Test Base Station Antennas on Your Lab Bench in Minutes
RFxpert is the world’s only real-time, compact, bench-top antenna measurement device.
Tired of budget and time pressures to test a base station antenna in a specialized anechoic chamber?
As a mobile operator you want to test each and every base station antenna with its possible mechanical adjustment to avoid additional costs due to poor performance of the base station antenna after installation.
As a developer and manufacturer of base stations antennas, you want to test their design and performance quickly to accelerate project completion and delivery.
And you all have time and budget pressures.
With RFX2, in minutes you can easily:
- Measure your base station antenna performance.
- Prototype & test new designs, components and forms.
- Review effects of different packaging materials & layout changes.
…all for a fraction of the cost of an anechoic chamber.
How do I test a base station antenna on RFX2?
The base station antenna was suspended above the RFX2 scanner surface at 115 mm to minimize any interaction between the scanner and the antenna under test. After each scan, which took less than two seconds, the scanner was moved to the next position in 40 cm increments until the length of the antenna had been completed. Total measurement and post-processing time required about 30 minutes.
To minimize the impact on the base station emission of moving the scanner to each subsequent position, an absorber material is used to cover the scanner. During the test, the S11 of the antenna with a network analyzer was monitored while scanner was manually moved to the next position. S11 showed no meaningful shift in the return loss when the scanner was moved.
Very-near-field results are then processed in seconds to provide far-field results.
Maximum dimension of an antenna that can be measured with this technique is 1.12 m x 2.32 m.
How accurate is the RFX2 result compared to a CTIA anechoic chamber?
RFxpert measures the characteristics of a smaller antenna in one second compared to hours (including the set-up time) in an anechoic chamber. RFxpert accuracy is +/- 1.5dB.
Below are comparative test results of the base station antenna at 700 MHz and 1950 MHz.
The Phi = 0° cut is the vertical cut and the Phi = 90° is the horizontal cut.
What is the advantage of near-field scan?
A base station antenna is composed of multiple elements. If one of the elements isn’t working as expected or is faulty, itcould be quite difficult to identify it with far-field data. Because each individual element is isolated from each other, it is a lot easier to see the variations in the very-near-field. You can easily correlate very-near-field results with the elements on the base station antenna and isolate fields for each individual element.
The figure below displays the combined results of the magnetic field (H-field) at 700 MHz using very-near-field measurements. Each image below respectively displays Hx Amplitude, Hy Amplitude, Hx Phase, and Hy Phase.