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Multi-Channel Antenna Calibration Reference Solution – Solution Brochure


Keysight Technologies, Inc.

Multi-Channel Antenna Calibration, Reference Solution

Solution Brochure

Multi-channel antenna calibration challenges

As the market for multi-channel, phased-array antenas grow, manufacturers experience increased pressure to reduce cost and increase test capacity. At the same time, manufacturers would like to expand test system flexibility to cover broad use cases and provide options for future upgrades. The calibration and testing of multi-channel antennas brings many challenges and, therefore requires a new testing approach:

  •  An increase in the number of array elements results in an increase in test times and test complexity
  •  For precise beam-forming, it is critical to achieve phase coherent sampling across all input channels, providing relative amplitude and phase measurements
  •  Advancements in antenna and radar technologies requires a test system that is flexible and upgradeable

Multi-channel antenna calibration, Reference Solution

The multi-channel antenna test Reference Solution is a combination of hardware, software, and measurement expertise providing the essential components of a narrow-band antenna calibration test system. This enables engineers to use, ehance, or modify the test system as required to meet specific test application needs including scalable channel count, options for downconversion of antenna receive channels, selectable analysis BW, and choice of RF/micro wave sources and LO. It can also be extended to wideband measurements as needs change.

To facilitate evaluation and integration in your test environment, you can use supplied test code examples to set up receiver channels, including DDC, make phase and magnitude measurements, add channel-channel correction factors, and export measurements for post-processing.

Accelerate the calibration of large antenna arrays with precise cross-element phase and magnitude measurements. Get ready for the future with increased measurement bandwidth and system flexibility.

Reference Solution architecture


Hardware configuration

M9703A AXIe 12-bit digitizer/wide-band receiver

Make 8 high-speed, high resolution, and phase-coherent baseband measurements with a single AXIe module. Expand capability by combining multiple modules in a single AXIe chassis. Tune and zoom full-bandwidth ADC measurements with the DDC to a narrower frequency analysis band of interest with improved amplitude/phase sensitivity.

M9362A-D01 and M9352A PXI-based quad downconverter and amplifier

Match the signal output of the antenna to the input of the digitizer by using the PXI-based quad downconverter and amplifier modules. Cover a frequency range of up to 40 GHz with different downconverter options.

N5183B MXG microwave analog signal generator

Provide the downconverters with a local oscillator with low phase noise. The high power output of the MXG allows you to use a splitter to feed the LO to multiple downconverters to ensure phase-coherence. Can also be used to provide a source signal with fast frequency switching.

N5193A UXG agile signal generator

Use the N5193A when you require fast switching and phase coherency. Provide up to a +10 dBm source/transmit signal for the antenna under test with frequencies up to 40 GHz. Can also be used as an LO source for the downconverters.

E8257D PSG analog signal generator

Use the E8257D when you need industry-leading phase noise performance. Provide up to a +26 dBm source/transmit signal for the antenna under test with frequencies up to 67 GHz. Can also be used as an LO source for the downconverters.

Antenna calibration example software

The Reference Solution is provided with a C# test code example specifically designed to collect data from an antenna under test and compute cross-channel magnitude and phase data. To accelerate test development and facilitate the integration in your test environment, the source code for the example software is provided in the form of a .NET class library. This allows you to build-upon the example (using Microsoft Visual studio or National Instruments LabVIEW) and customize the collection and processing of data to your specific application needs

Test setup and control

The example GUI allows the user to set up the measurements made with the M9703A digitizer, including control over DDC parameters. It includes settings such as initial sample rate, number of samples/segments, trigger control, and decimated IQ sample rate. It also allows the user to select which digitizer channels are used for the test and to select the reference channel for crosschannel measurements. Once the test conditions are set, the hardware is configured, data is acquired, and the decimated I-Q data record is uploaded to the host computer.


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