Aeroflex Introduces Base Station RF Tester

March 4, 2014. Aeroflex has announced the introduction of a base station (BS) RF tester for all popular cellular and non-cellular wireless standards, including LTE/LTE-A and Wi-Fi. Designed for production test of BS and associated RF components, the tester can be used for both RF design verification and production test on small cells, as well as replacing conventional rack-and-stack instruments for macro BS RF test.

“The tester is based on the Aeroflex PXI 3000 Series, which is established as a fast and flexible platform for testing mobile and connectivity devices. The platform has well proven accuracy and repeatability, with more than two billion UEs tested,” said Ran An, product manager for Aeroflex. “The evolution in base station RF technology and the growth in small cell deployment are driving the need for faster and more economical base station test. Technology trends will be towards wider RF bandwidth, software-defined radio, high-order MIMO, along with the integration of dual-mode cellular and WiFi functionality.”

The Aeroflex BS RF Tester measures the BS transmitter (Tx) and receiver (Rx) characteristics of LTE/LTE-A, UMTS/HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS, and Bluetooth. A vector signal analyzer (VSA), vector signal generator (VSG), and optional multiple channel RF conditioning modules are integrated into a 4U PXI set. Measurement and analysis component libraries that provide low-level remote programming minimize the effort involved for the manufacturer to develop and integrate a customized ATE system, and to maximize production throughput.

An easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI) also enables bench-top manual operation, making it ideal for the R&D stage regression test and design verification or troubleshooting.

“Our latest PXI-based testers offer faster speed, 2 to 3 times higher throughput, and comparable measurement accuracy to traditional rack-and-stack solutions for base station production test. These benefits combine with the well-known advantages of the PXI modular format, which allows the flexibility to configure complex, multi-port instruments in a very small footprint and at a much lower cost,” said Ran An. “This new tester allows base station manufacturers to move away from their legacy production test methodology and RF equipment manufacturers to deploy a single test platform for the converged cellular, connectivity, and infrastructure test markets.”

Aeroflex’s LTE product line includes a complete range of end-to-end test systems that cover R&D, performance, service, and manufacturing test applications for LTE TDD and FDD network equipment and terminals.

The TM500 Test Mobile family is in use with almost every base station manufacturer across the world, and can be regarded as the de facto standard for eNodeB development and testing. E500 is the only network capacity test solution that incorporates the proven Aeroflex TM500 LTE air interface.

The Aeroflex 7100 LTE Digital Radio Test Set is a complete one-box test system providing all the tools required for the measurement and characterization of user equipment (UE) chip sets and mobile terminals to 3GPP LTE standards, including optional signal fading simulation.

The PXI 3000 Series, modular RF test system based on PXI technology is a proven solution to accelerate throughput in manufacturing and time to market in R&D while catering for current and future RF test needs. It is particularly suited to modern cellular and wireless data communications and critical testing in a high volume manufacturing environment.

Aeroflex has engineers working in centers around the world on its LTE and LTE-Advanced test systems, to support the current and next generation of networks and devices.

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