Test & Measurement

Test chamber meets 5G NR OTA needs

18th December 2019
Mick Elliott

IoT solutions provider Sierra Wireless has selected the compact antenna test range (CATR)-based R&S ATS1800C for mmWave frequencies (FR2) testing. The transportable solution from Rohde & Schwarz features a golden CATR reflector with rolled edges and a very smooth surface to minimise scattering and to provide precise measurement results as required for operation at high frequencies.

Test and measurement is moving from conducted testing to over-the-air (OTA) testing, especially in 5G NR due to the increased frequency range. One challenge of OTA testing is to maintain a compact test chamber size while providing a large quiet zone (QZ), or useable measurement area, in a wide frequency range.

Rohde & Schwarz developed the R&S ATS1800C to meet current and upcoming requirements for 5G NR OTA testing.

It is a turnkey, high-end chamber with a small footprint of only 1.3 m2. Thanks to its movable design, it is flexible and transportable, allowing the chamber to be easily moved from one lab to another. The solution provides a large quiet zone of 30 cm, fulfilling 3GPP 5G NR conformance test requirements.

With its high shielding efficiency, the tester is designed to provide a trouble-free environment for uninterrupted measurements of 5G antennas, modules and devices.

The gold CATR reflector transforms the incoming spherical wave front to a plane wave. Manufacturing the reflector requires processes that are accurate in the micrometer range.

To achieve such high precision, Rohde & Schwarz has developed an innovative manufacturing method, delivering high quality reflectors reproducibly.

The R&S ATS1800C supports the testing of devices weighing up to 8kg, which makes it well suited for testing a variety of active or passive DUTs, from small chip modules to tablets and laptop or even small cells.

Hardware triggering allows measurements during continuous movement of the high-precision 3D positioner, which can reduce measurement time by a factor of 5 to 10.

Bill Seefeldt, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Sierra Wireless, commented: "As a wireless solutions leader, we wanted to find a CATR based solution to ensure the best measurement quality and accuracy. We were impressed with the OTA solutions Rohde & Schwarz offers, and we selected the R&S ATS1800C. Sierra Wireless is a long-standing customer of Rohde & Schwarz."

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