Aerospace

New Q/V band RF upconverter for testing satellite payloads

18 August 2020

To meet the increasing demand for higher data rates for end users of satellite links, satellite operators are using higher frequencies, such as the Q/V band, where larger bandwidths are available. The new R&S SZV100A radio frequency (RF) upconverter from Rohde & Schwarz now offers a solution for testing broadband transponders in the payloads of very high throughput satellites.

The Q/V band provides larger bandwidths for feeder links to satellites, making it ideal for the implementation of upcoming data links with high bit rates. This includes future communications and cellular backhaul networks that can provide end users with large volumes of data. Operators of conventional geostationary satellites as well as low earth orbit satellites in the new space environment are discovering the advantages of these new satellite bands.

Source: Rohde & Schwarz Source: Rohde & Schwarz High demands are placed on microwave components in the Q/V band, which means they must undergo extensive testing during development and verification. Amplifiers, converters, receiver modules and complete satellite payloads are just a few examples of components that have to be tested in the Q/V band. Especially for satellite payloads, test equipment must meet very high requirements for signal quality. Together with the R&S SMW200A vector signal generator, the R&S SZV100A Q/V band RF upconverter provides continuous coverage of all satellite bands from VHF to V band as well as the frequency bands for 5G in the Q/V band.

The test setup consists of the R&S SMW200A vector signal generator, the R&S SMA100B RF and microwave signal generator and the R&S SZV100A Q/V band RF upconverter. With its outstanding RF performance, the R&S SMW200A delivers the modulated broadband IF signal with bandwidths up to 2 GHz, while the R&S SMA100B provides the high-precision local oscillator (LO) signal. The maximum output power of the R&S SZV100A is as high as +16 dBm (at 1 dB compression point).

The compact housing design, low weight and mounting points of the R&S SZV100A allow mounting as close as possible to the device under test, for example on the outside of a thermal vacuum chamber. The distance between the IF source or LO source and the R&S SZV100A can be as much as 10 m, allowing an optimized test setup.

The upconverter and the signal generators can be operated remotely with a PC software over a LAN connection. The R&S SZV remote control software enables simple and convenient configuration of the entire device setup.

To contact the author of this article, email engineering360editors@globalspec.com


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