Microwave amplifiers work best when their input and output ports are as closely matched as possible to the impedance of their system, usually 50 Ohms. This is usually done through source and load pull measurements, which are never trivial or easy, but necessary. The good news for those working with microwave power amplifiers is that suppliers of source and load pull systems are teaming up with NI PXI hardware and LabVIEW system design software from National Instruments (www.ni.com) to make these difficult measurements a bit easier.
Source and load pull characterization of microwave power amplifiers has typically only been done during the design stage, but the new joint development allows for testing to be done during production. By working closely with National Instruments and their PXI test hardware and industry-standard LabVIEW measurement software, developers of source and load pull measurement systems, including Anteverta Microwave, Focus Microwaves, Maury Microwave, and Mesuro, hope to achieve quicker and more efficient solutions for source and load pull characterization for customers across wide markets in aerospace, defense, and wireless applications.