Vector network analyzer calibration equipment for inaccessible locations

October 17, 2017 // By Graham Prophet
The ZN-Z32 and ZN-Z33 inline vector network analyzer calibration equipment from Rohde & Schwarz can be employed for satellite component testing in thermal vacuum chambers (TVAC) and for multiport component testing on production lines.

Unlike conventional automatic network analyzer calibration units, the ZN-Z32/33 inline calibration are permanently connected to the test setup. This makes them ideal for test setups that require frequent recalibration, especially where the test setup is inaccessible.

The latest inline calibration units claim to be the only solution available for testing in TVAC chambers where it is not possible to access the test set under vacuum conditions. After a basic calibration, carried out under ambient environmental conditions, the test set components are brought inside the TVAC before the vacuum is applied and testing starts. Once the vacuum is applied, recalibration is required after every temperature change, due to thermal drift effects. With the calibration units in place and linked by a CAN bus, this recalibration can be easily performed.

For multiport applications that are typical in production testing, accuracy and reproducibility suffer due to limited phase stability when cables are moved. Repeated calibration with conventional equipment involves extra effort and wastes test time. The ZN-Z32/33 units allow calibration of a high number of test ports via a single keystroke in the control software tool, cutting recalibration time down to seconds. Users benefit from dramatically increased efficiency on the production line.

The ZN-Z32 covers the frequency range from 10 MHz to 8.5 GHz and can be used in ambient conditions from +5°C to +40°C. The ZN-Z33 covers the 10 MHz to 40 GHz range in ambient conditions from +5°C to +40°C or in TVAC conditions from –30°C to +80°C. The calibration units are controlled by a ZN-Z30 CAN bus controller, which supports up to 48 units. With multiple controllers, a virtually unlimited number of inline calibration units, and therefore test ports, are supported. The ZN-Z3ASW application software guides the operator through the system configuration and the calibration process. The calibration units are usable with every ZNB(T), ZVA and ZVT vector network analyzer.

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