Application Notes

Selection and Operation of RF Power Amplifiers for EMC Testing

This application note outlines and describes the "Selection and Operation of RF Power Amplifiers for EMC and EMI Testing Applications".

Introduction:
In another one of our Application notes, AP-Note 102, RF Power Costs Money, How Much Do You Really Need?, we briefly explored the basics of how to choose a power amplifier for your Immunity test applications. The explanation and information included antenna selection, determination of system losses and the corresponding minimum power required to generate the drive table. We also discussed the additional power required to linearly support the 5.1 dB increase in signal level from the 80% modulation that is applied during the actual test. These are the highlights of the basic issues that will be addressed in greater detail in the following article:

  • What is your regulatory burden?
  • What level must you test to?
  • What type of transmission transducers do you need? Antennas are used for Radiated Immunity and injection probes for Conducted Immunity.
  • What is the system loss profile? How much power will be lost in the system before it finally reaches the antenna? (Coax, connectors, RF switches, etc.)
  • How much power do you really need to properly run your tests? Don’t forget to allow headroom for the additional 5.1 dB of modulation!
  • Do you have a plan for routine maintenance of your amplifier and test system?

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