Rohde & Schwarz 170GHz power sensors

28th November 2023
Sheryl Miles

Rohde & Schwarz is launching its new R&S NRP170TWG(N) thermal power sensor, designed for precise power level measurements in the D-band.

This RF power sensor stands out in the market because it provides full traceability to national metrology institutes (NMI) in the frequency range from 110GHz to 170GHz, a crucial factor for commercialising the frequency band.

The R&S NRP170TWG(N) hardware is engineered to minimise measurement noise and drift while maintaining accuracy and ease of use. These fully calibrated plug and play sensors can be seamlessly integrated into any measurement setup via USB or LAN connection.

The R&S NRP170TWG(N) sensors from Rohde & Schwarz are utilised in general R&D for 6G mobile communications, emerging sub-THz communications, sensing, and future automotive radar applications. Their calibration ensures long-term stability and the ability to compensate for environmental temperature influences within the operating range of 0°C to +50°C. The R&S NRP170TWG(N) sensors have a dynamic range of –35 dBm to +20 dBm and up to 500 measurements per second, distinguishing them as extremely fast and efficient, and the only NMI-traceable RF power sensors for the D-band.

Ease of use

Rohde & Schwarz power sensors are known for their ease of use, stability, and connectivity, allowing researchers, developers, and production engineers to concentrate on more complex tasks. The R&S NRP170TWG(N) sensors provide stable power readings even at levels below –20dBm, show no drift, and are resilient to external temperature changes and out-of-band signals, such as far infrared (FIR).

Their fast measurement speeds and easy digital access to data output are particularly valuable in mass production environments. The R&S NRP170TWG(N) can connect via USB or LAN and operates with standard SCPI protocols, making them a perfect addition to other D-band test solutions from Rohde & Schwarz.

NMI traceability

In developing the R&S NRP170TWG(N) sensors, Rohde & Schwarz worked with Germany’s national metrology institute, the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), and other NMIs as part of a European Union project to establish traceability up to 170GHz. Prior to this, NMI traceability was possible only up to 110GHz. This traceability is essential for the commercial and industrial use of a frequency band, ensuring maintained power levels throughout a range. RF power is traced to a DC power reference and compared by different national metrology institutes.

Daniel Blaschke, Head of Development for RF & Microwave Power Meters at Rohde & Schwarz, stated: “Through partnering with the PTB and other NMIs, we helped extend traceability into the D-band, preparing for commercialisation and mass adoption of products operating in this frequency range. Rohde & Schwarz is proud to be the first to transform this technological advancement into a commercially viable, traceable RF power sensor up to 170 GHz.”

Dr Karsten Kuhlmann, Head of the High-Frequency Basic Quantities working group at PTB, commented: ““Having accurate and calibrated power levels across the setup in the sub-THz region is no trivial task. Power levels at the DUT measurement plane need to be measured accurately, reliably, and traceably to national standards. We are happy to advance the commercialisation and mass production of future D-band products with our industry collaboration.”

The new R&S NRP170TWG(N) thermal power sensors are now available from Rohde & Schwarz.

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