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4 port vs 2 port ANA

Question asked by texasranger on Jan 23, 2011
Latest reply on Jan 26, 2011 by texasranger
I have been tasked with investigating the feasibility of purchasing a 4 port ANA to replace an older 8720D analyzer.  I am primarily a digital/software guy RF so please correct me if any assumptions below are incorrect.  

The primary use of the analyzer we have is to perform L-band measurements on a large phased array and dump the data over GPIB to a laptop running MATLAB.  We currently divide our test into two separate parts and it typically takes 4 days to complete the test.  The goal of upgrading to a 4 port ANA is to reduce the number of cable connections and test time by half. 

Having never used a 4 port ANA, my assumption is that it measures all combinations of the ports and returns 16 S parameters (S11, 12, 13, 14, 21, 22, 23, 24, 31, 32, 33, 34, 41, 42, 43, 44).  Is that the way a 4 port ANA really works?

The other question I have is how to calibrate a 4 port ANA.  We currently use a customized TRM cal kit with ZMA connectors.  Is calibrating a 4 port ANA similar to calibrating a 2 port ANA only with repeated steps for the extra ports?  Is it feasible to calibrate 4 ports with mechanical standards?

Thanks in advance for your replies.