RF Test Solutions
Millimeter wave transmitter and emissions testing

Like all intentional transmitters, 5th generation cellular radios will require performance certification according to 3GPP, FCC and ETSI requirements. The challenge is that the new radio in 5th generation (5G NR) cellular products can operate in the traditional bands used for LTE and also in mmWave bands ranging between 22 and 52 GHz. Many transmitter certification and EMC test labs lack RF test capability above 40 GHz. Beyond just instrumentation, additional considerations for accurate RF testing must center on positioning the device under test and the measurement antennas used for far field conditions and dense spherical measurement points.


ETS-Lindgren's EMC-3500 is a universal upgrade system to asses all portions of mmWave transmitter certification. While others may propose a mixer/antenna combo to cover the frequency range, the EMC-3500 offers a turnkey system that considers instrumentation, chamber, device and human factors. For example, the radiated spurious emissions (RSE) test alone requires 10 or more antenna changes to cover the full range. In addition, the RSE test points must form a spherical grid around the device, which is a much different test method than the typical 3 meter RSE chamber is designed to accomplish. A network emulator is also required that supports 5G NR's Frequency Range 2, or FR2.


Model EMC-3500 is an agile suite of products that extends the frequency range and enhances the positioning equipment for the device and antennas. It has been designed to enhance a lab's prior investment in chambers and instruments by targeting the frequency range 40 GHz to 220 GHz (FCC) or 330 GHz (ETSI). Radiated in-band, out-of-band and spurious band transmitter performance tests according to the below table are supported.


FCC Part 30 Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service
ANSI C63.10 Unlicensed Wireless Devices
ANSI C63.26 Licensed Wireless Devices
EN 300 440 Short Range Devices, 1 GHz to 40 GHz
EN 305 550 Short Range Devices, 40 GHz to 246 GHz
3GPP TS 38.141-1 5G NR Base Station (conducted)
3GPP TS 38.141-2 5G NR Base Station (radiated)
3GPP TS 38.521-1 5G NR Mobile Terminals, FR1 Stand-alone (conducted)
3GPP TS 38.521-2 5G NR Mobile Terminals, FR2 Stand-alone (radiated)
United States:

Model EMC-3500 is designed to verify the requirements of FCC Part 30 for the Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service, which covers intentional radiators in the 24.25-25.25 GHz band, 27.5-28.35 GHz band, 37.0-38.6 GHZ band, 38.6-40 GHz band, and 47.2-48.2 GHz band. It complies with the measurement methods defined in ANSI C63.10 and ANSI C63.26, including the interim measurement guidance in FCC KDB 842590 D01.

Europe:

Model EMC-3500 is designed to verify the requirements of the EU's Radio Equipment Directive (RED). It complies with the measurement methods defined in EN 300 440 and EN 305 550, which are based on ITU-R SM.329-12.

Industry:

Model EMC-3500 is designed to verify the requirements of the 3GPP's 5G NR technical specification 38.104 for Base Stations and 38.101-1/2 for Mobile Terminals. It complies with the measurement methods defined in 3GPP TS 141-1/2 and TS 38.521-1/2, which are all based on ITU-R SM.329-12, as well as their ETSI equivalents

EMC-3500 Base Upgrade

The EMC-3500 upgrade provides the measurement antennas, frequency converters, tripods, and signal path items to cover 40-220 GHz (FCC) or 40-330 GHz (ETSI). This frequency extension kit can be applied to many spectrum analyzer brands and models containing external mixer input/output ports. Also included is an extension to ETS-Lindgren's proven TILE! software customized for controlling network emulators that send necessary WCDMA, LTE, and 5GNR power control and network signals to the DUT. A sub-6 GHz communication antenna and special mounts for the network emulator mmWave converter heads are included.

Many antenna changes and much repositioning of range length and height above the ground plane are required to capture the emissions of a transmitter in the required frequency span. To expedite test time and minimize the potential for human error, Model EMC-3500 offers an automated antenna array and mobile DUT positioner.  This optional products significantly reduce the labor required to perform a manual test.


EMC-3500 Base Upgrade includes:

  • Standard gain horn antennas, high frequency converters, waveguide, coaxial cables, amplifiers and RF path items to extend the spectrum analyzer capability up to 220 GHz or 330 GHz
  • EMCO 4-TR tripod and mounting hardware for the above items
  • ETS-Lindgren's TILE! software test package for mmWave RF Tests that enhances test equipment control, data handling, test flow, and report generation
  • TILE! test control package for 5G network emulators
  • EMCO 3102 conical log spiral communication antenna
  • Tripod and cable for EMCO 3102
  • Tripod mount for network emulator mmWave converter heads
  • Ethernet to fiber optic control kit for signal analyzer and network emulator (moves them in to the chamber to shorten the signal path)


Model EMC-3500 incorporates five (5) frequency range segments to cover 40 to 220 (FCC) or 330 GHz (ETSI). Frequency segmentation is driven by the standard gain horn antenna required by the applicable standards document. Wideband antennas may be available to cover wider frequency ranges, but they sacrifice gain and amplitude flatness compared to standard gain horn antennas. Frequency converters also tend to match the frequency range of standard gain horn antennas closely. The five segments are:

  • 40 to 60 GHz
  • 60 to 90 GHz
  • 90 to 140 GHz
  • 140 to 220 GHz
  • 220 to 330 GHz (optional)

Multi-Axis Positioning System MAPS-3500

Model MAPS-3500 is an important upgrade to consider for 5G mmWave RF testing. Wanted and unwanted transmissions in this frequency range are very narrow and highly directional, necessitating calculations of measurement grid points and far field distances for each device to be tested. Before undertaking the radio conformance or spurious emissions tests, substantial exploration to find the beam peak and test beam locking functionality is necessary. The standards dictate a 3D spherical test grid surrounding the DUT with closely spaced measurement points calculated to capture narrow and directional emissions. Large turntables and 4 meter antenna masts common to radiated emissions test chambers may not have the positioning accuracy necessary and cannot maintain a constant range length between the measurement antenna and DUT. Instead of physically moving the measurement antenna, the MAPS 3500 rotates the DUT, vastly saving time while improving accuracy. Model MAPS-3500 is a mobile platform, using retractable casters for movement in and out of the test chamber.

Keeping the measurement antenna stationary greatly simplifies the RF path and dramatically improves the dynamic range and noise floor performance of the measurement system. It also cuts down on the wear and tear of fragile signal path connectors.

 

TILE! Test Package for mmWave RSE: TTP-3500

System automation is achieved with ETS-Lindgren's instrumentation agnostic TILE! software. A special test package for mmWave RF measurements extends TILE! to enable 5GNR and LTE anchor signals from a communication tester. Since transmitter and RSE tests are written as a "black box" test (i.e. no specialized control of device is assumed or required) the transmitter modes dictated by the test standard are signaled to the device over the air via an active communication and control link. Unique to the industry, TTP-3500 supports a number of communications tester solutions for LTE and 5G NR. This test package also adds support for the MAPS-3500 device positioner and the AAA-3500 antenna array as well as driving traditional turntable and mast positioning systems. Most well-known signal analyzer brands are supported by TILE! and new drivers are continuously being added. TILE! includes calibration and chamber verification tools that utilize a microwave signal generator to supply substitution signals.

 

Automated Antenna Array AAA-3500

The automated antenna array AAA-3500 can be a game changer for the efficiency of this battery of tests. The radiated spurious emissions portion of the RF tests will require about 10 antenna changes inside the chamber. From 40 GHz to 220 GHz requires four antenna changes, five if extended to 330 GHz. Each antenna must be rotated for horizontal and vertical polarizations, and the mmWave range will have both waveguide and coax connections to manage. Without automation, extensive manual labor, with the resulting potential for human error is inherently required. Even more expensive than the labor considerations of all this handling is the high amount of wear and tear added to the fragile connectors, cables, and waveguide mating surfaces. Model AAA-3500 cuts out the human expense of handling all these antenna changes and takes wear and tear down to nearly zero by combining all the signal path items with a single stable RF path output. Like the mobile MAPS-3500 cart, the automated antenna array has near universal upgrade potential for radiated emissions capable chambers. Model AAA-3500 mounts the antennas, frequency converters, waveguide and coax cables, H/V polarization motors, and path switching on a mobile platform. Horn antennas starting at 1 GHz can be mounted on this platform, automating an even greater portion of the spectrum. Signal conditioning items such as filters and amplifiers can be added as well, making this array a comprehensive solution from 1 to 330 GHz.