Passive RF and microwave devices, intermodulation level measurement - Part 1: General requirements and measuring methods

IEC 62037-1:2012 is applicable to the general requirements and measuring methods for intermodulation (IM) level measurement of passive RF and microwave components, which can be caused by the presence of two or more transmitting signals. This first edition of IEC 62037-1 replaces IEC 62037, published in 1999. It constitutes a technical revision. This standard is part of the IEC 62037 series which addresses the measurement of PIM, but does not cover the long term reliability of a product with reference to its performance. This standard is to be used in conjunction with other appropriate part(s) of IEC 62037.

Dispositifs RF et à micro-ondes passifs, mesure de niveau d'intermodulation - Partie 1: Exigences générales et méthodes de mesure

La CEI 62037-1:2012 est applicable aux exigences générales et méthodes de mesure pour la mesure du niveau d'intermodulation (IM) des composants RF et à micro-ondes passifs, qui peut être provoquée par la présence de deux ou plusieurs signaux d'émission. Les procédures d'essai présentées dans la cette norme donnent les exigences générales et les méthodes de mesure exigées pour caractériser le niveau des signaux d'intermodulation indésirables à l'aide de deux signaux d'émission. La présente série de normes concerne la mesure de l'intermodulation passive (PIM), mais ne couvre pas la fiabilité à long terme des produits par rapport à ses performances. La présente norme s'utilise conjointement avec les autres parties appropriées de la CEI 62037.

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Published
Publication Date
28-May-2012
Current Stage
DELPUB - Deleted Publication
Completion Date
19-Nov-2021
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IEC 62037-1
Edition 1.0 2012-05
INTERNATIONAL
STANDARD
NORME
INTERNATIONALE
colour
inside
Passive RF and microwave devices, intermodulation level measurement –
Part 1: General requirements and measuring methods
Dispositifs RF et à micro-ondes passifs, mesure du niveau d’intermodulation –
Partie 1: Exigences générales et méthodes de mesure
IEC 62037-1:2012-05(EN-FR)
---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
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---------------------- Page: 2 ----------------------
IEC 62037-1
Edition 1.0 2012-05
INTERNATIONAL
STANDARD
NORME
INTERNATIONALE
colour
inside
Passive RF and microwave devices, intermodulation level measurement –
Part 1: General requirements and measuring methods
Dispositifs RF et à micro-ondes passifs, mesure du niveau d’intermodulation –
Partie 1: Exigences générales et méthodes de mesure
INTERNATIONAL
ELECTROTECHNICAL
COMMISSION
COMMISSION
ELECTROTECHNIQUE
PRICE CODE
INTERNATIONALE
CODE PRIX Q
ICS 33.040.20 ISBN 978-2-8322-1350-6

Warning! Make sure that you obtained this publication from an authorized distributor.

Attention! Veuillez vous assurer que vous avez obtenu cette publication via un distributeur agréé.

® Registered trademark of the International Electrotechnical Commission
Marque déposée de la Commission Electrotechnique Internationale
---------------------- Page: 3 ----------------------
– 2 – 62037-1  IEC:2012
CONTENTS

FOREWORD ........................................................................................................................... 3

1 Scope ............................................................................................................................... 5

2 Normative references........................................................................................................ 5

3 Abbreviations .................................................................................................................... 5

4 Characteristics of intermodulation products ....................................................................... 5

5 Principle of test procedure ................................................................................................ 6

6 Test set-up ....................................................................................................................... 6

6.1 General ................................................................................................................... 6

6.2 Test equipment ........................................................................................................ 6

6.2.1 General ....................................................................................................... 6

6.2.2 Set-up 1 ....................................................................................................... 7

6.2.3 Set-up 2 ....................................................................................................... 8

7 Preparation of DUT and test equipment ............................................................................. 8

7.1 General ................................................................................................................... 8

7.2 Guidelines for minimizing generation of passive intermodulation............................... 8

8 Test procedure ............................................................................................................... 10

9 Reporting ........................................................................................................................ 10

9.1 Results .................................................................................................................. 10

9.2 Example of results ................................................................................................. 10

10 Measurement error ......................................................................................................... 11

Annex A (informative) Configuration of low-PIM termination .................................................. 15

Annex B (informative) Test procedure considerations ........................................................... 17

Figure 1 – Set-up 1; reverse IM-test set-up ............................................................................ 12

Figure 2 – Set-up 2; forward IM-test set-up ............................................................................ 13

Figure 3 – Passive intermodulation (PIM) measurement error caused by residual system

error ..................................................................................................................................... 14

Figure A.1 – Long cable termination ...................................................................................... 15

Figure A.2 – Lumped termination with a linear attenuator ....................................................... 16

Table 1 – Guide for the design, selection of materials and handling of components that

may be susceptive to PIM generation ...................................................................................... 9

Table 2 – Test set-up conditions ............................................................................................ 10

---------------------- Page: 4 ----------------------
62037-1  IEC:2012 – 3 –
INTERNATIONAL ELECTROTECHNICAL COMMISSION
____________
PASSIVE RF AND MICROWAVE DEVICES,
INTERMODULATION LEVEL MEASUREMENT –
Part 1: General requirements and measuring methods
FOREWORD

1) The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is a worldwide organization for standardization comprising

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8) Attention is drawn to the Normative references cited in this publication. Use of the referenced publications is

indispensable for the correct application of this publication.

9) Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this IEC Publication may be the subject of

patent rights. IEC shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights.

International Standard IEC 62037-1 has been prepared by technical committee 46: Cables,

wires, waveguides, R.F. connectors, R.F. and microwave passive components and
accessories.

This bilingual version (2014-01) corresponds to the monolingual English version, published in

2012-05.

This first edition of IEC 62037-1 replaces IEC 62037, published in 1999. It constitutes a

technical revision.
The text of this standard is based on the following documents:
FDIS Report on voting
46/402/FDIS 46/416/RVD
---------------------- Page: 5 ----------------------
– 4 – 62037-1  IEC:2012

Full information on the voting for the approval of this standard can be found in the report on

voting indicated in the above table.
The French version of this standard has not been voted upon.

This publication has been drafted in accordance with the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2.

A list of all the parts in the IEC 62037 series, published under the general title Passive RF and

microwave devices intermodulation level measurement, can be found on the IEC website.

The committee has decided that the contents of this publication will remain unchanged until the

stability date indicated on the IEC web site under "http://webstore.iec.ch" in the data related to

the specific publication. At this date, the publication will be
• reconfirmed,
• withdrawn,
• replaced by a revised edition, or
• amended.

IMPORTANT – The 'colour inside' logo on the cover page of this publication indicates

that it contains colours which are considered to be useful for the correct understanding

of its contents. Users should therefore print this document using a colour printer.

---------------------- Page: 6 ----------------------
62037-1  IEC:2012 – 5 –
PASSIVE RF AND MICROWAVE DEVICES,
INTERMODULATION LEVEL MEASUREMENT –
Part 1: General requirements and measuring methods
1 Scope

This part of IEC 62037 deals with the general requirements and measuring methods for

intermodulation (IM) level measurement of passive RF and microwave components, which can

be caused by the presence of two or more transmitting signals.

The test procedures given in this standard give the general requirements and measurement

methods required to characterize the level of unwanted IM signals using two transmitting

signals.

The standards in this series address the measurement of PIM, but do not cover the long term

reliability of a product with reference to its performance.

This standard is to be used in conjunction with other appropriate part(s) of IEC 62037.

2 Normative references
None.
3 Abbreviations
CATV Community antenna television
DUT Device under test
IM Intermodulation
PIM Passive intermodulation
4 Characteristics of intermodulation products

PIM interference is caused by sources of non-linearity of mostly unknown nature, location and

behaviour. A few examples are inter-metallic contacts, choice of materials, corrosion products,

dirt, etc. Most of these effects are subject to changes over time due to mechanical stress,

temperature changes, variations in material characteristics (cold flow, etc.) and climatic

changes, etc.

The generation of intermodulation products originates from point-sources inside a DUT and

propagate equally in all available directions.

The generation of passive intermodulation products (PIM) does not necessarily follow the law

of the usual non-linear equation of quadratic form. Therefore, accurate calculation to other

power levels causing the intermodulation is not possible and PIM comparisons should be made

at the same power level.

Furthermore, PIM generation can be frequency-dependent. When PIM generation is frequency-

dependant, the PIM performance shall be investigated over the specified frequency band.

---------------------- Page: 7 ----------------------
– 6 – 62037-1  IEC:2012
5 Principle of test procedure

Test signals of frequencies f and f with equal specified test port power levels are combined

1 2

and fed to the DUT. The test signals should contain at least 10 dB less harmonic or self-

intermodulation signal level than the expected level generated in the DUT.

The PIM is measured over the specified frequency range. The intermodulation products of

order (2f ± f ), (2f ± f ) etc. are measured.
1 2 2 1

In most cases, the third order intermodulation signals represent the worst case condition of

unwanted signals generated; therefore, the measurement of these signals characterizes the

DUT in a sufficient way. However, the test set-ups given in Clause 6 are suitable for measuring

other intermodulation products.

In other systems (such as CATV), the 3 order may not be as applicable in characterizing the

DUT.

Intermodulation can be measured in reverse and forward direction. Reverse and forward is

referred to the direction of propagation of the most powerful carrier.
6 Test set-up
6.1 General

Experience shows that the generation of intermodulation products originates from point-

sources inside a device under test (DUT) and propagates equally in all available directions.

Therefore, either the reverse (reflected) or the forward (transmitted) intermodulation signal can

be measured.

Two different test set-ups are described in Figure 1 and Figure 2 and are for reference only.

Other topologies are possible.

Set-up 1 is for measuring the reverse (reflected) intermodulation signal only, and set-up 2 is for

measuring the forward (transmitted) intermodulation signal. The measurement method (reverse

or forward) is dependent upon the DUT. The set-ups may be assembled from standard

microwave or radio link hardware selected for this particular application. All components shall

be checked for lowest self-intermodulation generation.

Experience shows that devices containing magnetic materials (circulators, isolators, etc.) can

be prominent sources of intermodulation signal generation.
See Annex B for additional set-up considerations.
6.2 Test equipment
6.2.1 General

Two signal sources or signal generators with power amplifiers are required to reach the

specified test port power. The combining and diplexing device may comprise a circulator,

hybrid junction, coupler or filter network.

The test set-up self-intermodulation generated (including contribution of the load) should be at

least 10 dB below the level to be measured on the DUT. The associated error may be obtained

from the graph in Figure 3.
---------------------- Page: 8 ----------------------
62037-1  IEC:2012 – 7 –

The DUT shall be terminated by a load for the specified power if necessary. The receiving

bandpass filter, tuned for the desired intermodulation signal, is followed by a low noise

amplifier (if required) and a receiver.
See Annex B for additional set-up considerations.
6.2.2 Set-up 1

This set-up is to measure the reverse (reflected) IM-product and is therefore suitable for 1-port

and multi-port DUTs. On multi-port DUTs, the unused ports shall be connected to a linear

termination.
a) Generators

The generators shall provide continuous wave (CW) signals of the specified test port

power. They shall have sufficient frequency stability to make sure that the IM-product can

be detected properly by the receiver.
b) Transmit-filters

The filters are bandpass-filters tuned to the particular frequencies. They isolate the

generators from each other and filter out the harmonics of f and f .
1 2
c) Combining and diplexing device

This device is used for combining the signals f and f , delivering them to the test port and

1 2
provides a port for the extraction of the reverse (reflected) signal f .
d) Receive-filter

This filter is used for isolating the input of the receiver from the signals f and f to the

1 2
extent that IM-products are not generated within the receiver.
e) Test port

The DUT is connected to P4. The specified input power shall be at the DUT, with any set-up

loss between the receiver and the DUT compensated for.
f) Termination

When a multi-port DUT is measured, the DUT shall be connected to a sufficiently linear

termination (low intermodulation) of suitable power handling capability.
g) Receiver

The receiver shall be sensitive enough to detect a signal of the expected power level.

The receiver response time shall be sufficiently short to allow acquisition of rapid changes

in amplitude. Sensitivity can be increased by a low noise preamplifier. Frequency stability

shall be sufficient for the proper detection of the IM-signal.

When the PIM measurement result is close to the thermal noise floor of the receiver, the

receiver sensitivity can be improved by reducing the resolution bandwidth (RBW).

Furthermore, by using the averaging mode rather than the max-hold mode, a further

improvement can be achieved, since the max-hold mode essentially measures the

maximum thermal noise peak, while the averaging mode results in a measurement that is

closer to the r.m.s. value.
---------------------- Page: 9 ----------------------
– 8 – 62037-1  IEC:2012
6.2.3 Set-up 2

This set-up is to measure the forward (transmitted) IM-product and is therefore suitable only for

two- or multi-port DUTs.

All components are the same as those of set-up 1, except for those as noted below:

a) Combining and diplexing device

The extraction-port P3 on this device shall be terminated to prevent reflection of the IM-

signals.
b) Diplexing device

The signals f , f and f are split to P6 and P7. This device, together with an additional

1 2 IM
receive-filter, is used for the extraction of the intermodulation signals.
7 Preparation of DUT and test equipment
7.1 General

The DUT and test equipment shall be carefully checked for proper power handling range,

frequency range, cleanliness and correct interconnection dimensions. All connector interfaces

shall be tightened to the applicable IEC specification or, if none exists, to the manufacturer’s

recommended specification.
See Annex B for additional set-up considerations.
7.2 Guidelines for minimizing generation of passive intermodulation

The following guidelines and Table 1 should be considered and adhered to wherever possible.

a) Non-linear materials should not be used in or near the current paths.

b) Current densities should be minimized in the conduction paths (e.g. Tx channel), by using

larger conductors.
c) Minimize metallic junctions, avoid loose contacts and rotating joints.

d) Minimize the exposure of loose contacts, rough surfaces and sharp edges to RF power.

e) Keep thermal variations to a minimum, as the expansion and contraction of metals can

create non-linear contacts.

f) Use brazed, soldered or welded joints if possible – but ensure these joints are good and

have no non-linear materials, cracks, contamination or corrosion.

g) Avoid having tuning screws or moving parts in the high current paths – if necessary, then

ensure all joints are tight and clean, and preferably, free from vibration.

h) Cable lengths in general should be minimized and the use of high quality, low-IM cable is

essential.

i) Minimize the use of non-linear components such as high-PIM loads, circulators, isolators

and semiconductor devices.

j) Achieve good isolation between the high-power transmit signals and the low-power receive

signals by filtering and physical separation.
---------------------- Page: 10 ----------------------
62037-1  IEC:2012 – 9 –
Table 1 – Guide for the design, selection of materials and handling
of components that may be susceptive to PIM generation
Part, material or procedure Recommendations
Interfaces Minimize the total number.
Connectors Minimize the number of connectors used. Use high quality, low-PIM
connectors mated with proper torque.

Inter-metallic connections Each inter-metallic connection should be evaluated in terms of

criticality for the total PIM level. Methods of controlling the
performance are high contact pressure, insulation, soldering,
brazing, etc.
Ferromagnetic materials Not recommended (non-linear).
Non-magnetic stainless steel Not recommended (contains iron).
Circulators, isolators and other ferrite Not recommended.
devices
Sharp edges Avoid if it results in high current density.
Terminations or attenuators Should be evaluated before use.
Hermetic seals / gaskets Evaluate before use and avoid ferromagnetic materials.

Printed circuit boards (PCB) Materials, processes and design should all be considered and

evaluated. Use low-PIM materials; be careful with material
impurities, contamination and etching residuals. The copper trace
should be finished to prevent corrosion.
Dissimilar metals Not recommended (risk of galvanic corrosion).
Dielectric material Use clean, high quality material. Ensure it does not contain
electrically conductive particles.
Machined dielectric materials Use clean non-contaminated tools for machining.

Welded, soldered or brazed joint Well executed and thoroughly cleaned, they provide satisfactory

results. Shall be carefully inspected.

Carbon fibre epoxy composite (CFEC) Generally acceptable for use in reflector and support structures,

provided the fibres are not damaged. Should be evaluated if high
flux density (e.g. >10 mW/cm is expected.
Standard multilayer thermal blankets Special design required.
made of Vacuum Deposited Aluminium
(VDA) on biaxially-oriented polyethylene
terephthalate film or Polyimide film
Cleanliness Maintain clean and dry surfaces.
Plating The thickness of the plating should be at least three times greater
than the skin depth of the wave resulting from the skin effect at the
lowest relevant frequency.
---------------------- Page: 11 ----------------------
– 10 – 62037-1  IEC:2012
8 Test procedure
Table 2 gives certain conditions for test set-up 1 and test set-up 2.
Table 2 – Test set-up conditions
Test set-up 1 Test set-up 2

The set-up shall be verified for correct signal levels applied to the DUT. For mobile communication

systems, it is generally recommended to use 2 × 20 W (43 dBm) at the test port of the DUT, unless

otherwise specified. Other systems may require different power levels.

The minimum number of test frequencies and/or frequency spacing shall be specified.

For lowest measurement uncertainty, the receiver shall be calibrated at the expected IM-level with a

calibrated signal-source as indicated in Figure 1 and Figure 2.

The termination shall be connected directly to the P5 of diplexing device shall be connected directly to

test port P4 and the self-intermodulation level of P4 of combining and summing device and the self-

the set-up recorded. intermodulation level of the set-up recorded.

For low measurement uncertainties, the level of self-intermodulation should be at least 10 dB below the

specified value for the DUT.

Test the DUT as given in the specific set-up and procedure in the appropriate test set-up.

An additional mechanical shock test may be carried out during the test sequence.
9 Reporting
9.1 Results
The input power at individual frequencies should be specified.
The values of f and f should be specified.
1 2
The PIM level and frequency should be specified.
9.2 Example of results

The result is expressed as an absolute magnitude in dBm or relative magnitude in dBc,

referenced to the power of a single carrier.

The relationship between a measured IM -value of –120 dBm can be converted to dBc as

follows:
EXAMPLE:
f = 936 MHz, f = 958 MHz, f = 914 MHz
IM
1 2 3
) = P(f ) = 20 W (+43 dBm)
P(f
1 2
IM = –163 dBc (–120 dBm)
---------------------- Page: 12 ----------------------
...

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