Wireless, over-the-air test & measurement.

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Products

After decades of providing custom solutions to the wireless market, The Howland Company developed our own complete line of turnkey wireless test systems and accessories. Designed to test over-the-air (OTA) performance of cell phone handsets and other wireless devices, our turnkey wireless test labs have been certified by the CTIA and set the industry standard for measurement accuracy.

Our products are popular with a wide range of customers across the U.S. and worldwide, including handset manufacturers, independent test labs, and manufacturers of IOT-enabled devices of every description, from parking meters to light fixtures.

turnkey wireless test systems | The Howland Company
Custom solutions.
wireless test systems | The Howland Company

Wireless Test Systems

Model 2100

Ultra-compact design for prototype and production testing.

The Model 2100D is a compact measurement system designed to make Over-the-Air (OTA) measurements on wireless devices. It is a scaled-down version of the popular CTIA−certified Model 3100 WTL. While not meeting the current range length requirement of the CTIA Test Plan for Mobile Station Over the Air Performance, it does provide measurement uncertainties that are consistent with CTIA requirements in a small, mobile chamber that requires no facility modifications.

Model 2100 over-the-air measurement system | The Howland Company
Model 2100 ultra-compact measurement system | The Howland Company

Model 3100

Industry-leading measurement accuracy in a compact space.

The Model 3100 is the smallest chamber available on the market that meets the certification requirements of the CTIA Test Plan for Mobile Station Over-the-Air Performance. The Model 3100 can be installed in rooms with a 10 foot (3 meter) ceiling height.

In spite of its small size, the quality of the electromagnetic field is excellent and far exceeds the performance of much larger chambers. The secret to the Model 3100’s high-quality electromagnetic field is its distributed axis positioning system. This allows the handset to be supported on a block of low density styrofoam, avoiding ‘gravity vector’ issues, and minimizes the interaction of the test device and the positioning equipment.

Model 3100 compact space measurement | The Howland Company

Model 3500

Updated design for expanded CTIA testing requirements.

The Model 3500 is designed specifically to meet the expanded requirements of Version 3.0 of the CTIA Test Plan for Mobile Station Over-The-Air Performance, which includes requirements for the MediaFLO, Cell, GPS, PCS, and AWS-1 bands. In accordance with the new CTIA requirements, the Model 3500 is designed with a larger Quiet Zone to accommodate larger wireless devices, such as notebook computers.

Model 3500 CTIA testing system | The Howland Company

Model 4100

Optimized for lower-frequency wireless bands.

The Model 4100 Wireless Test Lab is specifically designed for mobile video applications, both terrestrial and satellite. It is designed with a thicker absorber, allowing it to operate down to 400MHz and a longer range length to keep the measurement antenna out of the reactive near-field of the equipment under test.

Model 4100 Wireless Test Lab | The Howland Company

Model 4800

The ideal choice for low-frequency OTA measurements, large wireless devices, and testing with full-body phantoms.

The Model 4800 is a complete automated measurement system designed to meet the requirements of the CTIA Certification Program for Over-The-Air Performance. Applicable for testing virtually any wireless device, it includes a shielded chamber, two-axis conical scan positioning system, instrumentation, and software. The Model 4800 is designed specifically to test both terrestrial DVB-H signals at 470MHz and satellite DMB signals at 2.6GHz.

Model 4800 automated over-the-air measurement system | The Howland Company

Measurement (Probe) Antennas

The measurement antenna paired with the device under test (DUT) creates the over-the-air path for the wireless device. In The Howland Company’s distributed axis systems, the measurement antenna mounts on the theta boom. It is connected via RF cables to the power measurement device(s) and/or base station simulator.

Three different models are available. All are dual-polarized quad-ridged designs with low cross polarization, low return loss, and good port to port isolation.

QR Series

QR family of measurement antennas | The Howland Company

The QR series: QR-3A, QR-2, QR1, and QR-4

Model QR-1

A broadband, dual-polarized quad-ridged horn. It operates from 700 MHz to 10 GHz. It is compatible with all models of Howland Wireless Test Labs with the exception of the Model 2100.

Model QR-1 measurement antenna | The Howland Company

Model QR-2A

The QR-2 is designed to operate from 6 GHz down to 600 MHz. It can be used as the measurement antenna in the Model 3500, Model 4100, and Model 4800 Wireless Test Labs.

Model QR-2A measurement antenna | The Howland Company

Model QR-3A

Similar to the Model QR-1, this model is designed to operate from 6 GHz down to 400 MHz. It can be used as the measurement antenna in the Model 4100 and Model 4800 Wireless Test Labs.

Model QR-3A measurement antenna | The Howland Company

Model QR-4

This model is very similar to the QR-1, but has been optimized for small size and lightweight. The return loss is slightly higher than the QR-1, and its pattern is not quite as directive. However, it achieves performance that is very close to that of the Model QR-1 in a much smaller package. It is compatible with all models of Howland Wireless Test Labs.

Model QR-4 measurement antenna | The Howland Company

Gain Standard Antennas

Gain Standard Antennas are required to determine the calibration factors for a wireless test lab. Over-the-Air (OTA) measurements of a wireless device must be converted to values of Effective Isotropic Radiated Power (EiRP) in order to calculate values for Total Radiated Power (TRP). These calibration factors are the total loss from the center of the test zone to the power measurement device connected to the measurement antenna. This loss is measured by placing an antenna of known gain at the center of the test zone. The calibration factor is the difference between the power into the gain standard and the power measured by the power measurement device offset by the gain of the gain standard antenna.

VA-100-D Series Gain Standard Dipoles

The Series VA100-D Gain Standard Dipoles were designed as calibration standards for wireless test labs. Errors in the calibration of a wireless test lab are translated into every measurement of TRP or TIS, so accurate calibration is critical to maintaining a low measurement uncertainty.

Each VA100 dipole is independently calibrated using the three antenna method. Although time-consuming, this method provides an accurate measurement of the gain of the antenna without requiring a gain transfer standard. During the manufacturing process, each VA100 is carefully adjusted for a symmetrical azimuth pattern. Typical pattern asymmetries are less than ±0.05dB.

calibrating VA-100-D Series Gain Standard Dipoles | The Howland Company
VA-100-D Series Gain Standard Dipoles for wireless test labs | The Howland Company

VA-100-H Series Gain Standard Horns

At frequencies above 2600MHz, dipoles become less attractive as gain standards. The Series VA-100-H are low gain rectangular horns that are individually calibrated using the three antenna method to provide a gain standard with a low gain uncertainty. Two models are equipped to cover the frequency range of 2600-3950MHz and 3950-6000MHz.

calibrating VA-100-H Series Gain Standard Horns | The Howland Company
VA-100-H Series Gain Standard Horns for wireless test labs | The Howland Company

Model BLPA-19 Broadband Gain Standard

The BLPA-19 Broadband Gain Standard strikes a balance between a low gain uncertainty and a broadband device that allows very fast range calibration. A unique method is used to calibrate the Model BLPA-19. A gain transfer measurement is made from calibrated dipoles at the range length at which it will be used and with the same model measurement antenna. This takes out the effects of both range length and the movement of the phase center vs. frequency, resulting in a very accurate transfer of the gain of the dipole to the gain of the LPA.

Using the Model BLPA-19, it is possible to reduce the range calibration time by a factor of 10 while simultaneously significantly reducing the chance of operator error.

Model BLPA-19 for fast range calibration | The Howland Company
Model BLPA-19 broadband gain standard | The Howland Company

Gain Standard Antennas

Gain Standard Antennas are required to determine the calibration factors for a wireless test lab. Over-the-Air (OTA) measurements of a wireless device must be converted to values of Effective Isotropic Radiated Power (EiRP) in order to calculate values for Total Radiated Power (TRP). These calibration factors are the total loss from the center of the test zone to the power measurement device connected to the measurement antenna. This loss is measured by placing an antenna of known gain at the center of the test zone. The calibration factor is the difference between the power into the gain standard and the power measured by the power measurement device offset by the gain of the gain standard antenna.

VA-100-D Series Gain Standard Dipoles

The Series VA100-D Gain Standard Dipoles were designed as calibration standards for wireless test labs. Errors in the calibration of a wireless test lab are translated into every measurement of TRP or TIS, so accurate calibration is critical to maintaining a low measurement uncertainty.

Each VA100 dipole is independently calibrated using the three antenna method. Although time-consuming, this method provides an accurate measurement of the gain of the antenna without requiring a gain transfer standard. During the manufacturing process, each VA100 is carefully adjusted for a symmetrical azimuth pattern. Typical pattern asymmetries are less than ±0.05dB.

calibrating VA-100-D Series Gain Standard Dipoles | The Howland Company
VA-100-D Series Gain Standard Dipoles for wireless test labs | The Howland Company

VA-100-H Series Gain Standard Horns

At frequencies above 2600MHz, dipoles become less attractive as gain standards. The Series VA-100-H are low gain rectangular horns that are individually calibrated using the three antenna method to provide a gain standard with a low gain uncertainty. Two models are equipped to cover the frequency range of 2600-3950MHz and 3950-6000MHz.

calibrating VA-100-H Series Gain Standard Horns | The Howland Company
VA-100-H Series Gain Standard Horns for wireless test labs | The Howland Company

Model BLPA-19 Broadband Gain Standard

The BLPA-19 Broadband Gain Standard strikes a balance between a low gain uncertainty and a broadband device that allows very fast range calibration. A unique method is used to calibrate the Model BLPA-19. A gain transfer measurement is made from calibrated dipoles at the range length at which it will be used and with the same model measurement antenna. This takes out the effects of both range length and the movement of the phase center vs. frequency, resulting in a very accurate transfer of the gain of the dipole to the gain of the LPA.

Using the Model BLPA-19, it is possible to reduce the range calibration time by a factor of 10 while simultaneously significantly reducing the chance of operator error.

Model BLPA-19 for fast range calibration | The Howland Company
Model BLPA-19 broadband gain standard | The Howland Company

Validation Antennas

The electromagnetic field in any test chamber is a combination of the direct signal and the reflected signals from the walls of the chamber. These reflected signals cause errors in all measurements and are typically the largest contributor of uncertainty in the measurement.

Since the reflected signals phase in and out with the direct signal at different positions in the chamber, they cause a ripple in the electromagnetic field in the test zone (quiet zone). The magnitude of this ripple is an indication of the purity of the electromagnetic field.

Evaluating the ripple in chambers designed to measure essentially omni-directional antennas is not an easy task. The traditional methods of free space VSWR or field probes are not appropriate because the test apparatus introduces too many errors.

The CTIA has developed a method that uses dipole and loop antennas to evaluate the ripple in a chamber. The dipoles and loops used in this procedure must have pattern asymmetry of less than +/-0.1dB.

Positioners

Model 504 Heavy Duty Azimuth Positioner

The Model 504 is a heavy duty azimuth positioning system designed for antenna and wireless device testing. It offers high load capability in a physically small package. Applications include testing cell phone handsets, notebooks, full-body phantoms, large antenna systems, and low RCS targets. It is a component in all Howland Wireless Test Labs.

Features

  • Capable of supporting 750 lb vertical loads
  • Small foot print
  • Stepper motor drive
  • Complete with 2ftx2ft mounting plate
  • Integral home and limit switches
  • Capable of continuous rotation
Model 504 Heavy Duty Azimuth Positioner | The Howland Company
Model 504 Heavy Duty Azimuth Positioner | The Howland Company

Components

Model IC-10-M Broadband Cartridge Cable

The IC-10-M Broadband Cartridge Cable consists of a length of semi-rigid coax housed in a thin-wall fiberglass tube. Broadband ferrite beads are placed at intervals on the coax and serve to attenuate currents flowing on the outside sheath of the coax. This isolates the device under test during passive antenna measurements and reduces the interaction of the device under test and the cables connected to it.

The ferrites also serve to reduce the re-radiation of signals from the coax when it is illuminated by an RF wave. The Broadband Cartridge Cable can also be used during chamber calibration to provide single setup for calibrating multiple frequency bands. When used with the Model VA100-19-BLPA Broadband Gain Standard, it provides a single setup to calibrate a wireless test lab from 700MHz to 6 GHz.

Model IC-10-M Broadband Cartridge Cable | The Howland Company

Video Monitor System

This system provides a video monitor of the chamber interior and hands-free, two-way voice communication. The system includes reliable COTS components: pan-tilt-zoom video camera, microphone, and speakers inside the chamber; monitor and push-to-talk microphone at the operator’s workstation; and associated amplifiers, receivers, and transmitters. Audio and video signals are routed through a fiber optic transmitter and receiver. The fiber optic lines pass through a WBC filter in the chamber wall. All DC power for components inside the chamber passes through a Howland multi-line filter unit.

video monitor system | The Howland Company

WTL Module Two Software for Multi-frequency Passive Measurements

Module Two of the WTL Software Suite provides high speed, multi-frequency antenna pattern and efficiency measurements. Designed to operate with The Howland Company Wireless Test Labs, Module Two provides design engineers with the ability to characterize the antenna of a wireless device over numerous frequencies during a single scan. With Module Two, the design engineer can make measurements over a single scan, portions of a sphere, or the entire sphere. He can make measurements at a single frequency or many frequencies. The measurement receiver can be either power meters, spectrum analyzer, or a network analyzer.

Features

  • 3-D spherical antenna pattern plots plus 2-D line plots
  • Support of 4-port or 2-port Network Analyzers
  • Fast, multi-frequency measurements of passive devices
  • Simultaneous measurement of two polarizations
  • No limitation on the number of measurement frequencies
  • Both time based and angle based measurements
  • Data format is standard ASCII tab separated variables
  • Frequency sweep test capability for all available S-Parameters
  • Supports operation of Howland RF Switch Units Issue 2, 3, or 4
  • Supports different instrumentation suites
WTL Module Two Software for Multi-Frequency Passive Measurements | The Howland Company
WTL Module Two Software for Multi-Frequency Passive Measurements | The Howland Company
spherical NF2 software package | The Howland Company
spherical NF2 software | The Howland Company

Spherical N2F Software

The Howland Company’s Spherical N2F Software is a stand-alone package that transforms the spherical nearfield radiation pattern of an antenna to the farfield radiation pattern that the data would produce at an infinite distance. The package relies on algorithms developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), but the software code has been re-written for optimum performance on modern personal computers. The result is a software package that retains the high accuracy of the original NIST implementation but processes the data much more efficiently.

Features

  • Stand-alone software package for Windows PCs
  • Simple Graphical User Interface
  • ASCII Data input
  • Fast, multi-frequency data transforms
  • Selectable angular resolution
  • Compatible with Howland WTL Data Acquisition Software
  • Optional pattern fill for unmeasured data points
  • 2D and 3D graphical output
  • Gain & directivity vs frequency output

Characteristics

  • Minimum output angular resolution 0.2 degree
  • Gain accuracy – Dependent on gain standard
  • Transform time – Typically less than 1 second per frequency

Test Article Support Fixtures

Test Article Support Columns are designed to have the lowest dielectric constant possible while at the same time supporting the load of the equipment under test. The test article is supported on a block of low density polystyrene foam. This top cap is, in turn, supported by a thin wall fiberglass tube.

The standard support columns are identical for each of the different model wireless test labs, except that the height varies to place the test article at the center of the test zone. The standard support columns are designed to support the load of a phantom head, phantom hand and handset. Custom-designed columns and fixtures can be provided for larger loads or larger test articles.

To learn more about our industry-leading products, contact us today.

The Howland Company Inc

5012 Bristol Industrial Way
Suite 108
Buford, GA 30518

Contact

t. 678-546-5680
f. 678-546-5939
e. info@TheHowlandCompany.com

Hours

Monday - Friday:
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM