Matrix Attenuators: The Unsung Hero of Handover, Mesh, and Other Test Systems

Given the enhanced complexity of wireless/mesh and antenna technologies there are now a myriad of different test systems and technologies from simple modular component systems, handover test systems, to complete all-in-one wireless/mesh test units. These new units are designed to tackle the latest wireless/mesh technologies, such as Wi-Fi 6e/7, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Thread, Matter, cellular (4G and 5G NR/5G Advanced), as well as proprietary wireless technologies and advanced/active antenna systems (AAS). Though the complexity of modern wireless/mesh and antenna technology has exploded, RF attenuators and attenuator matrices have been, and continue to be vital components of modern RF test systems for wireless/mesh, antenna, and other measurement technologies.

This article aims to educate readers on how attenuators and attenuator matrices are used in the latest wireless/mesh and handover test systems, and how modular attenuator matrices and other components can be used to augment existing test systems and can even be used to assemble wholly modular/custom test systems.

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