How to Measure RF Output Power

Power Analyzer
+ Power Analyzer

Measuring RF output power by impedance matching the source and power sensor

Measuring RF output power requires understanding signal formats, modulation types, testing configurations, and measurement data requirements. First, determine the type of power sensor for your application based on the signal and modulation format, then consider your channel needs. Use a thermocouple sensor for continuous wave (CW), pulse / averaged, AM and FM, or wireless (average only) modulated signal formats.

A single-channel device performs digital, programmable, peak, and average measurements. A two-channel power meter measures and computes parameters between two sensors. When measuring the RF output power, the power sensor must connect to the output stage of a product. The power sensor connects to a power meter that provides the user interface to configure and visualize the measurements. Matching the impedance of the source and power sensor is critical to maximize power transfer.

RF power measurement solution

RF power measurement solution

Accurate measurement of output power requires impedance matching between the source and the power sensor. The Keysight RF power measurement solution couples the Keysight N1911A P-series power meter and Keysight N8482A thermocouple power sensor with the Keysight PathWave BenchVue power meter / sensor application to make accurate RF power measurements of the continuous waveform (CW) and modulated signal formats. Offering real-time measurement with a variety of display types, it helps ensure RF device performance to meet high energy efficiency requirements and tighter regulatory compliance.

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