R&S Introduces Q/V Band RF Upconverter for Satellite Payload Testing

To enable continually higher data rates for end users of satellite links, satellite operators are using higher frequencies, such as the Q/V band, where larger bandwidths are available. The Q Band ranges from 36 to 46 GHz and the V Band ranges from 40 to 75 GHz. To address these higher frequency bands, Rohde & Schwarz, has announced a new R&S SZV100A RF upconverter that offers a solution for testing broadband transponders in the payloads of very high throughput satellites (VHTS). With 2 GHz modulation bandwidth, the R&S SZV100A covers the entire frequency range from 36 GHz to 56 GHz.

The Q/V band offers larger bandwidths for feeder links to satellites, making it ideal for the implementation of upcoming data links with high bit rates. This includes future communications and cellular backhaul networks that can provide end users with large volumes of data. Operators of conventional geostationary satellites as well as LEO satellites in the new space environment are discovering the advantages of these new satellite bands.

There is a high demand for microwave components in the Q/V band, which means they must undergo extensive testing during development and verification. Amplifiers, converters, receiver modules and complete satellite payloads are just a few examples of components that have to be tested in the Q/V band. Especially for satellite payloads, test equipment must meet very high requirements for signal quality. Together with the R&S SMW200A vector signal generator, the R&S SZV100A Q/V band RF upconverter provides continuous coverage of all satellite bands from VHF to V band as well as the frequency bands for 5G in the Q/V band.

The test setup consists of the R&S SMW200A vector signal generator, the R&S SMA100B RF and microwave signal generator, and the R&S SZV100A Q/V band RF upconverter. With its outstanding RF performance, the R&S SMW200A delivers the modulated broadband IF signal with bandwidths up to 2 GHz, while the R&S SMA100B provides the high-precision LO signal. The maximum output power of the R&S SZV100A is as high as +16 dBm (at 1 dB compression point).

The compact housing design, low weight and mounting points of the R&S SZV100A allow mounting as close as possible to the DUT, for example on the outside of a thermal vacuum chamber (TVAC). The distance between the IF source or LO source and the R&S SZV100A can be as much as 10 meters, allowing an optimized test setup. The upconverter and the signal generators can be operated remotely with a PC software over a LAN connection. The R&S SZV remote control software enables simple and convenient configuration of the entire device setup.

The R&S SZV100A is ideal as a low-cost upgrade for existing test systems. Thanks to the control software, the setup consisting of the R&S SZV100A, R&S SMW200A and R&S SMA100B can be operated as a single instrument. The Q/V band RF upconverter is now available from Rohde & Schwarz.