Industries

Test instruments with 1.35mm E-band coaxial connector

19th May 2020
Alex Lynn

An expert group with collective knowledge of microwave signal transmission initiated the joint project to develop and implement a new coaxial connector optimised for E-band frequencies. Emerging applications in particular for automotive radar from 76 to 81GHz, plus the WiGig extension IEEE 802.11ay operating up to 71GHz, highlighted the need for a novel, robust coaxial connector suitable for industrial applications at frequencies up to 90GHz.

The group consists of Germany's national metrology institute, the Physikalisch-Technische-Bundesanstalt (PTB), Rohde & Schwarz, Rosenberger Hochfrequenztechnik, and SPINNER.

The result is the 1.35mm E connector, with a precise metric fine thread, a reliable pin-gap, and an integrated groove for optional push-pull locking. The design was accepted in 2019 for the next edition of the IEEE 287-2007 for precision coaxial connectors, and also by the IEC, which will publish it as the IEC 61169-65.

Now, Rohde & Schwarz has implemented the E connector for the first time in a test and measurement instrument. The R&S NRP90T and R&S NRP90TN for frequencies up to 90 GHz are the latest additions to the thermal power sensor family. Like all other members of the family, the new models feature both the highest accuracy and fastest speed of measurement available for thermal power measurements. The R&S NRPxxT power sensors operate locally, connected to a PC, selected Rohde & Schwarz instruments, or an R&S NRX base unit. The R&S NRPxxTN sensors can also be operated remotely via a LAN.

The E connector closes the gap between the well-established 1.85mm connector (the V-band connector) and the 1.00mm connector (the W-band connector). The V-band connector, introduced more than 30 years ago, is suitably robust for industrial applications, but is restricted to a maximum frequency of 70GHz. The W-band connector, on the other hand, supports a maximum frequency of 110GHz, but requires a fine-mechanical accuracy during assembly, and frequently loosens in use.

All four partners in the 1.35mm E connector working group are delighted with the progress of their cooperation.

Daniel Blaschke, head of development for RF & Microwave Power Meters at Rohde & Schwarz, said: “Power sensors are often the first T&M instruments for which customers request native support of a new connector type. We are happy to be the first to introduce a model equipped with the novel E connector, thanks to this fruitful partnership.”

Dr Hans-Ulrich Nickel, head of RF Research & Development at the SPINNER Group, said: “We initiated the 1.35 mm project to obtain a robust and future-oriented interface solution up to 90 GHz. It fills me with great joy to see the rapid adoption of our 1.35mm portfolio.”

Hauke Schütt, Executive Vice President Test & Measurement from Rosenberger, added: “The new 1.35 mm connectors draw a lot of interest in the 70 to 90 GHz range. We are excited that we are already able to offer a wide range of solutions.”

Dr Karsten Kuhlmann, Head of the working group High-Frequency Basic Quantities at PTB, said: “International standardisation and traceability to national standards are key ingredients for the successful introduction of a new RF connector system.”

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