Radio Frequency Testing
What is Radio Frequency?
RF is a term that refers to alternating-current signals having voltages and frequencies such that when these signals input to an antenna, an electromagnetic field is generated suitable for wireless broadcasting. These frequencies cover a very wide spectrum of 9 kHz to 300gHz. Signals of these voltages and frequencies freely propagate through space, thus a radio wave. The lower the frequency, the more tendency for the wave to follow the curve of the earth. The higher the frequency, the straighter (more line-of-sight) the transmission becomes. These principles are used in transmitters and receivers within consumer, military and medical device technologies. The spectrum is divided into various bands that have dedicated use similar to simple AM and FM radio. Remote control toys generally use the 27Mhz band. There is an ISM band set aside for Industrial, Scientific and Medical uses. At high frequencies, a solder joint becomes an electrical component and subject to very different set of electrical behaviors than low frequency circuits. This is why RF circuits are very sensitive to component or process variabilities.
What are our Skills as it Relates to RF Testing and tuning?
We perform testing and configuration using complex RF equipment following stringent performance specifications and operational requirements. The measurement criteria surrounds such concepts as:
- Band pass and reject filter specifications
- Bandwidth and center frequency calculation and specifications
- Dynamic range and gain specifications
- Insertion loss and isolation testing
- Attenuation and return loss testing
- Conversion loss and VSWR measurements
When products we build fail to perform as expected due to normal component variation or process variations, Columbia Tech can analyze the problem, find the cause, and repair the defect or adjust the circuit (tuning) back to nominal operation.
What industries do we service with this capability?
Columbia Tech’s manufacturing capabilities serve market segments such as civilian microwave applications, portable military satellite systems and government covert audio and video surveillance systems.
What are some of the prime pieces of equipment we perform these services on?
Our testing labs are capable of tuning and testing a broad base of components and systems from VHF to microwave frequencies up to 30Ghz. Our testing labs utilize commercial RF test and measurement equipment such as:
- Network Analyzers
- Spectrum Analyzers
- RF Signal Generators
- RF Communication Service Monitors
- RF Modulator / Demodulators
- NTSC Video Pattern Generators
- NTSC Video Measurement Sets
- RF Power Meters
- Synthesized RF Function Generators
- Microwave Frequency Counters
- KA-10 SPRS compact, lightweight Ka-band satellite terminal
- Synthesized Video Transmitters 250mW to 5 Watt, L band and S band tactical Communications and Surveillance systems.
- Tactical antennas operating from VHF to 6 GHz used for microwave video transmission and reception.
- P25 Audio Surveillance systems Analog, Digital, and Digital AES-128 Encrypted modes.
- VMX-250 Analog Video Surveillance Transmitter power efficient 250 mW with two programmable audio subcarriers.
- VMX-2000 & VMX-5000 Video Surveillance Transmitter selectable power output of 250 mW or 2 Watts
- NTIA compliant Minimate tactical receiver and recording systems
- NTIA Compliant synthesized P25 TacCom and Boomerang tactical Repeater Systems