Conducting spurious emission tests are an important measurement for cellular base station transmitters and receivers on most wireless transmission technologies. The 5G New Radio (NR) refreshed 3GPP specifications based on LTE (long term evolution), by providing faster speed, lower latency, and more spectrum bands to increase network capacity and coverage. With these new complex technologies and requirements, testing RF transmitters and receivers of base stations for spurious emissions is also more challenging.
Spectrum analyzers with high dynamic range are used to execute the spurious scan test. Different than other transmitter tests, spectrum analyzers used for spurious tests also need a wider frequency range coverage beyond just within the transmission band. 3GPP specifies the spurious emission test should be tested up to 12.75 GHz or the 5th harmonic for some frequency bands.
This application note discusses how to use Tektronix real-time spectrum analyzers to perform spurious tests on 5G NR base stations.