Spectral Purity Evaluation of VNA Frequency Extenders to Enable Electronic Software-Based Power Control

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


In this paper, we present an experimental strategy to analyze the harmonic content of mm-wave frequency extenders using the VNA (absolute) power calibration step, without requiring spectrum analyzers and/or separate downconverters. The spectral purity of the upconverted band of the extenders is a key requirement to enable entirely software-based power control required for the accurate analysis of an (active) device under test. The proposed approach is based on the complementary response provided by the calorimeter-based power meter (i.e. VDI PM5) capable of integrating the entire spectral content of the waveguide band, in respect to the extreme frequency selectivity of the narrow-band mixer-based downconverter of the VNA. This complementary integration bandwidth response allows to compare the two results at each input drive level (at the power calibration setup, in-situ) and link the difference to the increased harmonic content contribution, with respect to the spectral content value at the saturation drive level, i.e. nominal manufacturer specified. The paper presents tests carried out in the WR10 (75–110 GHz) and WR6 band (110–170 GHz). The WR10 resulted in a harmonic contribution on the total output power of a maximum of 0.3 dB down to -33 dBc power back off from saturation level, and less than 1 dB down to -38 dBc while the WR6 the same parameter is less than 1 dB over the entire frequency band excluding the lower frequency points.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2023 101st ARFTG Microwave Measurement Conference (ARFTG)
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges in Complex Measurement Environments, ARFTG 2023
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)979-8-3503-2345-0
ISBN (Print)979-8-3503-2346-7
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event2023 101st ARFTG Microwave Measurement Conference (ARFTG) - San Diego, United States
Duration: 16 Jun 202316 Jun 2023
Conference number: 101st

Publication series

Name101st ARFTG Microwave Measurement Conference: Challenges in Complex Measurement Environments, ARFTG 2023


Conference2023 101st ARFTG Microwave Measurement Conference (ARFTG)
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • mm-wave
  • requency extenders
  • spectral purity
  • device characterization
  • large-signal
  • s-parameter


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