Maury Microwave Corporation
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Noise Calibration Systems

Available from Maury Microwave

Description


Maury noise calibration systems (NCSs) are self-contained, highly accurate sources of RF and microwave noise power. These systems are used wherever noise source accuracy is critical. Examples are: receiver noise measurements such as noise figure and effective input noise temperature; calibration of solid state noise sources; evaluation and verification of earth station receivers; and as radiometer reference sources.

Each NCS consists of two (one hot and one cold) or three (one hot, one ambient and one cold) thermal noise sources whose outputs can be easily switched into a common calibrated output port. This arrangement provides a unique combination of accuracy and convenience. The output switch makes operation of the NCS in a noise performance measurement as simple as using a solid state noise generator - without the accuracy penalty associated with the latter. The plot below illustrates the accuracy improvement gained by use of an NCS in typical measurement applications (effective input noise temperature).

The cold noise source is a liquid nitrogen (LN2) cooled termination similar to Maury's cryogenic noise terminations. A liquid nitrogen level sensor and an automatic fill system maintain the proper nitrogen level. (The user must provide a suitable liquid nitrogen reservoir.) The cold termination is also pressurized with helium at 2 psi. Pressure is maintained by a regulator that requires 20 psi maximum from an external source.

The hot noise source is a heated termination similar to Maury's hot thermal noise terminations whose temperature is maintained by proportional control to better than 0.2K by the MT155J controller. Actual temperature is indicated by a digital readout on the controller front panel.

The NCS consists of three assemblies:

A - A component mounting plate which holds the cryogenic and heated termination assemblies, the hot/cold or hot/ambient/cold remotely controlled relay(s) and output assembly, and the helium pressure regulator. The LN2 level sensor and fill solenoid are mounted on the cover of the dewar flask.

B -
The MT155J controller which contains the temperature control circuitry and a digital temperature readout for the thermal termination, the automatic or manual LN2 fill control circuitry, and the remote noise temperature output switch.

C -
The MT155L connects the controller to the mounting plate.

Calibration of the hot/cold noise temperatures at the output connector of the NCS is provided at a number of frequencies. Each NCS model is calibrated at specific standard frequencies. Typically, waveguide units will be calibrated at the band edges and the arithmetic center frequency of the waveguide. Coaxial units are generally calibrated at four frequencies within the frequency range of the connector type. For example, the MT7098J is a dual-load model equipped with 7mm connectors and transmission lines. Calibration for this unit is provided at 3.95 GHz, 7.5 GHz, 12.4 GHz and 18.0 GHz. (Maury also offers the MT7250 series Noise Calibration Swept Data Module as a software tool that allows users to work with other non-standard data points in addition to, or in place of the factory standards.) Note that the noise temperatures are not critical as long as they are accurately known.

Table 1 (below) shows the typical output temperatures and noise temperature uncertainties of the MT7098B dual-load, 7mm coaxial NCS.



Maury WR10 Noise Calibration System Model MT7749D12 (75-110 GHz)





The model MT155J controller for Maury noise calibration systems can be located up to 25 ft (7.6 meters) away from the NCS mounting plate.

Typical Models


Table 2 (below) shows a sample of the NCS available from Maury. Each model is a complete system made up of the appropriate terminations assembled on a mounting plate, the MT155J controller and the interconnecting cable. All dual-load systems shown consist of cold (LN2) and heated terminations. The tri-load system (MT7208J) includes an ambient termination as well.

Please consult the factory if you do not see a noise calibration system in the table suitable for your application or if you would like more detailed information on any of these systems.

Calibration
Frequency (GHz)

Hot Noise
Temperature1
Cold Noise
Temperature1
Temperature
Uncertainty
3.95
371K
83K
±1.0K
7.50
369K
88K
±1.2K
12.40
366K
95K
±1.5K
18.00
365K
98K
±2.0K
Table 1.

Model

Frequency
Range (GHz)

Transmission
Line
Output Connector
or Flange
Type
MT7091B

10.0 — 12.4

WR90

MPF902

Dual-load
MT7093B

10.0 — 15.0

WR75

MPF75B3

Dual-load
MT7094B

15.0 — 22.0

WR51

MPF51B3

Dual-load
MT7095J

18.0 — 26.5

WR42

UG595/U

Dual-load
MT7097

33.0 — 50.0

WR22

UG383/U

Dual-load
MT7098J

DC — 18.0

Coaxial

7mm (APC7)

Dual-load
MT7149J

75.0 — 110.0

WR10

UG385/U

Dual-load
MT7208J4
DC — 18.0
Coaxial

7mm (APC7)

Tri-load
Table 2.

1 Nominal, these will vary from unit to unit.
2 Mates with the appropriate military (UG) and CPR flanges.
3 Mates with most standard military and industrial flanges in this band.
4 CE certified.

Product Data Sheets


4E-008 Technical Data - Model MT7098B - Noise Calibration System
4E-020 Noise Calibration Swept Data Module - MT7250 Series
5C-028 Application Note - Applications of the Maury Noise Calibration Systems; Accuracy & Convenience in Noise Measurement
5C-042 Application Note - Theory of Noise Measurement

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