Using Periodic Calibration of Antennas to Ensure the Ongoing Performance of OTA Systems

White Papers

Seen or unseen, antennas are essential to virtually every aspect of our connected world. In any overthe-air application—communication, navigation, radar, and so on—signal quality is heavily dependent on the performance of the transmitting and receiving antennas. In addition, when testing any of today’s electronic devices for electromagnetic interference (EMI) and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), the performance of the test antenna affects every pass/fail determination.

Within each of these scenarios, antenna calibration plays an essential supporting role. Calibration verifies the intended performance of any antenna, thereby helping ensure the performance of the system connected to that antenna. This has further importance because, when deployed in the field, antenna performance will change with the passage of time. For those antennas that can be easily disconnected and thoroughly calibrated, periodic checkups help account for the cumulative effects of physical and electrical impairments.

To illustrate the value of antenna calibration, this white paper covers four core topics: the two main types of antennas, the essential measures of antenna performance, ways to ensure accurate calibration, and the attributes of a qualified calibration lab.

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