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Stability and ruggedness testing

Maury Microwave


Amplifier stability refers to the ability of an amplifier circuit to maintain its desired performance characteristics over time and under varying operating conditions. It is critical to ensure that an amplifier remains stable and does not exhibit unwanted behaviors such as oscillation or distortion that could degrade its performance or even damage the system.

Automated Impedance Tuners and VSWR Testing

Testing can be done with an automated impedance tuner for completed 50ohm matched amplifiers. In this case, the tuner is not used to match the DUT but rather used to stress the amplifier under non-ideal conditions while monitoring for unstable behavior when subjected to variations in load impedance, input signal, frequency or phase for example.

Degradation testing can also be performed by stressing the amplifier under extreme conditions such as 6:1 or 10:1 VSWR for an extended period of time before returning to a matched 50ohm condition. The purpose is to ensure that the amplifier can operate reliably under such conditions without suffering from significant performance degradation or failure.

Passive impedance tuners are only able to present a limited VSWR to the DUT, especially if the DUT includes lossy connectors and trace lines. In these cases, active load pull, such as the MT10000/MT2000 can be used to achieve a higher target VSWR, typically > 10:1 at the DUT reference plane.

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