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Power-amplifier characterization using a two-tone measurement technique

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4 Author(s)
Clark, C.J. ; Multilink Technol. Corp., Santa Monica, CA, USA ; Silva, Christopher P. ; Moulthrop, Andrew A. ; Muha, Michael S.

An accurate nonlinear model is necessary to optimize the tradeoff between efficiency and linearity in power amplifiers. Gain compression (AM/AM) and amplitude-phase (AM/PM) distortion are the two primary model inputs used to characterize the nonlinearity. The amplifier's AM/AM and AM/PM characteristics are typically measured statically using a vector network analyzer. Since the input is typically a modulated signal, it is desirable to characterize the amplifier dynamically. This paper describes and demonstrates a dynamic AM/AM and AM/PM measurement and modeling technique involving a spectrum analyzer and two-tone input signals. A complete analysis of the measurement technique is presented, along with the data processing needed for the identification of a new three-box model. The test configuration and procedure are presented with special precautions to minimize measurement error. Results for a solid-state amplifier are used to accurately predict intermodulation distortion, while those for a traveling-wave tube amplifier show good agreement with that obtained dynamically using a 16 quadrature-amplitude-modulation signal

Published in:

Microwave Theory and Techniques, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

Jun 2002

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