Test and Measurement Instruments

An Important Supporting Element in Technology Development, Deployment & Maintenance

Madhukar Tripathi
Madhukar Tripathi Head – Optical Business & Marketing Anritsu India Pvt Ltd

Test and Measurement is very wide topic and can be discussed based on application or end user or market segment basis. Telecommunication Test and Measurement (T&M) are evolving with technological advancement such as 5G (known as Fifth Generation of Cellular Network Architecture), Industrial IoT (Internet of Things), WiFi 6, Connected Car, Autonomous Diving, Electric Vehicles, Industry 4.0 etc. Edge Computing, Ultra Reliable Low Latency are new features in 5G technology and todays advances test instruments are ready to support these features. T&M industry should be ready to address new challenges raised by continuous technological advancement. Modern test instruments are smarter, energy efficient, have very good user-friendly GUI (Graphical User Interface) and automation feature to meet testing demand from industry.

Anritsu being world leader in telecom testing instruments has been front technology partner with many OEM and helping them to launch 5G devices and network. Anritsu worked on 5G Network Simulator long back and helped telecom industry to develop 5G devices, while 5G is yet to see light in many countries. In order to simulate 5G network, Anritsu MT8000A Radio Communication Test Station is most accepted test solution in 5G mobile chipset, handset market. Anritsu 5G Network Simulator is in high demand for various 5G Device R&D testing.

With a 5G base station emulation function, a single MT8000A test platform supports both the FR1 (to 7.125 GHz), including band n41, and the FR2 (millimeter wave) bands used by 5G. Combining it with the OTA Chamber enables both millimeter wave band RF measurements and beamforming tests using call connections specified by 3GPP. With the SmartStudio NR MX800070A, various functional tests by GUI operation only without requiring difficult scenario development are supported, also combining it with the Shield Box MA8161A supports functional tests in FR2 bands.

On other side wired network is migrating to 400G or 800G or beyond 800G depending on mobile operator network priority and planning. These higher data rates networks have own testing complexity and challenges. Today’s Network Analysers such as Network Master Pro MT1000A are supporting 2Mbps to 100Mbps data rates and multiple interfaces. Another model MT1040A is supporting 400G network rates testing useful in Data Centre, Mobile Metro network and many more applications.

MT1040A support following Interfaces which make this perfect tool for legacy and modern network testing

  • Ethernet: 10M/100M/1000M, 10G/25G/40G/100G, 400G
  • OTN/SDH/SONET: 2.5G/10G/40G/100G
  • Mobile back/fronthaul: eCPRI/RoE/CPRI/OBSAI
  • Fibre Channel: 1GFC to 16GFC

Scenario Edit Environment Kit (SEEK) feature in MT1000A and MT1040A reduce testing time and completing network installation, acceptance very fast. Its GUI is so easy and fast, it reduces learning curve; hence saving time and cost. One button operation feature makes Network Master Pro MT1000A & MT1040A a true smart tester in Lab and in the field.

Demand for higher data rates, consumption of video content and more storage are new trends in Smartphone and Smartphone R&D and manufacturers companies are adopting new test and measurement technique to reduce testing time and deliver latest models in market. Todays mobile handset will be having interface to support high data rate content transfer and are more energy efficient. All these important features, function is tested with state of art Test and Measurement Instruments.

The Universal Wireless Test Set MT8870A has been specifically designed for the high-volume manufacturing test of cellular and connectivity wireless devices and modules supporting 5G NR sub-6GHz, LTE, LTE-V2X, NB-IoT, Cat-M, V2X 802.11p, WLAN and Bluetooth etc. An MT8870A instrument mainframe can contain up to four TRX Test Modules MU887000A/01A each capable of independent control by an external PC. Each module has an integrated Vector Signal Generator and Vector Signal Analyzer to perform both transmitter and receiver RF tests. The MT8870A with the MU887000A/01A test module can be controlled by an external PC.

Universal Wireless Test Set MT8870A is very popular test instrument in IoT R&D and production market along with Smartphone manufacturing market.

Manufacturing sector is moving towards zero-defect criteria and test and measurement instrument will play important role in this sector. Early detection of defects is possible with right selection of T&M tool leading to good product delivery in market. Production test instruments must be flexible to scale up operation & capacity reduce CAPEX, reduce testing time and protect investment. Anritsu has been delivering such instruments in telecom market supporting smartphone manufacturing.

Test and Measurement Industries focused Verticals

Anritsu: Test and Measurement instruments are always an important supporting element in any technology development, deployment and maintenance as well. Sometimes T&M vertical is divided based on Lab (R&D), Production and Field Testing. Every product is passed thru various testing cycle – R&D testing, Prototype test, System/ Module Integration testing, production testing and maintenance Testing. Industry vertical can be divided in following:

  • Education lab, Research lab, Government labs
  • Aerospace, Defence, Space Communication
  • Telecom Network – R&D, production
  • Network Equipment Manufacturers (NEM) and System Integrator (SI)
  • Mobile Network Operator (MNO) & Internet Service Providers (ISP)
  • Device (Mobile Handset) and Accessories Manufacturing
  • Automotive Electronics, EV, Connected Car
  • Utility Communication Network including Smart Cities

Test and Measurement instrument plays very important role in timely delivery of any device or network. Now with more automation in technology; testing time is reduced, and manufacturers can deliver goods in time to market.

Test and Measurement in Aero & Defence Technology

Anritsu: Aerospace and Defence sector is reliable user of Test and Measurement (T&M) instruments. T&M industry supports any new communication network deployment or under research. Be it adoption of new technologies or maintenance of old technology network, T&M has been an integrated part of aerospace defence communication network. All communication network (wired & wireless) in Aerospace and Defence use many test instruments to monitor, detect unwanted signal. Usage in this domain are different than commercial usage due to different environmental conditions such as sea level communication or communication at high altitude area or communication on ships or aircrafts.

ILS incorporates a localizer and a glide slope antenna system to help the pilot direct the aircraft to the centerline of the runway and down a safe rate of descent. The localizer generates and radiates 90-HZ and 150-HZ signals to provide final approach azimuth navigation information, while a glide slope sends two frequencies that are received by aircraft instruments and used to determine if the plane is above or below the desired rate of descent.

As one would expect, the slightest variation in transmission and/or reception can be catastrophic. That is why technicians regularly measure performance to make sure the systems are in accordance with international standards set by the Commercial Aviation Safety Team/International Civil Aviation Organization (CAST/ICAO). With so much at stake, the technicians rely on the most accurate field instruments.

Anritsu leads the way in testing wire cable assemblies and harnesses used as airframe electrical control cabling on aircraft. Our Broadband Site Master cable and antenna analyser S820E and VNA Master handhelds utilize the Frequency Domain Reflectometry (FDR) measurement technique, which is superior than TDR in locating damage along the cable length, moisture entry in antennas or connectors, dielectric aging, and other common deterioration processes. FDR also allows tests to be conducted on a bundle at the entry connector, avoiding the need to crawl through aircraft bulkheads or remove one access panel after another trying to find a cable fault.

In The Lab

If your avionics applications take you into the lab, the Anritsu signal generator product line offers the industry’s broadest frequency coverage enabling generation of baseband, IF, RF, and microwave signals. There are many options to configure a system for today’s application and budget, while maintaining flexibility for future requirements.

VNA Master

The VNA Master is a convenient and accurate instrument for measuring absolute insertion-phase characteristics or comparing phase match between multiple RF cables used in ILS and VOR systems. A key advantage of the VNA Master is that it self-contains the test signal source and directional devices to detect forward and reverse power. It requires no other external accessories and is battery operated, so it is a very convenient tool for field operation.

Spectrum Master

Another compact, battery operated solution for avionics is the Spectrum Master family of handheld spectrum analyzers. The instruments utilize a similar compact, field-proven design as the VNA Mater, and have the high performance necessary to locate interfering signals, as well as to measure signal strength to ensure overall system operation.

Covid 19 effect in Test and Measurement Industry

Anritsu: Due to COVID-19 telecom network has seen a like never before situation and delivered good connectivity, stability to meet WORK ONLINE demand in many sectors such as education, office, banking, insurance etc.

Test & Measurement Industry also facing challenges due to COVID-19 pandemic. Many customers were forced to changes decision of new investment or budget is frozen. This checked growth in FY20. On the other side, due to Government focus on Make In India, we expect domestic telecom R&D and manufacturing sector will see more T&M demand in 2021. India is also emerging as R&D hub for many sectors and this will create T&M demand in coming years.

Government also announced spectrum auction in 2021 and we feel telecom sector will take this opportunity to improve customer services by using latest T&M.

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