  • Plenty of rack space required for multi-channel power measurement. Costs of a test system increase significantly

Key products/solution

  • USB power sensors solution – U2020 X-Series USB peak and average, U2000A Series USB average, U8480 Series USB thermocouple and U2050/60 X-Series USB wide dynamic range peak and average
  • LAN power sensors solution - U2049XA and L2050/60 X-Series LAN wide dynamic range peak and average

Related U2020 X-Series USB Peak and Average Power Sensor Applications

High throughput wireless test systems with up to 20 channels

The U2020 X-Series USB peak and average sensors perform fast and accurate peak and gated power measurements. These measurements are essential aspects of the production tests conducted for wireless signals used in cellular/mobile phone handset, wireless chipset, and amplifier applications. With plug-and-play USB connectivity, high measurement speed and multichannel capability, setting up a high throughput test system is simple, fast, and cost effective.

Remote testing for radar installation and maintenance

When a U2020 X-Series power sensor is connected to a LAN-USB adapter, you can perform complex radar pulse analysis and monitor your measurements from a distance up to 200 feet. The built-in internal zero calibration function allows you to permanently connect your sensor to the device-under-test without the hassle of constantly removing and re-installing your sensor.


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