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Traceability and accurate measurement of microwave power

RF and microwave power is one of the essential parameters for high frequency metrology and device characterisation. Power is defined through characterised transfer standards called power sensors or thermistor mounts. The transfer standards are measured using micro-calorimeters, the NPL primary-level power measurement systems, between 10 kHz and 170 GHz at a nominal 10 dBm (10 mW) power level. These primary systems consist of an N-type coaxial calorimeter system operating up to 18 GHz and waveguide microcalorimeter systems operating between 18 GHz to 170 GHz in various waveguide bands.

The measurements using the micro-calorimeter systems are traceable to DC quantities such as NPL’s Josephson voltage and quantum Hall-based resistance standards.

Working or secondary-level transfer standards are measured against the characterised transfer standards on the secondary level power measurement systems which utilise the direct comparison transfer technique.

The lowest measurement uncertainty can be obtained for the transfer standards measured on the micro-calorimeter measurement systems. NPL offers a calibration service for the wide range of power sensors and thermistor mounts available on the commercial market for primary and secondary level transfer standards. In addition to calibrations, NPL can offer consultancy in all aspects of power measurement systems including development of coaxial micro-calorimeters.

In view of the wide range of options for power range and frequency band, customers are requested to contact us about the details of the measurements or calibrations required.

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