Original Date: 01/23/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Vector Automatic Network Analyzers Certification Approaches
The Primary Standards Laboratory (PSL) has developed a process for the certification of microwave Vector Automatic Network Analyzers (VANAs). These network analyzers are used to make moderately low uncertainty Scattering (S) parameter measurements rapidly and at many frequencies. S- parameters of an n-port device characterize how the device interacts with signals presented to the various ports.
Tables of uncertainties for scattering parameter measurements made by Hewlett Packard Models 8510 and 8753 VANAs are readily generated using computer software procedures. Typically, the uncertainties for a given scattering parameter measurement are tabulated as a function of frequency and the measured parameter (such as reflection coefficient). The uncertainties are deduced from network error models for the particular VANA system and scattering parameter. For reflection scattering parameters, the Thru-Reflect-Line technique is used to deduce the parameters of the model. The process involves the measurement of several air line standards and the analysis of the resulting data using different models depending upon the parameter being certified. The level of confidence assigned to the calculated uncertainty can be chosen by the operator from 81 to 99%.
The program consists of three sections, the first section certifying the performance of the HP VANA when making complex reflection coefficient measurements. Section two certifies the performance of the HP VANA when measuring the magnitude of attenuation, and section three certifies the performance of the HP VANA when measuring the attenuation phase angle. The output from each of the three sections consists of tables showing the uncertainties of the HP VANA in making the various measurements. An on- line feature of the software is a simulation capability against which data may be run to validate the software performance.
The process software uses HP BASIC 5.1 and is menu/prompt driven, requiring few auxiliary instructions to run it. User guide documentation is included as comment files within the program.
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