Technology What Is The Importance Of RF Wireless Testing?

Published on December 6th, 2013 | by RobertF

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What Is The Importance Of RF Wireless Testing?

These days, the numbers of devices with internal RF wireless circuitry is on the increase. It could be something such as cell phone or innocuous like a new car key. All these devices need to be subjected to RF wireless testing so as to validate the actual setup is working. There can be no validation unless professional engineers put the system to the test to ascertain the development and deployment of the system.

Wireless communication has gained a lot of popularity these days. It can be defined as the process of transferring information from two or several points which are not in anyway connected by electrical conductor. Radio is one of the best examples and the most commonly used form of wireless communication. Radio allows communication for long range and a wide scale which is very difficult or impossible to implement by use of wires.

With the ever increasing use of wireless PDAs (personal digital assistants), cell phones, RFID tags, ZigBee sensors, Bluetooth headsets, and wireless medical devices, it can clearly be seen that there is a sharp increase in the RF device market. These devices are designed to allow and facilitate communication over open airways. The operation of these devices depends on the careful design of their signaling format, power level, operating frequency and several other technical issues.

The RF wireless testing is intended to certify that these are in good working order. According to engineers who perform RF wireless testing, there is a dire need for standardized measurement and testing of these wireless devices. This is because most of the Radio Frequency (RF) devices are wireless, so the design and testing tends to present various varied, new challenges to the engineer.

The decision on the parameters that should be tested depends largely on the particular technology used in the RF devices, and the life-cycle stages at which the engineers are performing the RF wireless testing are involved in. For instance, in the context of the 802.11ac, the latest WLAN standard and LTE, RF engineers have found that the receiver chain has a lot of stress exerted on it by the digital technology. Thus, measurements like the error vector magnitude are very important. Also, bandwidth usage is on the increase which makes the design of individual components even more challenging for more performance in all devices including over a wide frequency band. For the protocol engineers, the standards are becoming more and more complex every day.

The need for RF wireless testing arises from the fact that everything ranging from signaling to channel coding, and handling of messaging and errors needs to be checked regularly to ensure that they are working properly and within the required specifications. The system test engineers should then ensure that they check the performance in real world situations such as corrupted messages, resilience to fading, and that the systems actually deliver high data rates, which are major selling points for the new standards. With increasing production and use of wireless products, particularly within mobile devices, there is also a growing need for standardized RF wireless testing and procedures of measurement are also on the rise.

In the U.S., if you need RF wireless testing you should ensure that you work with qualified and certified RF system test engineers.

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