Principles of Power Measurement

RF Power measurement techniques have evolved considerably since the earliest days of wireless. This white paper provides the reader an in depth guide to key methodologies for measuring CW, average and peak RF power signals using thermistor, diode detector, RF receiver-based, direct RF sampling, and monolithic IC techniques.  Starting with earlier methods which only produced meaningful measurements for un-modulated signals the guide covers the more sophisticated methods such as RF power analysis, making accurate measurements for various applications, narrow duty cycle pulse power measurements as well as the limitations of measuring modulated signals using CW, average and peak power meters and how modern solutions have improved the measurement accuracy.  The impact of signal bandwidth as well as dynamic range issues are covered as well.