High Power Amplifier Measurements Using Nonlinear Vector Network Analyzer

Application Notes

High-power devices are common building blocks in RF and microwave communication systems. Mobile phones, base-stations and satellite systems all depend on high-power amplifiers. Characterizing the linear and nonlinear performance of such high-power devices is a critical factor in the design and verification process.

This application note discusses the unique challenges involved in testing high-power devices using the Keysight Technologies, Inc. nonlinear vector network analyzer (NVNA). In this application note, the term “high-power” refers to those cases in which the power levels of the device under test (DUT) exceed the maximum levels of the network analyzer.

Although this application note describes high-power X-parameter characterizations, the techniques used may be applied to any NVNA measurement. This note is focused on testing 50-ohm DUTs and does not describe any special matching networks that might be required to ensure DUT stability. Also, this application note does not address high-power pulse measurements.


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