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The Challenges Posed by Radio Frequency RF Functional Testing

RF functional testingOne of the most demanding aspects of developing a wireless system for RF functional testing is solving interference problems. Other influences can include cost, time-to-market considerations, government regulations, industry compliance, as well as the performance of components, subsystems, and other elements. While challenges are expected in just about any industry or market, some issues can seem bigger than others. Working with an experienced team of highly-trained and diverse engineers and technicians can help to overcome the common problems experienced with RF circuit assemblies, ensuring that products are effectively tested and ready for their intended use.

Common Hurdles for Radio Frequency Testing

While this is by no means a complete list, as many in the electronics industry know that “your mileage may vary” depending on the product, industry requirements, and government regulations, it is at least a starting point for discussion. When it comes to RF functional testing, there are several common hurdles that are faced by development teams. The solutions to these issues can be solved through fine-tuning of test stations, interface test adapters, and functional testing components. RF circuit assemblies and other essential aspects can all be developed to meet the unique needs of the client.

Many of our clients come to us with the problem of compliance assurance. Performance testing, safety testing, and government or industry regulations are some of the most important aspects of RF functional testing. At EMC Technologies, we have worked with our clients to ensure compliance with even the most complex of standards. Other issues include solving interference problems, optimizing the power consumption for the test stations, finding and fixing any EMI issues that may occur, and making accurate radio frequency power measurements to ensure accurate and repeatable results. The more we can work with each client to overcome these common issues, the easier it will be to provide valuable solutions that will exceed expectations.

Industry Standards and Government Regulations

The telecommunications industry is one of the sectors that has the most problem with compliance for industry standards and government regulations. The demand for increased channel capacity for voice services, wireless LAN, and mobile data is a continued concern. Challenges for this type of RF functional testing include attempts to utilize strategies such as frame structures, multiplexing schemes, complex modulation types, and other development tools to meet those demands. Complications can arise when multicarrier and channel extensions, such as MIMO, are used because these techniques exceed the current standards that govern them with regard to complexity.

Establishing a method for testing that offers compliant measurements can be extremely challenging to developers and manufacturers. EMC Technologies has many years of experience working with clients in the telecommunications, data, and networking industries that have helped us to stay ahead of the curve with regard to the latest industry requirements. We understand that these clients typically require highly flexible test solutions that are both cost-effective and easy to adapt for high-volume and complex testing parameters. When it comes to RF functional testing for these industries, our team works out every aspect and requirement from the design of test stations to RF circuit assemblies with the client.

Interference Problems and RF Functional Testing

Most developers are aware of the common issues experienced with interference when working with RF functional testing and custom RF circuit assemblies. Having a broad understanding of the spectral output for the wireless transmitter can help to overcome these issues. The basic nature of schemes involving communications and multiplexing can make it difficult to measure and pinpoint transient signals, which are often low-duty cycles due to the signals that occupy that particular spectrum. Offending signal sources are typically easy to spot; however, there are some interference collisions, combinations, or unique instances that are uncommon and difficult to identify.

EMI is also a common issue for engineers who are trying to develop testing applications designed to comply with industry requirements and complex government regulations. Specialized measurements and setups are often required that are different from the typical analysis, such as bandwidths that are not a normal part of the spectrum. Meeting the challenges posed by EMI testing, RF functional testing, and other parameters demanded by the various government regulations can be accomplished when you work with EMC Technologies to find custom solutions. We work with a wide range of clients who represent many different industries that all have their own unique considerations. This helps us to quickly adapt and find solutions for our clients in other industries as well.

Contact EMC Technologies

Our team has developed a variety of test adapters and test stations for testing RF circuit assemblies and microwave sub-assemblies. The techniques and strategies for these designs include a complete six-sided metal enclosure that is sealed with EMI shielded gaskets and RF silicone to isolate the unit under test (UUT) from electromagnetic interference. To learn more about our custom RF functional testing solutions, give us a call at 508-672-0808 and speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable engineers about your requirements.

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