Anritsu Company reported that its Wireless Connectivity Test Set MT8862A is the first WLAN measurement solution to support IEEE802.11ac OTA (Over the Air) testing per CTIA/WFA CWG Test Plan Version 2.1 released in April.
With the new support, Anritsu says that the MT8862A offers chipset and device makers a comprehensive test tool that can efficiently and accurately verify WLAN products used for IoT applications are compliant with the most recent standards.
CTIA/WFA CWG Test Plan Version 2.1 is a typical test specification and procedure for assessing WLAN performance with OTA measurements. The standard test procedure is utillized in North America and is also referenced by other regional test bodies. The test specification and procedure is expected to become the de facto standard for the increasingly popular IEEE802.11ac specification. CTIA/WFA CWG Test Plan Version 2.1 stipulates the performance evaluation at various data rates OTA or in an OTA environment.
The MT8862A, which is equipped with a patent-pending technology for data rate control, lets engineers easily perform RF TRx measurements at any data rate via a user-friendly GUI. Anritsu says it addresses the market demand for an efficient solution that offers stable performance evaluations of IEEE802.11ac equipment under test (EUT), thereby simplifying what was previously an arduous and challenging verification process.
Even when the data rate is changed the connection is maintained, improving OTA test efficiency.
The support of CTIA/WFA CWG Test Plan Version 2.1 extends the measurement capability of the MT8862A. The Wireless Connectivity Test Set also measures RF TRx characteristics of equipment with built-in WLAN IEEE802.11a/b/g/n/ac functions (2.4- and 5-GHz bands).
A unique Network Mode lets the MT8862A create a near-to-live environment in which standard WLAN protocol messaging performs TRx measurements and communicates with the EUT. The company notes that eliminating the need for EUT control settings can reduce measurement setup time and expense and says that this enables operators of any experience to conduct accurate measurements.
RF Performance Measurement under Realistic Operation Conditions (Network Mode)
- Using the MT8862A Network Mode allows measurement of RF TRx characteristics, such as Tx power, modulation accuracy (EVM), etc., with the WLAN devices in realistic operation conditions. It is not necessary to put the DUT into a dedicated test mode with direct control of the DUT. The DUT RF performance can be quantified under the firmware conditions at actual shipment.
Easy Measurement Environment Configuration
- The MT8862A can simulate access points (AP) and stations (STA) to establish the DUT network connection using IEEE802.11a/b/g/n/ac WLAN protocol messaging. Once the connection is established, RF measurements can be made using general WLAN communications procedures without requiring special tools and control procedures. This capability eliminates the need for configuring a special measurement environment.
2×2 MIMO Rx sensitivity and Tx power measurement functions
- Two MT8862A units can be used to measure Rx sensitivity and Tx power at 2×2 MIMO communications. This setup is can evaluate RF characteristics of finished products at 2×2 MIMO communications
Device Measurement with encrypted signal
- The WEP, WPA-Personal, and WPA2-Personal WLAN encoding technologies of the test and measurement system enable connection and measurement without disabling DUT security settings.
Unique Data Rate Control Algorithm for Tx Measurements
- A unique built-in algorithm controls the data rate to perform Tx measurements in the Network Mode at the user-specified data rate.
Rx Sensitivity Measurements using ACK Frame Count for Bathtub Curve Generation
- The MT8862A supports Rx sensitivity measurements using the ACK frame count. The device can calculate the packet error rate (PER) by counting the ACK frames sent by the DUT and comparing it to the test packets sent from the MT8862A. Packets can be sent while lowering the power level by setting the power level range (-120dBM to 0dBm) and step-size, and the Rx sensitivity Bathtub curve can be generated automatically. Packets including payload length and MAC address can be configured in real-time for measurement at various data rates.
Web Browser GUI Operation Immediately after Connection
- An ethernet cable can connect the MT8862A to the external PC for instant access from the Web browser to complete setup of the GUI operation environment without requiring test setup operation. The Web-browser based GUI eliminates usage worries about version matching with the firmware. Also, the MT8862A remote control port supports the DHCP client function, and both host and domain name settings offer simple control by connecting the PC controller and MT8862A to the same network.
Frame Capture Logging for Troubleshooting Connection Problems
- With built-in frame capture logging, the MT8862A can capture and save frame logs for troubleshooting DUT connection issues. Captured logs are in the *.pcap format for viewing by supported applications, making it easier to analyze DUT connection problems.
IP Data Transfer using Connection Verification Test
- The Ethernet port on the rear panel of the MT8862A can be used to exchange IP data with an external server; IP connections between the client PC connected to the DUT and the external server connected to the MT8862A can be checked using the ping function, etc.