Extension of {NVNA} Baseband Measurement for {PA} Characterization Under Complex Modulation

Yichi Zhang , Xiaotao Guo , Zhao He , David Humphreys, Lifeng Wang , Wei Zhao , Zilong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract—We investigated the measurement techniques of the
nonlinear vector network analyzer (NVNA) test bench, to fully
characterize the nonlinear behavior of radio frequency (RF)
power amplifiers (PAs) driven by complex modulated signals.
In order to extend the baseband measurements, two kinds of
NVNA phase reference approaches are developed as alternative
solutions, so that the baseband phase measurements can be
achieved with those of modulated components at multiharmonic
RF bands. In the first approach, a modulated baseband signal
is combined with another modulated RF one to become the
desired NVNA phase reference. While as an alternative solution,
the second phase reference design is based on a “stepped”
multisine, which is stepped through the baseband and each
harmonic following the NVNA swept measurements, to achieve
stable phase measurements. To validate these proposed NVNA
test bench designs, an RF PA, driven by a large-signal long-term
evolution-like multisine, was tested and compared with digital
real-time oscilloscope measurements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1131
Number of pages1141
JournalIEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Publication organised by National Institute of Metrology, China and National Physical Laboratory, UK


  • Baseband measurements
  • nonlinear vector network analyzer (NVNA)
  • phase reference
  • phase standard
  • power amplifier (PA)


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