Test & Measurement

3G mobile protocol test system has channel fading capability

1st November 2006
ES Admin
Aeroflex has announced that it has added a radio channel fading capability to its highly successful 6401 AIME 3G mobile protocol test system. The 6401 AIME’s new radio channel emulation capability addresses and overcomes the inherent drawbacks of traditional RF based radio channel emulation methods by integrating these functions at baseband. Applying the time varying radio channel characteristics digitally facilitates very high accuracy combined with precise repeatability, essential for thorough testing of the physical layer of 3G devices.
Traditionally, radio channel emulation requires expensive additional test equipment, such as fading simulators and AWGN noise sources, connected at RF between the signal generator and the unit under test. RF issues like insertion loss and timing delays need to be compensated for, or calibrated out by the user, and even then are subject to the uncertainties inherent in analogue RF circuitry. For complicated testing scenarios like soft handover, antenna diversity, and MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output) the cost of multiple external RF fading simulators and AWGN sources, and the complexity of their control and calibration, can become prohibitive.

With the 6401 AIME’s integrated radio channel fading capability, up to 8 paths for each of its 3 UMTS carriers are available. This allows multipath conditions to be simulated with each path independently controlled to provide either Constant, Rayleigh, Doppler, Periodic or Log-normal gain and Constant, Periodic or Pseudo-random Delay conditions. This satisfies all of the current 3GPP RF and protocol conformance test radio channel fading profiles, as well as giving the user the ability to create their own. An AWGN generator for each cell is also incorporated to provide simulation of interference signals. A highly accurate and repeatable solution results, as both the Fading and AWGN are implemented digitally at baseband.

The 6401 AIME 3G mobile protocol test system is already well established in the market and used by most of the world's top test labs and major mobile handset manufacturers. Due to its powerful system design existing users can upgrade their development test systems to include the new channel fading capability without the need for additional hardware.

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