Testing Antenna Chip-Sets under Thermal Conditions

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The wireless community is concerned with proper operation of devices over wide temperature ranges, and as such the governing bodies are imposing radiated test requirements at hot and cold temperatures. These requirements become unique when new radio technologies are highly integrated, and the antenna is embedded on a chip or chip-set, or in packaged devices. The challenge starts with achieving junction temperatures from -30C to +90C while reaching the desired temperatures quickly and holding the temperature extremes for extended periods of time. The temperature change causes thermal expansion of antenna materials and may affect antenna performance under different thermal conditions. Furthermore, efficient heating and cooling is environmentally responsible and reduces lab power and HVAC costs. It also increases the longevity and safety of the device during field use. The goal is to measure antenna and digital radio quality metrics under these conditions extreme temperature conditions, while providing minimal perturbation of the beam. The paper presents a solution meeting these requirements and which has already deployed in industry. Performance data will also be presented. The users of the deployed systems continue to push for more temperature range and field of view of the measurement system. R&D efforts underway as well as future work will conclude the paper.

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