Many owners and users of a vector network analyzer insist upon an automated calibration solution. Some of the benefits are obvious: automation can provide extra speed, efficiency and a simplified process. But did you know that automated VNA calibration can also improve overall calibration quality and even reduce uncertainties or errors?
The PicoVNA 108 achieves calibration automation to full published specification using either male SMA or female SMA E-Cal modules. These are USB-powered and controlled to electronically select the various Short, Open, Load and Through reference standards as they are needed within the calibration process. You simply power the module, make a single connection of the E-Cal standard between the PicoVNA test ports, and then initiate the automated procedure from within the PicoVNA 108 user interface.
Within the supplied carry and storage case, we include a fully characterized, polarized port adapter with each of the E-Cal modules; this allows both the male and female SMA devices to also calibrate insertable male-female and female-male test ports.
TRL and TRM Calibration
In addition, the PicoVNA 108 will support TRL and TRM calibration (through, reflect, line and match, respectively). These calibration mechanisms typically gain favour when needing to measure substrate mounted DUTs, for example, surface-mounted networks or components. The line, match and reflections (shorts or opens) can all be readily fabricated on substrate and at precise on-substrate measurement reference planes, for example surface mount device pins. The PicoVNA 108 will support one or two TRL bands, Open or Short reflection standards and can account for line impedance offset if required. The TRL technique can also achieve very high-precision calibration as a machined air transmission line can be fabricated more precisely than a good match can be measured, certainly at higher frequencies.