What are some applications of 1-Port VNA's?

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Andreas Henkel, Product Management for Network Analysis - Rohde & Schwarz

Aug 6, 2019

1-port vector network analyzers are created as cost-effective and compact solutions that can easily be connected to the device under test. 1-port VNAs are ideal for RF and microwave applications in engineering, manufacturing or for educational purposes, and usually require external control, and are used for simple S-parameter and time domain measurements.

Multiple 1-port VNAs can be connected to a single PC for simultaneous measurements, reducing costs and increasing performance compared to serial testing. Furthermore, 1-port VNAs can be connected directly to the DUT, removing the need for RF cables.

Especially useful in educational environment as a low-cost solution for teaching students about VNA measurements, but with an economical price. While not meant to replace a fully developed vector network analyzer it does have its unique applications where a device with all the features would be redundant. 

Brian Walker - Copper Mountain Technologies

Aug 6, 2019

One-Port VNA's are extremely compact test and measurement devices that are ideal for field measurement of cable and antenna systems.

The low power and small size enables some very exciting new applications. In one case, the VNA is flown about in a drone and used to measure snow-pack levels. In another, a drone based unit is used to locate buried utilities from the air. A one-port VNA has been used to measure asphalt compaction in new road construction while mounted on the back of a truck. A pair of one-port VNAs might be used to measure point-to-point antenna efficiency with one VNA mounted on one antenna and another mounted on a distant antenna with both units coordinated through special software.

One-port VNAs may be used for both solid and liquid dielectric constant measurement and for detection of moisture in porous materials. If an RF resonant structure is coupled to a chemical or biological test cell then it is possible to quickly make these measurements by evaluating the frequency shift of the return loss of the resonance. 

The applications are limited only by the imagination and ingenuity of our customers. Here are some examples:

Probe Measurements with a Robot and 1-Port VNA

From IMS 2019, John Shultz of Compass Technology Group demonstrates how to perform an automated scan of an aircraft radome to detect potential flaws. To make this measurement, a robot with a mounted R180 VNA is directly connected to a spot probe antenna. Watch the demonstration to learn more.

Demo of New Dielectric Materials Measurement Device

The Epsilometer Dielectric Materials Measurement solution is a cost-effective, accessible way to measure material properties to enable and optimize RF system performance. It measures dielectric substrate materials to determine the complex permittivity from 3 MHz up to 6 GHz and can accommodate sheet specimens 0.3 to 3 mm thick. The output includes dielectric permittivity, loss, and/or loss tangent as a function of frequency.

Copper Mountain Technologies provides one-port solutions which measure from 1 MHz to 18 GHz and run on USB power to provide highly accurate measurements backed by real metrology.

 

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