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Metrology for optical and RF communication systems

Short Name: MORSE, Project Number: IND51
Communication tower

Measurements for 5G communication technologies

Satellite, fibre, and mobile communication networks are an essential part of modern life, with data transmission demand expanding at 40 % per year. To cope, the data carrying capacity of communication networks must expand. One cost effective solution would be to increase the existing system’s capacity and speed. As 4G networks upgrade to 5G and beyond, reliably achieving faster data processing requires greater measurement accuracy of transmission speeds and signal reception characteristics.


The EMRP project Metrology for optical and RF communication systems addressed fundamental challenges to improve the reliability of measurements for characterising communication components by increasing the accuracy of instrument calibrations. This supports the development and testing of very high bandwidth telecommunication products, suitable for extending the current systems data carrying capacity at a reasonable cost.


The project:


  • Developed algorithms to improve calibration and real-time measurements made using oscilloscopes to ensure that communication system components can demonstrate that their performance meets specifications.
  • Established a new calibration method for telecom RF receivers using the industry standard Long-Term Evolution wireless protocol. This new SI-traceability enables reliable measurements of mobile phone mast power, as user connections fluctuate throughout the day.
  • Developed a new electro-optic field sensor and improved methods for characterising RF quiet zones during antenna power transmission testing at compact test set-ups. This reduces the need for complex corrections to instrument responses caused by sheltered areas or Quiet Zones, where transmission power measurements are reduced by shielding effects.
  • Developed Measurement Best Practice Guidance for the reliable characterisation of components for 4G and future 5G communication networks.


Expanding the data carrying capability of communication systems already at capacity requires innovation in data transmission methods and the measurement infrastructure that underpins it. This project developed new European calibration and testing facilities to enable communication system suppliers to reliably demonstrate that component performance matches specifications - an essential requirement in determining overall system speeds.


The project increased interactions between NMI and European industrial stakeholders, such as that between LNE and Dassault for avionic and space antenna testing. The development of a novel device that simulates instrumentation under test also now enables accredited testing labs to demonstrate that calibration set-ups meet communication industry standards.


EMPIR project 20SIP05 KTOC builds on this work.


Coordinator: David Humphreys (NPL)


For more information, please contact the EURAMET Management Support Unit:

Phone: +44 20 8943 6666


Project website
A Planar Near Field Setup for Millimeter-Wave System-Embedded Antenna Testing

IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters

BER Estimation from EVM for QPSK and 16-QAM Coherent Optical Systems

2016 IEEE 6th International Conference on Photonics (ICP)

Approaching the Shannon Limit Through Constellation Modulation

Optical Fiber Communication Conference

Receiver Algorithm for Decoding Constellation Modulation

Advanced Photonics 2016 SPPCom

Fast antenna array diagnosis from a small number of far field measurements

IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation

Calibration of Wideband Digital Real-time Oscilloscopes

IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement

Absolute Intensity Measurements of CW GHz and THz Radiation Using Electro-Optic Sampling

IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement

An IQ-Steering Technique for Amplitude and Phase Control of mm-Wave Signals

Microwave Measurement Conference (ARFTG), 2014 86th ARFTG

Traceable Power Measurement of LTE Signals

International Congress of Metrology proceedings

Compact Antenna Test Range implementation in IETR millimetre wave antenna test facility

Digest of IEEE Conference on Antenna Measurements & Applications (CAMA), 2014

Absolute intensity measurement of a 100 GHz source using laser-based electro-optic sampling

Precision Electromagnetic Measurements (CPEM 2014), 2014 Conference on

Design and manufacturing of a high accuracy planarscanner for millimeter wave applications

Digest of IEEE Conference on Antenna Measurements & Applications (CAMA), 2014

Other Participants
Dassault Aviation SA (France)
Keysight Technologies Deutschland GmbH (Germany)


2013 - 2016
Researcher Grants