Materials generally consist of four different electro-magnetic parameters. An RF sensor functions by defining a sensitive volume and interrogating values of these parameters. Each of these parameters can be separately measured by either a single sensor or a pair. This sensor is one of the most important RF measurement equipment, and hence it is important to select the right one for the required application. These sensors are generally used by manufacturers and operators of communication satellites. The selection of the right RF equipment can help determine if users can obtain accurate measurements for installation, maintenance or manufacturing of a system. Read the following points to know more the selection criteria for these sensors.
There are varied methods of measuring RF power, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The type of the sensor used will help determine the type of signal to be measured. The two basic types of RF equipment technologies are heat and diode based. The latter type of the sensor employs diode rectifiers to produce a result. The main advantage of this type is that they can be used to measure signals down to very low power and can respond more quickly than the heat based ones. The heat based ones are used to dissipate the power from a source in a load and then measure the temperature rise (Ian p., Radio Electronics, RF & MICROWAVE POWER SENSOR TYPES, n.d.).
The heat-based sensors are further categorised into two types:
a. Thermistor RF power sensors- These types of sensors operate on the fact that an input RF signal will increase the temperature in an RF load.
b. Thermocouple Power Sensors- The second type of heat-based sensors is based on the thermocouple principle that metal junctions at different temperatures can give rise to a small potential. These sensors can provide the accurate average of the power. This type is known to be more accurate than the former one.
The ones mentioned above are some of the common types of peak power sensors. While businesses are considering purchasing these or getting them customised to suit their own requirements; they need to keep a couple of factors in mind. For example, businesses should first ask themselves, why do they exactly need this product? If they need this for creating product specifications, then opting for sensors with the best accuracy is suitable. On the other hand, if they need it for performing quality checks on finished products or measuring speed, then RF test equipment is the best solution. Depending on the application, businesses will be able to select suitable sensors.