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Fundamental Measurement Techniques: Network Analysis


""Part 5 of our new occasional series around ‘Fundamental measurement techniques’ takes a look at the basics of network analysis.

In these measurements there is clearly a need for both magnitude and phase information to fully characterise the system.

Network Analysis gives:

  • Complete characterisation of linear networks
  • Knowledge of complex impedance needed to design matching circuits
  • Measurement of complex values needed for device modelling
  • Time-domain characterisation and
  • Vector-error correction

First some basics on theory of transmission lines in that

1. For reflection, if a transmission line is terminated in Z_zero it would behave like an infinitely long transmission line

2. For reflection, a transmission line terminated in a short or open would reflect all power back to source.

However we rarely deal with linear systems and complexities rapidly evolve from

1. Linear behaviour where input and output frequencies are the same (no additional frequencies created) and output frequency only undergo magnitude and phase change to

2. Nonlinear behaviour where an output frequency may undergo a frequency shift (such as with mixers) or where additional frequencies are created (harmonics, intermodulation).

In summary, very quickly network analysis can become a complicated measurement so if in doubt get in touch and we’ll be only too glad to help.