In all wireless network transmitters and wireless system receivers, it is essential to measure the RF signal power to optimize the performance of wireless systems. RF engineers are primarily concerned with real signal power when sizing components and implementing controls for optimization of signal fidelity and/or data integrity. In communication links, RF signal power is carefully managed to maintain high performance and reliable connections over some distance. Transmitters carefully monitor signal power to maintain high levels of efficiency, and conformity to spectral regulations. Receivers monitor signal power to maintain optimal sensitivity and selectivity. Mostly every RF power detector available on the market has been designed for broadband communications systems and to work for wideband frequencies.

Need of RF Power Detector

  • To set mobile’s power level
  • Signal Leveling in receivers (high precision generally not required, usually done at IF)
  • Prevent interference with other systems and other users in same cell (mobile handset).
  • Improve mobile talk time (operate at low end of permissible range, reduce SAR).
  • Improve network robustness (operate at high end of permissible range).
  • Thermal Dimensioning

Selection Parameters of RF Power Detector & Meter

  • Operating frequency or RF signal frequency
  • RF power detector sensitivity and linearity
  • RF power measurement accuracy and variations with environment
  • Linearity and Temperature Stability of Output
  • Dynamic Range
  • Pulse Response
  • Variations due to Power Supply and Frequency
  • Changes
  • RF power detector’s Ease of Use and Calibration
  • Change in response vs. signal crest factor
  • Size and overall Component Count