Development of RF and microwave metrology capability

Short Name: RFMicrowave, Project Number: 15RPT01
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Increased capability in Europe in the area of microwave and electromagnetic compatibility measurements for electronic devices

The EU produces 20% of global industrial electronics which in 2019 accounted for €301 billion in production and directly impacted €3.8 trillion in European GDP.

Almost all electronic devices emit low-power radio frequency (RF) and microwave (MW) fields. These emissions may interact adversely with other nearby electronics causing distortions or harmonics, resulting in degraded performance or impaired function.

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing determines the interaction of electrical equipment with the electromagnetic environment and immunity tests measure a devices ability to withstand RF&MW interference. Both tests are required by a manufacturer before releasing a product onto the market. EMC test instruments rely on accurate ‘Scattering parameter’ (S-parameter) measurements describing the behaviour of electrical networks when undergoing steady state stimuli by electrical signals. For EMC testing equipment this value is obtained through comparison with calibration standards. However, this simplified approach was insufficient for more advanced RF&MW components.

In the RF&MW field, less developed European NMIs were unable to perform many of the required calibrations of instruments to allow measurements to be linked to the SI including high-power measurements (≥ 1 W) and for device components that generated low power (≤ 0.01 mW).

An improved knowledge in RF&MW measurements was required to decrease the capability gap between countries and help maintain European competitiveness in this area.


To address the need for improved S-parameter measurements project partner TUBITAK UME developed a new ‘just-before-test’ verification method. Using a specialised Vector Network Analysis (VNA) software tool hidden issues were detected prior to conducting emission and immunity tests and, for the first time, was extended to low-frequency immunity testing to increase the quality of ECM measurements. Personnel at CMI, INTA, SIQ, RISE, NIS, NQIS, GUM and TUBITAK UME were trained to perform this test. EMC measurements of the project partners were further improved through the development of a traceable ‘loop antenna’ calibration technique using VNA and a pulse generator calibration.

The project also focused on traceability with respect to the calibration of sensors for low-power measurements and power sensors were characterised at GUM, SIQ, NQIS, NIS and INTA based on the experience of TUBITAK and CMI. To further disseminate the knowledge gained to other measurement institutes six good practice guides were produced. Improved calibration services for low power and S-parameter measurements have been established in Europe in the RF&MW area and the link between EMC and RF&MW laboratories more firmly established.


These findings enable European Laboratories to control the EMC performance of products more precisely, helping Europe maintain its market position in this area.

Work continued in the Metrology Partnership project RFMicrowave2, to develop a robust and sound approach for the measurement of RF & MW quantities and the evaluation of the associated measurement uncertainties.



Project website
Harmonics Effects on Microwave Power Measurement Using Diode Sensors

IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement

FFT-based time domain solution to power frequency issue of CS101 testing for military and aerospace equipment

2018 IEEE International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility and 2018 IEEE Asia-Pacific Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC/APEMC)

Waveform Approach for Assessing Conformity of CISPR 16-1-1 Measuring Receivers

IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement

Improved Just-Before-Test Verification Methods with VNA for Conducted EMC Tests

2018 International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC EUROPE)

Investigation of Ripple Voltage Across Capacitor in Military CS101 Test by Using FFT-Based Time Domain Solution

2018 IEEE Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility, Signal Integrity and Power Integrity (EMC, SI & PI)

Harmonics Effects on Microwave Low-Power Measurement

2018 Conference on Precision Electromagnetic Measurements (CPEM 2018)

More insight into conducted immunity tests and investigation of support influences

2017 Asia-Pacific International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility (APEMC)

Robust extreme value estimation for full time-domain EMI measurements

2017 International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility - EMC EUROPE

APD oudoors time-domain measurements for impulsive noise characterization

2017 International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility - EMC EUROPE

Loop antenna calibrations with inclusion of vector network analyser and comparison between calibration methods

2017 International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility - EMC EUROPE

Fast and automated verification of multi-channel full time-domain EMI measurement systems

2017 IEEE International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference (I2MTC)

Other Participants
National Institute for Standards (Egypt)
National Quality Infrastructure System (Greece)
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Spain)