In this course, discover what a vector network analyzer does and the theories behind the network parameter measurements.
Lesson 1 - What is a Network Analyzer?
A vector network analyzer (VNA) is a device used to measure the electrical properties of RF and microwave devices and networks. It does this by sending a signal down a transmission line and measuring the reflected and transmitted signals. The VNA then uses these measurements to calculate the S-parameters of the device or network.
Lesson 2 - Transmission Lines and S-parameters
S-parameters are a set of four complex numbers that describe the electrical properties of a transmission line or network. They are used to characterize the reflection and transmission of signals at a port.
Lesson 3 - Network Analyzer Calibration
Before a VNA can be used to make accurate measurements, it must be calibrated. Calibration ensures that the VNA is measuring the correct values for the S-parameters. There are two types of calibration: one-port and two-port.
Lesson 4 - Narrow vs. Wide IF Bandwidth
The IF bandwidth of a VNA is the range of frequencies that it can measure. Narrow IF bandwidth VNA's are more accurate, but they have a lower dynamic range. Wide IF bandwidth VNA's are less accurate, but they have a higher dynamic range.
Lesson 5 - Increasing Dynamic Range
The dynamic range of a VNA is the difference between the smallest and largest signals that it can measure accurately. There are several ways to increase the dynamic range of a VNA, including: using a narrow IF bandwidth, using a high-gain amplifier, and using a noise source.
Lesson 6 - Beyond S-parameters
In this lesson, you will learn about the limitations of S-parameters and how to use other parameters to characterize RF devices and networks. S-parameters are a powerful tool for characterizing RF devices and networks, but they have some limitations. For example, S-parameters do not provide information about the phase of the signal. This can be a problem when characterizing devices that have nonlinear or time-varying behavior.
Keysight Technologies offers a wide selection of signal generators, signal analyzers, network analyzers, and vector transceivers for testing and designing RF devices that connect the world. Customers can use these products to generate and analyze complex digitally modulated signals for modern wireless communication systems, such as 5G NR, Wi-Fi 6E, IoT, and automotive radar. These products have features such as high frequency ranges up to 110 GHz (extensible to 1.5 THz), wide bandwidths up to 4 GHz, low phase noise and high output power performance, fast switching speeds and real-time analysis capabilities, and flexible licensing and upgradeability options. Customers can also use PathWave software to simplify signal creation and measurement applications for various standards and formats.
Understanding and Improving Network Analyzer Dynamic Range
Achieving the highest possible network analyzer dynamic range is extremely important when characterizing many types of microwave devices, and in some cases, is the key factor in determining measurement performance. To achieve the greatest dynamic, range from a network measurement system, it is important to understand the essence of dynamic range and the methods that can be employed to increase it. Armed with this knowledge, the designer can choose the method that achieves the best results with the least impact on other instrument parameters such as measurement speed.
Understanding the Fundamental Principles of Vector Network Analysis
In this application note, the fundamental principles of vector network analysis will be reviewed. The discussion includes the common parameters that can be measured, including the concept of scattering parameters (S-parameters). RFfundamentals such as transmission lines and the Smith chart will also be reviewed.