Tag Archives: at-work/test-and-measurement

Over-the-Air (OTA) Testing – important antenna parameters, test system setup and calibration

Post Syndicated from IEEE Spectrum Recent Content full text original https://spectrum.ieee.org/whitepaper/overtheair-ota-testing-important-antenna-parameters-test-system-setup-and-calibration

OTA testing

Future technologies and standards will make over-the-air (OTA) testing mandatory. At the same time, integrated antennas are becoming more common with each development cycle such as for low-cost IoT devices and 5G mmWave devices.

Since measurement requirements will change with OTA testing, engineers need a basic understanding of antennas and antenna measurements.

This paper provides you with extensive knowledge on the following:

  • Antennas in general, their parameters and different types, as well as antenna characterization and testing
  • The importance and execution of OTA test setup calibration
  • General concepts that are valid for any OTA test setup, e.g. in-chamber or lab-bench setups
  • Calibration verification
  • Array antenna calibration methodologies

Prevent and Solve Common Test & Measurement Issues

Post Syndicated from IEEE Spectrum Recent Content full text original https://spectrum.ieee.org/whitepaper/prevent-and-solve-common-test-measurement-issues

With distance learning, students may not have a Professor nearby to help them setup and perform their labs. This leaves the student, the instruments and the device under test at risk. Share this troubleshooting flyer with your EE students to navigate some common issues.

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Designing Thermal Management Systems for Electronics Through Simulations

Post Syndicated from IEEE Spectrum Recent Content full text original https://spectrum.ieee.org/webinar/designing_thermal_management_systems_for_electronics_through_simulations

The impact of increasingly powerful electronics on our society cannot be overstated. These more powerful electronics produce significant heat that must be dissipated to prevent premature component failure. Engineers that design electronics face a significant thermal management challenge. Electrical engineers frequently seek to increase the power of critical components, and keeping these components cool represents a significant design challenge. This design task becomes even more challenging when the cooling systems rely on natural convection instead of forced convection from fans, due to the relatively short life expectancy of fans.

One solution to this engineering challenge is to use multiphysics software tools to improve the accuracy of the engineer’s calculations in comparison to analytic and single-physics simulation solutions. These simulations include heat generated by the component, airflow around the component, and radiative heat transfer between the component and the surroundings. Heat generation due to resistive heating in the board can be included with heat generated from components to determine the heat generated within the system. Airflow through the system due to either forced or natural convection can also be analyzed. For many systems, radiation must be considered for accurate temperature predictions due to the large amount of heat transfer that occurs via this mechanism in many electronic designs.

In this presentation, guest speakers Kyle Koppenhoefer and Joshua Thomas from AltaSim Technologies will discuss the development of an electronics cooling problem subjected to a complex thermal environment. The webinar will also include a live demo in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software and a Q&A session.

On Solid Ground

Post Syndicated from LEMO original https://spectrum.ieee.org/at-work/test-and-measurement/on_solid_ground


The Tower of Pisa is indeed a famous monument. Yet, it is also a monumental error of civil engineering. Built in 1173 with no foundations on a flood plain, the white marble tower started tipping on its southern side even before it was completed. Its peculiar inclination is like a spectacular warning to all builders around the world.

Yet, people have studied the ground under their feet, way before the 12th century. They have done so ever since they started extracting rock, building houses and bridges and digging irrigation systems. At first purely empirical, soil investigation has been rationalised since the 17th century and has given rise to geotechnics, a technoscience combining geology and geomechanics.   

Today, the most frequently used measurement instrument in geotechnics is the penetrometer. “Imagine it as a giant hydraulic press that digs a measurement cone in the ground…” explains Paolo Bruzzi, Pagani Geotechnical’s sales manager. The Italian company, whose factory is based in Piacenza, near Milan, has become a global leader in the field of geotechnical equipment.

Penetrometers render high-fidelity images: “Our equipment detects layers – sand, clay or other – as thin as 10-15 cm.” Enough to make reliable estimates on soil behaviour when building a road or a bridge, digging foundations or simply setting up the pillar of a ski lift.

As for all measurement instruments, the quality of penetrometers depends on their reliability. “The system verifies itself its accuracy after every measurement”, explains Paolo Bruzzi. “Incoherent data would immediately signal that the cone had been damaged. So, we can be sure that our measurements are always absolutely precise.” Furthermore, the cones require mandatory calibration every year, a further warranty of correct measurement. Material and processes are standardised defacto on an international level. The cone sizes, the forces applied, the penetration speed … everything is defined to enable traceability, repeatability and data sharing.

pagani 2

Penetrometer tests can be used for other types of measurements as well. In particular, for seismic measurements.  “In such cases, we stop penetrating after every meter and create a seismic wave from the surface” explains Bruzzi. “Its amplitude and propagation speed is measured by a sensor on the cone, which makes it possible to evaluate the soil’s behaviour in case of earthquakes.”

Anecdotally, the “elastic” soil, isolating the structure from earthquakes, which provoked the tipping of the Tower of Pisa, also protected it from several earthquakes.

The instant results obtained by the penetrometers have greatly contributed to the popularity of these instruments. Carried out in situ, the tests do not require any soil sampling, nor waiting for laboratory analysis results. “They disturb the soil much less than core drilling, so they are less likely to influence the results,” says Paolo Bruzzi.

Whether disturbed or not, ground is not easy to deal with. The equipment must possess huge power to drive in a cone. “In the past, the only solution was using heavy duty trucks, up to 20 tons” recalls Bruzzi. “Such trucks are still used in certain cases and they usually cost in excess of 400,000 euros, require a heavy vehicle driver, an entire team and, since the measurements need to be carried out vertically, a flat, large enough piece of land …”

In a nutshell, a costly and constraining solution. The idea of developing an alternative is how the story of Pagani Geotechnical began.

It all started back in the seventies in Italy. As building requirements were being strengthened, Ermanno Pagani created his geotechnical consulting company. Tests became widely used and the entrepreneur realised that engineers were increasingly using heavy trucks for projects that were much smaller than building bridges or blocks of flats, such as family homes. He wanted to carry out tests with equipment that would be much less disproportionate. Wouldn’t it be possible to have a penetrometer capable of analysing with precision the first 20-25m of soil (deep enough for a large number of projects), but that would be more compact, easy to use and much less costly than geotechnical trucks? Since he couldn’t find anything to meet such needs, he developed his own equipment. As it attracted his customers’ attention, he could foresee the potential market and launched his business. Since then, Pagani Geotechnical stopped being a consultant, and became a manufacturer. His first penetrometers were sold in 1983.

A year later, the company launched its TG 73-200 model, a modular and mobile device. Its mast can be tilted forward and backward enabling measurement even on sloping terrain. It anchors automatically into the ground so that it can exert the necessary thrust, in spite of its modest 3 tons. Handling, anchoring and measurements are automated to such an extent that only a single operator is needed to carry out the tests.

Pagani has put a particular accent on the robustness of the product. “The TG 73-200 was built to be indestructible” laughs Bruzzi. “It withstands all types of “abuse” – very difficult terrain or heavy-handed, clumsy operators!”

Thanks to these “over the top” characteristics, the 73-200 remained Pagani’s high-end model, selling five of them a year. “Its customers are large companies that require no-compromise performance for some highly demanding applications.”  As for other applications, Pagani Geotechnical has taken another step forward.

The TG 63-150, even easier to use, was launched in 1989. It is slightly bigger than 1m by 2m and weighs only a ton. The engineer can transport it himself in a van (no longer a need for a truck and a truck driver) and carry out the measurement on his own. It is a first in its field which simplified the tests and cut the costs considerably. The price (44,000 euros, which is half the price of a 73-200 and close to one tenth of a truck) contributes to broadening the client base – medium-sized companies, consultancy firms, universities, laboratories…

The 63-150 was the first of its kind”, says Paolo Bruzzi. “It had immediate success. With 800 units sold in over 70 countries, it has even become the best-selling compact penetrometer in the world.” It is still Pagani’s best-seller, who sell over sixty of them every year.

The TG 30-20 and 63-100 completed Pagani’s range of penetrometers. The Italian company, still managed by its founder, employs 25 people. Its factory produces between 70 and 80 machines a year and its 800 customers come from almost 90 countries.

Apart from the engines and hydraulic systems, everything is developed and produced “in-house”: accessories, electronic cones, seismic modules, power units… Even its data acquisition systems, including the new CPT AS, launched this spring, fully fitted with LEMO connectors. “This watertight system needs to operate on all terrain, from snow-covered northern countries to the Amazonian rainforest” explains Bruzzi. “We have chosen IP65 certified LEMO connectors for their resistance and compactness, as well as for aesthetic reasons – the excellence of our solutions also derives from design!”


Pagani’s material is robust (its penetrometers are used for “an average of more than 20 years”). Technical components remain stable (“there hasn’t been found anything better for exploring the soil!”). Improvements are made essentially in the electronics system and the accessories. Two or three annual upgrades optimise measurement precision and ease of use. Safety is reinforced to follow the continuous evolution of regulations. Applications have become mobile.

“Many innovations arise from our partnerships with universities and research centres in Italy, Brazil, England or other countries, and, obviously, from feedback from our 800 customers from almost 90 countries, who use our technologies regularly in all possible conditions: in jungles, frozen soil, deserts …”

Pagani, proudly claiming “Made in Italy”, is happy to be associated with high quality. The durability of its machines hasn’t hindered regular sales progress for the last few years. For what reason? There’s been a growing demand for geotechnical tests. “The quality of infrastructures has been improving, requirements have become stricter and additional countries, in particular in emerging economies, have started performing tests.” In short, everything is done to ensure that the Tower of Pisa stays unrivalled.

3D Cable Modeling in COMSOL Multiphysics®

Post Syndicated from IEEE Spectrum Recent Content full text original https://spectrum.ieee.org/webinar/3d_cable_modeling_in_comsol_multiphysics


Tune into this webinar to learn more about 3D cable modeling. The models can be used to virtually test, design, and optimize cable systems based on accurate multiphysics simulation techniques.

We will demonstrate and discuss best practices to set up models and run simulations. Examples will cover the computation of inductive and thermal cable properties. Topics include:

  • Geometry creation and meshing
  • Setting up twisted armor periodicity
  • Evaluating currents and magnetic losses in the armor
  • Heating and thermal effects

The live demo in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software will lead you through the typical steps to simulate 3D cables using a high-voltage submarine cable as an example. You can ask questions throughout the webinar or at the end during the Q&A session.

Impedance Analysis: Measuring Low and Fast

Post Syndicated from IEEE Spectrum Recent Content full text original https://spectrum.ieee.org/webinar/impedance_analysis_measuring_low_and_fast

MFIA webinar

Precision, accuracy and measurement speed are three critical aspects to consider in any impedance measurement. This webinar addresses all three aspects with two distinct impedance measurement scenarios featuring the Zurich Instruments MFIA Impedance Analyzer.

In the first example, you’ll learn how to use the LabOne User Compensation to measure equivalent series resistance (ESR) below 1 mOhm and equivalent series inductance (ESL) below 20 nH fior a DC-Link capacitor. You’ll also find out how the LabOne Sweeper tool can display ESR and ESL as a function of frequency, allowing you to see how these values vary at frequencies other than the test frequency given by the manufacturer.

The second example will provide you with an overview of fast capacitance measurements on the timescale of microseconds. Such fast measurements are important to investigate the transient behavior of devices and materials. When measuring capacitive transients, the goal is to find a balance between measurement speed and precision: here you’ll learn how the LabOne Plotter tool and data acquisition (DAQ) module can help you to optimize the relevant measurement parameters.

The two measurement scenarios discussed in this webinar will equip you with the knowledge required to measure your devices and material samples with confidence.

Active Multi-Beam Antennas – Testing The Drivers For Advanced Satellite Concepts

Post Syndicated from IEEE Spectrum Recent Content full text original https://spectrum.ieee.org/webinar/active_multi_beam_antennas_testing_the_drivers_for_advanced_satellite_concepts

Current trends in the satellite industry are high-throughput satellites and mega-constellations. The enabling technology in both trends are phased array antennas (PAA). This webinar examines the fundamentals of PAA, upcoming test challenges and how key antenna test parameters for active antennas need to be revised. In the second part, the webinar investigates how the test solutions by Rohde & Schwarz answer these challenges and how they guide and support you through the different development stages up to antennas in the field as part of terminals.

1000BASE-T1 Automotive Ethernet Compliance Testing

Post Syndicated from IEEE Spectrum Recent Content full text original https://spectrum.ieee.org/webinar/1000_base_t1_automotive_ethernet_compliance_testing

This webinar will focus on 1000BASE-T1 automotive Ethernet compliance testing based on the Open Alliance (OA) TC8 specification for the physical layer. We will discuss the individual test cases for 1000BASE-T1 and look at the pitfalls that an engineer might encounter during test setup and execution.

For this video, we will be using a 2 GHz R&S®RTO oscilloscope, an 8 GHz R&S®ZND two-port VNA as well as the R&S®ScopeSuite automated test software.

Build Flexible, Cost-Effective ECU Production Test Systems

Post Syndicated from IEEE Spectrum Recent Content full text original https://spectrum.ieee.org/whitepaper/build_flexible_cost_effective_ecu_production_test_systems


Modern vehicles can contain over 100 ECUs controlling everything from the drivetrain to the ADAS systems. Each ECU needs to be tested individually as well as in conjunction with other components. This white paper discusses the five main tester design challenges and five common approaches to ECU production test to give you the background and potential strategies to follow the right one for your project.

5G NR Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS): Overview and Test Challenges

Post Syndicated from IEEE Spectrum Recent Content full text original https://spectrum.ieee.org/webinar/5g_nd_dynamic_spectrum_sharing_dsss_overview_and_test_challenges

With the global 5G network rollout, dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) between 4G and 5G becomes a focal point for mobile operators. DSS is an important enabler to quickly and cost-effectively build out robust 5G services, with broad coverage areas, using the existing spectrum in mid- and low-band frequencies. Base stations will simultaneously transmit LTE and 5G New Radio (NR) services in the same 4G band, and dynamically allocate resources based on traffic demand.  
DSS deployment is imminent. This webinar provides a technical overview of this important technology. It also dives into the test and measurement challenges, mainly for the physical layer, and addresses how to overcome them to accelerate development with confidence. 

Overview of learnings

  • Learn about DSS technology, including current 3GPP definitions and planned enhancements in upcoming standard releases. 
  • Find out about new test and measurement challenges and how to overcome them. 
  • Discover test solutions for verifying DSS development with confidence. 

How to design a least privilege architecture in AWS

Post Syndicated from IEEE Spectrum Recent Content full text original https://spectrum.ieee.org/webinar/how_to_design_a_least_privilege_architecture_in_aws

Implementing a least privilege architecture can reduce risk and minimize disruptions by allowing only the minimum required authority to perform a duty or task. Adding network micro-segmentation also restricts east-west movement to reduce the number of vulnerable pathways to applications. When combined, these methods create a granular security environment that provides strong attack resistance.

In this webinar, SANS and AWS Marketplace will present examples of how to set up a least privilege stack, covering such key issues as where to start and what to prioritize. Additionally, they will present real-world use cases of least privilege stacks and effective micro-segmentation methods that have been deployed in Amazon Web Services (AWS).

New Jitter Separation Method for Debugging High-Speed Interfaces with the R&S®RTP Oscilloscope

Post Syndicated from IEEE Spectrum Recent Content full text original https://spectrum.ieee.org/webinar/new_jitter_separation_method_for_debugging_high_speed_interfaces

The analysis of jitter components and its root cause is an increasingly important task for modern data communication systems. Increasing data rates on one hand and the cost pressure on board material, connectors, etc. on the other hand are driving factors for this analysis requirement.

There are several commercial products on the market, which analyze the jitter based on the reduction of the signal information to time interval error (TIE) measurements only.

This presentation suggests a new method to analyze and decompose jitter based on a parametric signal model. One key to this model is the estimation of the step response, which describes the deterministic behavior of the transmission system. The proposed algorithm takes all information present in the input signal into account. Once the model parameters are determined, various synthetic waveforms for different deterministic jitter components such as DDJ or PJ get reconstructed based on the original bit sequence. Finally, the individual jitter components are calculated based on the reconstructed waveforms, far more accurately, providing designers with analysis details previously not possible.

The new R&S®R&S jitter algorithm is implemented in the Advanced Jitter Analysis option for the R&S®RTP oscilloscope.

Hall Effect for Sensing and Materials Characterization

Post Syndicated from IEEE Spectrum Recent Content full text original https://spectrum.ieee.org/whitepaper/hall_effect_for_sensing_materials_characterization

Since the discovery of the Hall effect in 1879 by Edwin
Hall, it has been widely applied in measurements,
particularly in materials characterization and sensing.
Today it is being used to characterize new materials,
enabling the discovery of new phenomena, such as
the quantum Hall effect, spin Hall effect and, more
recently, topological insulators [1]. The Hall effect also
serves as a platform for many device applications,
such as current sensing in the automotive industry,
metrology, non-destructive inspection and testing, and
security screening applications.