Rohde & Schwarz discloses commercial test solution for 5G channel sounding

December 11, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
In the progression towards fifth generation mobile radio (5G), manufacturers of base stations and end user devices are facing the challenge of opening time and location-dependent radio channels.

Rohde & Schwarz has developed a test solution that characterises the envisaged 5G spectra. The test system comprises a signal and spectrum analyser, a vector signal generator and the R&S TS-5GCS test software. Users can select the analyser and generator depending on their channel frequency and bandwidth requirements.

Two aspects of 5G, R&S says, set it apart from previous generations: On the one hand, fifth generation mobile radio will open up new frequency bands for commercial wireless communications in the microwave and millimeter-wave ranges. On the other hand, it will extend the wanted-signal bandwidth. The new wireless communications channels will require comprehensive analysis to ensure optimal utilisation. Channel sounding is the primary method of doing this.

Using the R&S TS-5GCS channel sounding software together with an FSW signal and spectrum analyser and an SMW200A vector signal generator makes it possible to measure channels in high frequency bands. The SMW200A has a frequency range of up to 40 GHz and is used as the sounding signal source. The FSW operates as a receiver and can be configured with various frequencies and bandwidths. The FSW85, for example, enables users to analyse sounding signals up to 85 GHz without an external mixer. Adding the FSW-B2000 option extends the possible analysis bandwidth to 2 GHz. The combination of 85 GHz and 2 GHz is unique, R&S believes.

Users need to know the exact transmission path characteristics in order to measure wideband radio signals between a transmitter and a receiver. Channel sounding makes it possible to determine the impulse response of a transmission channel or mobile radio channel. The TS-5GCS PC application software delivers the channel impulse response, which provides information about the influence of an observed channel on a given radio signal. Possible influences on radio channels include signal echoes caused by reflections, shadowing from buildings and trees as well as weather-induced effects. TS-5GCS software is based on MATLAB and automatically reads the FSW