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Reducing measurement uncertainty

Posted: 23 Jan 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:measurements? uncertainty? RF? microwave?

All measurements are subject to uncertainty, whether from the instrumentation being used to make the measurement, the item being measured, the engineer conducting the measurement, or the measurement environment. Perhaps one of the largest contributors to the total uncertainty for RF and microwave power measurements is mismatch uncertainty. It arises from an incomplete knowledge of the phase of the reflection coefficients of the source and load impedances, plus their interconnection. Because the mismatch term almost always predominates, it requires extra attention from the engineer who can use simple procedures to minimise its effect.

Instrumentation (e.g., a spectrum/signal analyser or power meter) also contributes significantly to measurement uncertainty. The magnitude of this uncertainty and the factors responsible for it depend on the instrument in question. In a signal analyser, for example, sources of uncertainty include frequency response, input attenuator setting, resolution bandwidth switching, and the calibrator.

View the PDF document for more information.

Originally published by Agilent Technologies at as "Solutions for Minimising Measurement Uncertainty and Quick and Easy Estimation of Uncertainty Due to Mismatch".

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