IPFW Wireless Technology Center

2013 Nonlinear Measurement Workshop,

Wireless Technology Center

Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Indiana

The use of S-Parameters for design and simulation of RF/microwave amplifiers and systems has become so ubiquitous that virtually everyone uses them and they are a major foundation of modern electronics. Unfortunately, S-Parameters are no longer valid when the amplifying device becomes nonlinear, which is essentially synonymous with high power appliers. Without an accurate model for design of nonlinear amplifiers, there are always many unknowns about their performance, and virtually no possibility of integrating the amplifier into a system model for overall performance evaluation.

Today, most high power microwave amplifiers are designed and built on somewhat shaky foundations and few know what will happen as components or devices within the system change their nature. Some designers use Loadpull as a partial foundation for design, but even in that area, most Loadpull systems do not have vector or harmonic capability and are limited in scope.

The type of system that is needed for effective support of microwave amplifier design can be extremely expensive, both in terms of core equipment and in terms of setup time and cost of skilled personnel. Also, it is not at all a simple matter to even determine what type of system is needed to do the required measurements.

Each person in this course will have hands-on experience using a state-of-the-art nonlinear measurement system, and will learn the essential foundations of knowledge regarding the system, how to purchase it, set it up, and take measurements:

  1. What equipment and accessories are needed for a specific measurement need and how much they will cost, including time and accessories. [Cost for various levels can vary 4 to 1 or more.]
  2. How long it will take to design, order parts, and set up the system.
  3. How long it will take for a specific measurement.
  4. What skills will be needed for measurement and analysis.
  5. What measurement capabilities the system will have. [S-Function model generation, DC I/V, Waveform Engineering, Vector LoadPull, custom RF analysis, and others.]
  6. What will be needed in terms of fixtures and calibration standards.