RF & Microwave

Rohde & Schwarz provides highly accurate calibration technology for US Air Force

02 March 2022

The U.S. Air Force Metrology and Calibration Authority (AFMETCAL) has been seeking to purchase microwave measurement receivers (MMRs) for its precision measurement equipment laboratories (PMELs) and U.S. Air Force primary standards laboratory (AFPSL). According to these requirements Rohde & Schwarz has developed the R&S FSMR3000AF measuring receiver to calibrate signal generators and attenuators with one single instrument. Most important features provided are tuned radio frequency (RF) level measurements, level measurements, analog modulation and spectrum analysis.

AFMETCAL is responsible for the calibration of equipment used worldwide and writes all procedures for Source: Rohde & Schwarz Source: Rohde & Schwarz calibrating equipment at over 60 PMELs. AFMETCAL required nearly all the parameters of a signal generator to be calibrated with the R&S FSMR3000AF microwave measurement receiver including analog modulation for AM, FM and PM. Also, on the purchase were alignment systems and equipment or accessories required for periodic recertification and adjustment of the MMR. This procurement seeks to replace and improve upon the microwave measuring receiver that was implemented in 2005 and the first one to reside on a spectrum analyzer platform.

Designed with a goal to reduce the complexity associated with the calibration of signal generators and attenuators, the R&S FSMR3000AF measuring receiver test platform incorporates innovative features and functionality that reduces a calibration’s lab test process complexity. The 26.5 GHz and 50 GHz instruments provide all needed measurement capabilities integrated in a single box instrument taking up minimum space.

The high dynamic of the R&S FSMR3000AF provides for a level measurement range of -148 dBm to 30 dBm. In addition, the instrument’s high linearity of 0.01 dB plus 0.005 dB per 10 dB step in conjunction with absolute power calibration with a power sensor provides highly accurate signal level measurements.

A built-in analog modulation analysis capability that encompasses AM, FM and PM modulation measurements is incorporated by the R&S FSMR3000AF. AM modulation depths from 0% to 100% and FM frequency deviations as wide as 16 MHz can be measured. For the modulation analysis, an internal signal analysis bandwidth of up to 80 MHz is provided by the instrument with a 16-bit A/D converter with 200 Msamples/s, which can be used for modulation measurements on digital signals as well, if the vector signal analysis option is installed.

The R&S FSMR3000AF provides for high performance spectrum analysis measurements. For base frequencies above 8 GHz, a preselection filter option is utilized to address image frequency suppression and unwanted mixing products. Accordingly, it offers complete analysis capability of harmonics, spurious emissions or phase noise up to 50 GHz. Marker functions and measurement functions for all interesting spectrum measurements are provided (for instance, to measure noise power, adjacent channel leakage ratio, harmonic distortion, occupied bandwidth and spectrum emission masks). The resolution bandwidth can be set between 1 Hz and 10 MHz and channel filters are provided in addition.

The AFMETCAL Program will use the R&S FSMR3000AF from Rohde & Schwarz to ensure U.S. Air Force systems and equipment are accurate, uniform, reliable and traceable to national metrology institute or other sources as approved by AFMETCAL (Metrology).

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

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