Microwave signal generators

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1 Course on Microwave Measurements Microwave signal generators Prof. Luca Perregrini Dept. of Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering University of Pavia web: microwave.unipv.it Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 1

2 Summary Microwave generators types: continuous wave (CW), variable in frequency (sweep), signal generators Characteristics and operational schemes Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 2

3 Sources Generate Sine Waves Voltage Time Voltage Frequency Oscilloscope Spectrum Analyzer This is the ideal output: most specs deal with deviations from the ideal and adding modulation to a sine wave RF Microwave Millimeter 3-6 GHz GHz 300 GHz Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 3

4 Types of sources CW generates a single frequency, fixed sine wave Swept sweeps over a range of frequencies may be phase continuous Signal Generator adds modulation produces real world signal Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 4

5 CW source specifications: frequency Range: Range of frequencies covered by the source Resolution: Smallest frequency increment. Accuracy: How accurately can the source frequency be set. EXAMPLE Accuracy = +_ f CW * t aging * t cal Voltage Uncertainty Frequency f CW t aging t cal = CW frequency = 1 GHz = aging rate = ppm/year = time since last calibrated = 1 year Accuracy = +_ 152 Hz Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 5

6 CW source specifications: amplitude Range (-136dBm to +13dBm) Accuracy (+/- 0.5dB) Resolution (0.02dB) Switching Speed (25ms) Reverse Power Protection Source protected from accidental transmission from DUT DUT What is P max out? How accurate is this number? Voltage What is P min out? Frequency Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 6

7 CW source specifications: spectral purity Phase Noise Residual FM Spurious CW output Residual FM is the integrated phase noise over 300 Hz - 3 khz BW phase noise non-harmonic spur ~65dBc harmonic spur ~30dBc sub-harmonics 0.5 f0 f0 2f0 Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 7

8 CW source specifications: Spectral Purity Power Spectral Density frequency CW output measured as dbc/hz Phase Noise -75 dbc/hz LogMag 5 dbc/div -105 dbc/hz -125 dbc/hz 1k 10k 100k Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 8

9 RF CW block diagram Synthesizer Section Frac-N ALC Modulator Output Section Output Attenuator Phase Detector VCO divide by X ALC Driver Reference Oscillator ALC Detector Reference Section ALC = automatic level control Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 9

10 RF CW block diagram: reference section to synthesizer section Phase Detector divide by X Optional External Reference Input Reference Oscillator (TCXO or OCXO) TCXO OCXO Aging Rate +/- 2ppm/year +/- 0.1 ppm /year Temp. +/- 1ppm +/ ppm Line Voltage +/- 0.5ppm +/ ppm TCXO = Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillator OCXO = Oven Controlled Crystal Oscillators Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 10

11 RF CW block diagram: synthesizer section...produces accurate, clean signals N = MHz Frac-N Front panel control Phase Detector VCO X 2 multiplier to output section 931 MHz 5MHz from reference section MHz Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 11

12 RF CW block diagram: synthesizer section PLL / Fractional - N...suppresses phase noise reference oscillator phase noise of source 20logN phase-locked-loop (PLL) bandwidth selected for optimum noise performance phase detector noise broadband noise floor VCO noise frequency Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 12

13 RF CW block diagram: output section ALC maintains output power by adding/subtracting power as needed Output Attenuator mechanical or electronic provides attentuation to achieve wide output range (e.g. -136dBm to +13dBm) from synthesizer section ALC Modulator ALC Driver ALC Detector Output Attenuator source output ALC = automatic level control Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 13

14 Microwave CW block diagram Reference Section Frac N Phase Det VCO ALC Modulator Output Attenuator Ref Osc by X Sampler YIG Oscillator Phase Detector Tuning Coils ALC Driver Frac-N Phase Detector VCO Synthesizer Section ALC Detector Output Section Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 14

15 CW: Applications & Critical Specifications Local Oscillator phase noise frequency accuracy Amplifier distortion spurious Receiver Testing spurious level accuracy Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 15

16 CW: Applications & Critical Specifications As a Local Oscillator IF signal DUT transmitter output poor phase noise spreads energy into adjacent channels poor frequency accuracy will cause transmitter to be at the wrong frequency Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 16

17 CW: Applications & Critical Specifications Amplifier Testing Intermodulation Distortion f1 f2 DUT output RF isolator f1 f2 test system third order products will also fall here spurious signals from source can corrupt measurement fl = 2f1 - f2 frequency fu = 2f2 - f1 Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 17

18 CW: Applications & Critical Specifications Receiver Testing Receiver Selectivity in-channel signal (modulated signal) IF signal out-of-channel signal (CW or modulated signal) DUT source output IF Rejection Curve Level (dbm) spur from source and/or high levels of phase noise can cause a good receiver to fail Frequency Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 18

19 Examples: Agilent CW Generators RF Agilent 8662/63 family 100 KHz GHz Low in channel noise AM/FM/Phase/Pulse Agilent 8664/65 family 100 MHz - 6 GHz Low out channel noise AM/FM/Pulse. Microwave Agilent 83711/12B family 10 MHz - 20 GHz CW only Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 19

20 Sweeper specifications: frequency ramp sweep accuracy sweep time resolution f2 f1 step sweep accuracy number of points switching time f4 f3 f2 t1 time t2 f1 t1 t2 t3 t4 Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 20

21 Sweeper specifications: amplitude Frequency Sweep Level Accuracy Flatness Source Match (SWR) power level accuracy spec flatness spec f1 frequency f2 Power Sweep Power Sweep Range Power Slope Range Source Match (SWR) power P2 power sweep range P1 t1 t2 Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 21

22 Sweeper: Applications & Critical Specs Frequency Response Frequency Accuracy Output Power (Level) Accuracy Flatness Speed residual FM Amplifier Compression Power Range Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 22

23 Sweeper: Applications & Critical Specs Frequency Response Testing db 5 0 1:Transmission Who Cares About Accuracy? Log Mag 5.0 db/ Ref db BW: MHz CF: MHz 1 Q: 5.60 Loss: db Ch Abs Center MHz Span MHz Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 23

24 Sweeper: Applications & Critical Specs Amplifier Compression Power Range 1 db compression point Power In The 1 db compression point is a common amplifier specification used to identify the linear operating range of an amplifier. Power sweep is available on some sources. Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 24

25 Examples: Agilent Sweep Generators Agilent Series Step/Analog sweep AM/FM/Phase modulation 10MHz to 20GHz up to 110GHz with series modules and amplifier Agilent 8360L Series Step/Analog sweep 8510/8757 Compatibility 10MHz to 50GHz up to 110GHz with series modules Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 25

26 Signal generators Calibrated modulation Analog (AM, FM, PM, Pulse) Digital (I-Q) Format Specific(TDMA,CDMA, etc.) Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 26

27 Modulation...Where the information resides V= A(t) sin[2 pf(t) + f(t)] AM, Pulse FM PM V= A(t) sin[ q (t)] Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 27

28 Modulation: analog Amplitude Modulation Carrier Voltage Modulation Time Important Signal Generator Specs for Amplitude Modulation Modulation frequency Linear AM Log AM Depth of modulation (Mod Index) Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 28

29 Modulation: analog Frequency Modulation V = A sin[2 p f c t + b m(t)] b = D F /F dev mod Important Signal Generator Specs for Frequency Modulation Voltage Time Frequency Deviation Modulation Frequency dcfm Accuracy Resolution Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 29

30 Modulation: analog Phase Modulation V = A sin[2 p f ct + bm(t)] b = Df peak Voltage Time Important Signal Generator Specs for Phase Modulation Phase deviation Rates Accuracy Resolution Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 30

31 Modulation: analog Pulse Modulation Rate=1/T T Rise time Important Signal Generator Specs for Pulse Modulation Pulse Width t 1/T Time On/Off ratio 1/t Power Power Pulse width Pulse period On/Off ratio Rise time Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 31

32 Modulation: digital...signal characteristics to modify Amplitude Frequency Phase Both Amplitude and Phase Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 32

33 Modulation: digital Polar Display: Magnitude & Phase Represented Together Phase 0 deg Magnitude is an absolute value Phase is relative to a reference signal Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 33

34 Modulation: digital Signal Changes or Modifications Phase 0 deg Magnitude Change Phase 0 deg Phase Change Both Change 0 deg 0 deg Frequency Change Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 34

35 Modulation: digital...binary Phase Shift Keying (BPSK) V= A sin[2 p ft + f(t)] f (t) = f1 f2 Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 35

36 Modulation: digital BPSK IQ Diagram Q 1 0 I One Bit Per Symbol Symbol Rate = Bit Rate Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 36

37 Modulation: digital...quadrature Phase Shift Keying (QPSK) V= A sin[2 pft + f(t)] f (t) = f1 = 3 p /4 f2 = p /4 f3 = - p /4 f4 = - 3 p /4 Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 37

38 Modulation: digital QPSK IQ Diagram 01 Q 00 I Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 38

39 Modulation: digital p/4 DQPSK IQ Diagram Q I Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 39

40 Modulation: digital Modulation Accuracy Q Magnitude Error (IQ error mag) Test Signal Error Vector f Ideal (Reference) Signal Phase Error (IQ error phase) I Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 40

41 Signal generators: Apps & Critical Specs Analog and Digital Receiver Sensitivity frequency accuracy level accuracy error vector magnitude Receiver Selectivity phase noise spurious spectral accuracy Spectral Regrowth ACP performance Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 41

42 Signal generators: Apps & Critical Specs Receiver Sensitivity Frequency Accuracy frequency inaccuracy amplitude inaccuracy Want to measure sensitivity in a channel Measurement impaired by frequency inaccuracy input for signal generator DUT Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 42

43 Signal generators: Apps & Critical Specs Receiver Sensitivity Level Accuracy Customer is testing a -110 db sensitivity pager: X= Failed unit O=Passed unit X X X X X O -110 db specification Actual output power= -114 dbm Set source to -115 dbm X O X O O O -110 db specification Actual output power= -112 dbm Set source to -111 dbm Frequency Frequency Case 1: Source has +/-5 db of output power accuracy at -100 to -120 dbm output power. Case 2: Source has +/-1 db of output power accuracy at -100 to -120 dbm output power. Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 43

44 Signal generators: Apps & Critical Specs Receiver Sensitivity Error Vector Magnitude (EVM) e.g. TETRA Signal p/4 DQPSK EVM < 1.0% Error Vector Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 44

45 Signal generators: Apps & Critical Specs Receiver Selectivity Phase Noise Spurious in-channel signal (modulated signal) out-of-channel signal (CW or modulated signal) DUT IF signal Level (dbm) IF Rejection Curve spur from source and/or high levels of phase noise can cause a good receiver to fail Frequency Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 45

46 Signal generators: Apps & Critical Specs Receiver Selectivity Spectral Accuracy: EVM ACP GSM Signal 0.3GMSK Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 46

47 Signal generators: Apps & Critical Specs Spectral Regrowth ACP (Adjacent Channel Power) Performance DUT Output from amplifier Input from signal generator Microwave Measurements 2014/15 Prof. Luca Perregrini Microwave signal generators, pag. 47

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