Link distance and quality are critical considerations at Triad RF, with our focus on enabling high-performance RF links for our customers and developing the technology that makes these links possible.
Our product development cycle, along with quality assurance (QA) during production, routinely incorporates distance testing. But with point-to-point RF data links that can exceed 100 miles (~161 km), how do we actually test our products for link distance and throughput verification in a repeatable, measurable way?
To quickly test radio performance, our engineers have several dedicated “fading simulators” set up in our test lab and production areas. Our fading simulator systems include a signal generator, power meters, and variable RF attenuators, in addition to shielding against external EMI and RF interference.
In the photos, two Triad THRP1082 radios were set up for bench testing. These units feature a Domo Tactical Communications (DTC) 2X2 MIMO radio core integrated with our amplifier technology for 40 watts total power (20 watts per channel) across the radio’s 2100 - 2500 MHz operating band.
The key element in our testing process, the variable attenuators, enables us to mimic real-world distance performance metrics by applying controlled signal attenuation. This mirrors the free space path loss a signal would experience in a genuine operational scenario.
The radios are operated at different frequencies and power levels depending on the measurement scenario, with additional data collected including a UDP throughput/data rate test, Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR), Received Signal Strength (RSSI), output power, and modulation. All of this information taken together gives our engineers the data necessary to ensure our products meet the stringent SWaP requirements of our military and aerospace customers.
Have questions about RF link performance or link budget analysis? Contact Triad RF for help with your RF communication challenges.