The industry term RF stands for radio frequency, which is any frequency within the electromagnetic spectrum that is used or associated with radio wave propagation. In the simplest of terms, supplying an RF current to an antenna creates an electromagnetic field, which is then able to transmit energy through space. Many of the wireless technologies used today are based on radio frequency field propagation, including mobile test stations and other wireless functional test fixtures. RF functional testing is an important tool in the electronic test industry and is requested by many of our clients.
The frequencies in the electromagnetic radiation spectrum include waves of both electric and magnetic energy that is moving together through space at the speed of light. This movement is also known as radiating, which is where the term radiation comes from originally. All forms of electromagnetic energy are part of the overall electromagnetic spectrum. Radio waves are just one part of that spectrum. Along with microwaves, radio waves are emitted by antennas, which transmit them as a form of electromagnetic energy. Other terms associated with the use of radio waves include electromagnetic field, radio frequency (RF), and RF energy.
The telecommunications industry relies heavily on RF energy for the broadcast of television and radio waves, as well as for cellular phones and communications for first responder departments. Satellite communications, amateur radio, and even microwave point-to-point links are also some of the most widely used telecommunications applications that utilize radio frequency. However, there are many non-communications applications for RF energy, including microwave ovens, industrial heating, and radar for things like traffic enforcement. However, the type of radio frequency application that we are most interested in for this website is for RF functional testing for manufacturing.
How RF Functional Testing Works
There are many different types of functional test fixtures that are used by the electronic test industry. Whether a client prefers a computer-based mobile test station or some other type of wireless functional test interface, they will be relying on radio frequency to get the job done. Industrial testing of RF components and other products is important for quality control and consistency for modern manufacturers. RF functional testing is also used to ensure that an RF controlled product does not introduce intolerable electromagnetic disturbances into the environment. This type of testing checks for RF immunity and emissions.
The data gathered through the use of functional test fixtures, and more specifically RF functional testing, helps engineers to make improvements, problem solve and create products that meet or exceed expectations. EMC Technologies is different from other service providers in that we work with each client to ensure that the custom testing solutions that we create are designed to accommodate their needs and product specifications. We understand that while there are standard and universal testing options that can be used in a mobile test station, that there are also aspects that are unique to each client that must be addressed. Custom solutions help us to meet the requirements of each client without compromise.
Radio Frequency & Our Design Team
Our team of engineers and designers work together to develop a variety of test adaptors and test stations that can be used for RF functional testing of circuit assemblies and microwave sub-assemblies. The various strategies and techniques that we use for these designs include a six-sided metal enclosure sealed with EMI shielded gaskets and RF silicone to isolate the UUT from any electromagnetic interference. Our team’s designs have also incorporated rigid coax cables, tensolite cables, RF rotary switches and power sensors, coax switches, SMA and BNC connectors, and PCBs fabricated with Rogers Material. In addition to these popular solutions, we have also created custom designed and manufactured wage guide adapters for the many different types of RF applications that we have engineered for our clients.
Our engineers have decades of training and experience between them, which helps us to provide unmatched results. Continuous training and education help to keep us ahead of the curve with regard to the latest technology, materials, methods, and techniques. It is our mission at EMC Technologies to truly partner with our clients in their test challenges. We are very proud of the many loyal clients that we have earned throughout the years. The challenges that are faced by the electronic test industry are challenges that we will face together as the industry continues to grow, expand, and evolve.
To learn more about our solutions for RF functional testing, including custom functional test interface and functional test fixtures solutions for universal and mobile test stations, give us a call at 508-672-0808. EMC Technologies is ISO 9001: 2015 Certified and ITAR Registered. We take pride in the quality services that we provide to our clients and look forward to working with you to find solutions for all of your electronic test industry needs.