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RF Measurements for

WiMAX (802.16-2004)

IEEE Seminar on WiMAX

Wireless Technology
April 28, 2006

© Copyright 2006 Agilent Technologies, Inc.

A Capable and Complicated New Std.

Constellation EVM vs freq/carrier

EVM vs time/symbol Error summary & data bits

Why Measure?
Measurements Required by the Standard (some)
• These measurements tell only part of the story
Measurements for Success (however you define it)
• Find problems quickly and specifically
• Ensure compatibility, solve compatibility or
interoperability issues
• Improve performance
• Reduce cost
• Improve manufacturability

WiMAX Overview, Specifically 802.16-2004
• Brief review here
• See resources for OFDM review & tutorial
Measurement & Troubleshooting Sequence
• Spectrum
• Frequency & time domain
• Basic digital demodulation
• Advanced digital demodulation
Discuss Common Problems, How to Find Them

Resources, Tutorials, Demonstrations
802.11a WLAN Materials for OFDM Background
• Magazine article on OFDM impairments
• OFDM analysis tutorial with case studies
• Measurement & setup demonstration videos (30
minutes) on CD
WiMAX Resources
• Recent WiMAX Ap-Notes
• 89601A VSA software--free demo/tutorial license
• Example captured signals (no hardware required
for tutorial)
See Resources Slide For Summary, Links

Contrast OFDMs--802.11a vs. 802.16 WiMAX

4 BPSK Pilots
52 carriers,
312.5 kHz
spacing 802.11a (18 MHz)


8 BPSK Pilots
200 carriers,
90 kHz
. . 802.16 (20 MHz)
. . :
. . 10 MHz
200 carriers, 7.0 MHz
3.5 MHz
6.7 kHz :
802.16 (1.5 MHz)

802.16 Concepts--Uplink Sub-channelization

Low-rate user: 12 carriers ... P B1 ...


Med-rate user: 48 carriers 200 carrier uplink burst
(192 data carriers)

Hi-rate user: 132 carriers

Terminology--Different from 802.11a

Devices = Base Stations & Subscribers
Downlink+Uplink RF Pair = Frame
RF Burst (uplink or downlink) = Subframe
Initial Sync & Training Seq = Preamble & Symbols
• Short, long preamble, midamble(s)
Data Block to/from Single Subscriber = Burst
Instruct. to Subscribers = Frame Cntrl. Header (FCH)
Relative to 802.11a:
• Short training sequence Preamble symbol 1
• Channel est. sequence Preamble symbol 2
• Signal symbol FCH

802.16 Concepts--TDD vs FDD vs H-FDD
Time Division Duplexing
1 Frame (5, 10 or 20 mSec)
B1 ...
xx MHz P H B1 B2 B3 B4 P B1 P B2 P B3
Downlink Subframe (Base Station) Uplink Subframe (Subscribers)

Frequency Division Duplexing

1 Frame (20 mSec max)
xx MHz P H B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 . . . Bn P H ...
Downlink Subframe (Base Station)
B1 B1 ...
yy MHz P B1 P B2 P B3 P B4 P B5 P B1
Uplink Subframe (Subscribers)

Half-Duplex FDD
1 Frame (20 mSec max.)
xx MHz P H B1 B2 B3 B4
Downlink Subframe (Base Station)
B1 ...
P B1 P B2 P B3
yy MHz
Uplink Subframe (Subscribers)

802.16 Concepts--TDD vs FDD vs H-FDD

Time Division Duplexing

1 Frame (5, 10 or 20 mSec)
P H B1 B2 B3 B4 TTG P B1 P B2 P B3 RTG
Downlink Subframe (Base Station) Uplink Subframe (Subscribers)

TTG = Transmit/Receive Transition Gap

RTG = Receive/Transmit Transition Gap

No transmissions are allowed during

the TTG or RTG time periods

802.16 Typical Downlink Subframe
Downlink Subframe (Base Station) Example:
P H B1 B2 B3 B4 B1 = QPSK


B3 = 16 QAM
2 Symbols of QPSK
B4 = 64 QAM
1 Symbol of BPSK
Consecutive bursts can use
One or more modulation different than previous
symbols; all bursts. Bursts are transmitted in
symbols within order of decreasing robustness
each burst have (QPSK is less robust than BPSK,
the same mod type QAM is less robust than QPSK, etc)

Connection quality modulation types data rates

Downlink Preamble
Downlink Subframe (Base Station)
P H B1 B2 B3 B4

• 2 Symbols of QPSK
Preamble • Well defined data pattern
50 active 100 active • All BS transmit same
QPSK carriers QPSK carriers preamble
• No Pilots
Symbol 1 Symbol 2
• 256 FFT is used, although
carrier spacing is such that
64 or 128 FFTs could be used
if processing was an issue
• Known as a “long preamble”

Physical Layer Meas. in the Standard

Cyclic Prefix and Symbol Timing

Preambles & Midambles
Transmit Ranging Support
Power Control Support
Spectral Flatness
Relative Constellation Error (RCE)
Transmit Synchronization
Transmitter Spectral Mask
SSRTG Performance
See New Application Notes (resources slide)

Well-Organized Measurement Approach

An Orderly Approach Will
• Reduce setup and measurement errors (correct center
frequency, span, pulse/burst parameters)
• Find problems at the earliest stages of analysis
• Provide more understandable and useful measurement
• Help avoid missing certain signal problems or
impairments (some impairments are most clearly seen in
vector measurements)
• Provide the fastest path to complete troubleshooting
It is often more useful to have a clear
understanding of the signal and a reliable
analysis approach than to know all the technical
details of the standard

A Meas. & Troubleshooting Sequence
One suggested sequence, especially for
signals that are not fully understood

Frequency, Basic Advanced &

Frequency & Time Digital Demod Specific Demod

Get basics right, Signal quality Find specific

find major problems numbers, constellation, problems & causes
basic error vector

Meas. & Troubleshooting Sequence

Frequency, Basic Advanced &

Frequency & Time Digital Demod Specific Demod

Get basics right, Signal quality Find specific

find major problems numbers, constellation, problems & causes
basic error vector

Wideband spectrum Gated Spectrum

Narrowband spectrum Gated power, CCDF
Frequency & Time Time capture
Triggering, timing Spectrogram

Frequency Meas., then Freq. & Time

Frequency--Wideband Spectrum
• Approximate center frequency, occupied BW,
power level/range
• Other signals present, spurs & interference
Frequency--Narrowband Spectrum
~1.1x(nominal BW)
• More accurate center frequency
• Transition to frequency & time
• Spectrum alone (even with averaging) is
inadequate for pulsed signals with AM
• Accurate spectrum requires triggering

Frequency Meas., then Freq. & Time

Simultaneous Freq. & Time Measurements

• Set time to log magnitude (burst envelope)
• Select IF triggering, pre-trigger delay, adjust
trigger level, add holdoff (holdoff is often
essential for pulsed signals with AM)
• Stabilize acquisition to make all other
measurements reliable
• Adjust time record length to see entire burst(s)
• Use very large number of frequency/time

Simultaneous Freq. & Time Meas.

Measure and Verify

Frequency & Time Measurements
• Center frequency, occupied bandwidth
• Amplitude--average, and variations during burst
(transients, drift)
• Turn-on & turn-off behavior, on/off ratio
• Burst length, duty cycle, unanticipated
frequency/time variations
• Band power measurements
• 89601A occupied bandwidth marker (adjust for
desired power %, but use carefully on signals with
essential sidebands)

WiMAX Parameter Summary Table

“WiMAX Frequency and Time Parameter Table”

Time-Gated Spectrum Measurements

Time-Gating Setup (example: measuring preamble)

• Set main time length to approx. 5 symbol times
• Enable gating, set gate length for desired signal
segment and RBW, then set gate length equal to
the “OFDM symbol time” to see preamble sym.
• Set initial gate delay (beginning of time gate) to
match pre-trigger delay
Select Appropriate Gate Windows (RBW Shape)
• Flat Top for amplitude accuracy, Uniform for
frequency resolution
Time-Gated CCDF
• Preamble vs. data

Time-Gated Measurements

Measure and Verify

Time-Gated Spectrum Measurements
• Spectrum vs. time, any spectrum artifacts
• Power changes during burst, CCDF variations
• Carrier structure, missing or extra carriers,
energy at exact CF
• Sidelobes (part of signal, not ACP), symmetry
• Frequency accuracy, carrier spacing
• Spurious, interference
• Flatness, tilt/ripple
• Preamble length, structure
• Confirm sampling factor, guard interval

Amplification Problems--Gain Compress.

Before Amplification After Amplification

Use Time-Gated CCDF to Investigate Different Modulation Types

Amplification Effects
Measured Here and With Advanced
Demodulation Operations
Gain Drift
• ADC reference changes with thermal effects
• Amplifier gain changes with temperature
• Power supply effects (sag/surge with loads)
Transients (usually occur at beginning of bursts)
• Fast thermal
• Short term power supply instability
• Oscillator instability (power supply/other

Other Meas. Before Digital Demodulation
Time Capture
• Reduce uncertainty by analyzing known signal (useful
during transition to digital demodulation)
• Provides for “real-time” & overlapped analysis
• Identify patterns not otherwise seen
• Capture 2-10 bursts (generally avoid very large captures)
• See entire burst in frequency and time on one display
• Find subtle patterns, errors (data portion of burst should
not have repeated patterns
Find Problems Even if Demod. not yet Possible
• Example: Power problem could be seen in demodulation
mode, but malformed pilots prevent demodulation--
measure in vector mode

Meas. & Troubleshooting Sequence

Frequency, Basic Advanced &

Frequency & Time Digital Demod Specific Demod

Get basics right, Signal quality Find specific

find major problems numbers, constellation, problems & causes
basic error vector

Set up demod & displays Cross-domain &

Constellation cross-measurement links
Error Summary Parameter adjustment
Error vector spectrum More time capture
Error vector time

Switch to Digital Demodulation

Select Broadband Wireless Access

Preset to Standard
Set Nominal Bandwidth
Set Guard Interval
• If unknown, measure in time domain or assume
1/4 to start
Analyzer Automatically Detects, Sets, Displays:
• Sampling factor
• Data sub-carrier modulation type
• Preamble type
• Result length

Set up the Measurement, Displays

Use Pulse Search, Set Search Length

• Minimum: 2x(on time)+1x(off time)
• Reliable indicator of inconsistent burst length
or burst problems
Select Default Quad Display
• Default is a good starting point
• Select new 6-trace display if desired
• Constellation, error vector time, error vector
frequency, symbols/errors

WiMAX Parameter Summary Table

“WiMAX Frequency and Time Parameter Table”

Digital Demodulation--Basic Setup

Basic Demodulation Results

Initial Demodulation Results

• Successful demodulation?
• Expected modulation type(s)?
• Indications of error?
Symbols/Errors Table
• Relative constellation error (RCE) = EVM of
data and pilot carriers
• Pilot & common pilot errors (CPE)
• I/Q errors including gain imbalance,
quadrature error, delay mismatch
• Carrier frequency error, symbol clock error

Multi-Format Constellation
Overlaid BPSK, QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM

Multi-Format Const. Now Color-Coded

BPSK (pilots)
16 QAM

Color Combines to Show Problem Clearly

Initial Demodulation Results (cont.)

Error Vector Spectrum
• All symbols shown on Y-axis for each carrier on X-axis
• All-symbol average for each carrier is shown
• Examine for patterns/trends by carrier, differences
between carriers & pilots
• Spurs will affect individual or few carriers, for all symbols
Error Vector Time
• All carriers shown on Y-axis for each symbol on X-axis
• All-carrier average for each symbol is shown
• Examine for patterns or changes according to symbol
• Impulsive errors (DSP, interference, clocks, power) will
affect all carriers for an individual symbol or group of

Initial Demodulation Results (cont.)
Coupled Markers
• Identify a symbol by time or frequency or error magnitude
• Link a symbol across time and frequency domains, and
between different display types
• Link error peaks to constellation points, amplitude values,
specific carriers, time points in a burst, as a way to
pinpoint error mechanism
• Identify specific time instant or frequency to examine with
advanced & specific demodulation techniques (next)
Change Measurement & Display Parameters
Without Taking New Data
Use Time Capture to Provide Consistent Signal &
Error Behavior

Understanding IQ Errors in OFDM

“Effects of physical layer impairments on OFDM systems”
RF Design Magazine

Meas. & Troubleshooting Sequence

Frequency, Basic Advanced &

Frequency & Time Digital Demod Specific Demod

Get basics right, Signal quality Find specific

find major problems numbers, constellation, problems & causes
basic error vector
Demod by carrier Cross-domain &
or symbol or both cross-measurement links
Select pilot tracking types Demod parameter
Select carrier, timing adjustments
Preamble (equalization) analysis More time capture

Advanced & Specific Digital Demod.

Demod By Specific Carriers

Demod by Specific Symbols
Enable/Disable Pilot Tracking of Amplitude,
Phase, Timing
Data Sub-Carrier Manual Select
Symbol Timing Adjust
Equalizer Training Select (preamble only,
preamble + data)
Preamble Error Measurements
X & Y-Axis Scaling (display zoom; actual demod
results are not changed)

Time and Frequency-Specific Demod.
Demodulate a Specific Carrier
• Find frequency-specific problems on a single carrier or at
band edge
• Demodulate pilots only, and compare to data carriers
Demodulate A Specific Time Interval
• Modulation type changes with symbol time, and error may
change along with it
• Identify impulsive, intermittent, or periodic error sources
• Turn on/off, power supply, settling, or thermal effects
Simultaneous Frequency & Time-Specific Demod.
• Find subtle defects such as DSP errors or impulsive
interference that only affect a specific carrier/frequency at
a specific time or over a specific time interval

New Data Type “Subframe Info”

Mod Types Detected and Listed

• Automatic measurement of individual power, symbol
length, error
Preamble Type Listed, FCH Checksum Compared
More, Including Detection of Many Signal

Pilot Tracking
Demodulation Is Adjusted During A Subframe
Demodulation is Performed Relative to the BPSK
Some Errors are “Tracked Out” as Demod
Follows Pilots
Tracking Types can be Enabled/Disabled
• Amplitude (default is off)
• Phase (default is on)
• Timing (default is off)
Pilot Tracking Removes Close-In Phase Noise

Amplification Gain Drift (Droop)

Possible Causes
• Thermal
• Power Supply
• Gating

Would this error

be “tracked out?”

Timing Errors

Caused by
• Frequency error in
• Wrong number of
samples in guard
• Observe CPE
when timing
tracking is enabled

Adaptive Equalization

Training Sequence (Preamble) Provided on All

Bursts (downlink & uplink)
Equalizer Usually Trained on 2nd Symbol of
Long Preamble (100 carriers out of 200)
Equalizer can be Trained on Preamble Only
(typical) or on Entire Burst
Midambles may also be Provided
Results of Equalization can be Viewed,
Measured, used to Find Problems

Linear Distortion and Equalization

• IF Filtering
• DSP Filtering
• ADC Sin(x)/X
• Reposition FFT,
observe RCE
• Use Data Driven
EQ to improve
EQ training

Complete Physical Layer Analysis

89600 Series VSA Software (89601A opt. B7S)
WiMAX Signals Supported
• All channel BWs, 1.25 to 20 MHz
• Uplink and downlink
• Auto-detected mod. formats BPSK 64QAM
• All frame lengths, guard intervals, Fs/BW values
• FDD, TDD, H-FDD modes, incl. non-bursted
• Subchannelization supported
Broad RF Hardware Support
• 89600S VXI-based BW: 36 MHz
• PSA Series spectrum analyzers BW: 10 MHz
• 89650S bundle (PSA opt. 122) BW: 80 MHz
• Infiniium oscilloscopes BW: 0.5-13 GHz
• ESA Series spectrum analyzers BW: 10 MHz
• E4406 VSA transmitter tester BW: 8 MHz

Physical Layer Signal Source Solutions
ESG (E4438C) & PSG (E8267D) Series Vector Signal Generators
With N7613A Signal Studio for WiMAX
•Uplink & downlink signals with
payloads of fixed patterns, PN9
or PN15 sequences, data files
•MAC messaging for rcv’r test
•Full control of bursts, incl. FCH,
burst, gap
•Support of all modulation types
•Create frames with FCH and
broadcast msg. for rcv’r test
•Add real-time noise for receiver
sensitivity testing with AWGN option
•Can be deployed as TDD, FDD, half-duplex FDD

89601A Software Demo/Training Mode

• Available without contacting
Agilent At startup
• Does not expire if no license
• Does not interfere with trial present
• Limited to supplied recordings

Look Ahead to OFDMA--Spectrogram & Pwr Envelope

Zone 0
Zone 1

Look Ahead to OFDMA--Spectrogram & Zone Maps

Zone 0

Zone Map 0
Zone 1

Zone Map 1

Agilent WiMAX Portal:
Application Notes
“Agilent WiMAX Signal Analysis”
Part 1: Literature No. 5989-3037EN
Part 2: Literature No. 5989-3038EN
Part 3: Literature No. 5989-3039EN
“WiMAX Concepts and RF Measurements”
(Literature No. 5989-2027EN)
WiMAX Frequency and Time Parameter Table
(Literature No. 5989-2274EN)
RF Design Magazine article on OFDM Troubleshooting
by Bob Cutler
Trial Version 89600 VSA Software, N7613A Signal Studio for
WiMAX (Download or contact Agilent)