Error correction and uncertainty measurement of short-open-load calibration standards on a new concept of software defined instrumentation for microwave network analysis

M. Nazrin1 , S. J. Hashim2 , F. Z. Rokhani3 , B. M. Ali4 , Z. Yusoff5

1, 2, 3, 4Department of Computer and Communication System, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400, Selangor, Malaysia

5Faculty of Engineering, Multimedia University, 63100, Cyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysia

1Corresponding author

Journal of Measurements in Engineering, Vol. 7, Issue 3, 2019, p. 107-118.
Received 22 October 2018; received in revised form 20 January 2019; accepted 28 January 2019; published 30 September 2019

Copyright © 2019 M. Nazrin, et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Software-Defined Radio (SDR) has appeared as a sufficient framework for the development and testing of the measurement systems such as a signal generator, signal analyzer, and network analysis used in the network analyzer. However, most of researchers or scientists still rely on commercial analyzers were larger benchtop instruments, highly cost investment and minimum software intervention. In this paper, a new concepts measurement revolution called as Software Defined Instrumentation (SDI) on network analysis is presented, which is based on reconfigurable SDR, a low-cost implementation, ability to access RF chain and utilizing open source signal processing framework. As a result, a Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) has been successful implemented by deploying an SDR platform, test sets, and data acquisition from the GNU Radio software in host PC. The known calibration process on SHORT-OPEN-LOAD (SOL) technique is validated to ensure measurement data from this SDI free from systematic error. Two types of SOL calibration standards used for a comparison study to validate the SDI measurement system which is capable of generating the response on the differential of standard quality and accuracy of standards kits. Finally, calibration uncertainty analysis is also presented in this work by utilizing RF open source package without any cost addition.

Error correction and uncertainty measurement of short-open-load calibration standards on a new concept of software defined instrumentation for microwave network analysis

  • A new concept of Software Defined Instrumentation (SDI) measurement system on network analysis is presented.
  • The measurement system consists of reconfigurable Software Defined Radio (SDR), test-sets, and an open-source signal processing framework is utilized with minimal cost.
  • The Short-Open-Load (SOL) Calibration technique and uncertainty measurement with two different standard kits successfully verified.
  • The Scattering parameters (S-parameters) measurement between the SDI measurement system and a commercial Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) shows is validated with the good agreement were achieved.

Keywords: SDR, calibration, uncertainty, network analyzer, open source.


The authors would like to express our appreciation to Department of Computer and Communications Systems, Universiti Putra Malaysia staffs and students, for their support and cooperation.


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