5G channel sounding opens up new spectral worlds

3rd December 2015
Posted By : Mick Elliott
5G channel sounding opens up new spectral worlds

Two aspects of 5G set it apart from previous generations: On the one hand, fifth generation mobile radio will open up new frequency bands for commercial wireless communications in the microwave and millimeter wave ranges. On the other hand, it will extend the wanted-signal bandwidth. The new wireless communications channels will require comprehensive analysis to ensure optimal utilisation. Channel sounding is the primary method of doing this.

Using the new R&S TS-5GCS channel sounding software together with an R&S FSW signal and spectrum analyser and an R&S SMW200A vector signal generator makes it possible to comfortably measure channels in high frequency bands. The R&S SMW200A has a frequency range of up to 40GHz and is used as the sounding signal source. The R&S FSW operates as a receiver and can be employed with various frequencies and bandwidths.

The R&S FSW85 enables users to analyse sounding signals up to 85GHz without an external mixer. Adding the R&S FSW-B2000 option extends the possible analysis bandwidth to 2GHz.

Users need to know the exact transmission path characteristics in order to measure wideband radio signals between a transmitter and a receiver. Channel sounding makes it possible to determine the impulse response of a transmission channel or mobile radio channel.

The channel sounding software delivers the channel impulse response, which provides information about the influence of an observed channel on a given radio signal.

Possible influences on radio channels include signal echoes caused by reflections, shadowing from buildings and trees as well as weather induced effects.

The software is based on MATLAB and automatically reads the R&S FSW I/Q data. It correlates the received signal with the original calibrated sequence to provide the channel impulse response. Measurement data is displayed graphically.

The software includes a large selection of standard sounding signals such as the familiar FMCW (chirp) signals from radar technology.

Employing these signals for channel sounding enables users to further optimise their sounding sequences in terms of spectral purity and crest factor. The sounding signals can be replayed directly on the R&S SMW200A signal generator.

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