by Wade Hulon, President – Anritsu US
MPD: The defense market for RF and microwave components through subsystems appears to be more lucrative than in recent years, especially in the area of electronic warfare. If your company sells into the defense market, what are your thoughts about how it will perform in 2017?
In the near future, the electromagnetic spectrum will become a “domain” of warfare, joining land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace. This will create focus for the Electronic Warfare community. Observing and managing the ever evolving, highly congested and sometimes contested electromagnetic spectrum is a key element when spectrum dominance is required. Anritsu leads the market in spectrum assessment technology with core tools such as our Remote Spectrum Monitor family (MS27102A) and the industry’s highest performance handheld spectrum analyzer, the Spectrum Master™ MS2720T. These tools can allow the warfighter to locate emitters of interest in a large geographic area, using TDOA techniques, then pinpoint the exact emitter using our Interference Hunting tools, which are designed to make direction finding accurate and simple. And when used in combination with one of our handheld spectrum analyzers, frequency coverage up to 43GHz is available. In-building spectrum scanning can be difficult, especially if you want to map emitter strengths through a building as the GPS signal can be weak. Our handheld spectrum analyzers can be integrated with a 3D Indoor Location and Mapping solution, creating the industry’s first automatically geo-referenced RF signal mapping solution.
MPD: The fifth generation of cellular is rapidly approaching and the immense scope of 5G seems almost certain to present significant opportunities for the RF and microwave industry. What is your perspective on this issue?
5G creates many challenges — most notably due to the higher frequencies required, very wide bandwidths, modulation types and advanced spatial multiplexing techniques enabled by the development of Massive MIMO technologies. It is a much larger technology shift from 2G, 3G, and 4G, which were more of an evolution of digital standards. 5G is more analogous to when we moved from analog to digital. Anritsu’s 5G capability spans from advanced research with our high performance spectrum analyzers and vector network analyzers, through to field test tools such as our MS2710T. They have 2G/3G/4G measurement capability and the frequency range to support the latest 5G frequency allocations that extend into the mmWave frequency bands. Indoor signal mapping is a key measurement when determining how far a mmWave frequency will propagate in an indoor environment that contains many sources of attenuation such as glass, wood and metal. Anritsu has market-leading indoor tracking technology for indoor signal mapping to mmWave frequencies.
MPD: The Internet of Things (IoT) might better be called the Wireless Internet of Things, as without RF and microwave technology, little could be accomplished. If your company is selling into this market, please provide your perspective on IoT and its prospects for the RF and microwave industry.
Anritsu continues to address the market need for test solutions to verify IoT products. We recently introduced three new software packages for the MT8870A Universal Wireless Test Set, giving support for 802.11p, Bluetooth® DLE, and Z-Wave, creating a fast, all-in-one test set that can simultaneously measure multiple wireless systems used in connected cars, wearables, smartphones and industrial equipment. I believe connected cars are becoming the most sophisticated mobile device in the IoT world. Anritsu and its test solutions will continue to help verify designs to ensure operation of these systems, from automotive radar to infotainment systems.
MPD: In your opinion, what are the RF and microwave technologies to watch in 2017?
E-band is becoming the new standard for backhaul as lower frequency backhaul is currently straining under the weight of wireless communications bandwidth and services that subscribers are demanding. E-band ultra-high capacity point-to-point communications allows for fiber-like speeds. Our family of Vector Network Analyzers allows our customers to characterize their E-band products. I’m excited about the performance of our ShockLine™ E-band solution and believe it is one of the most innovative products on the market today, built on decades of microwave and mmWave technology development at Anritsu.