5G Vehicle Test System goes OTA

| Environmental Testing

5G OTA tests are performed through a radio tester in an anechoic chamber

Testing for 5G communications for autonomous vehicles becomes more adaptable with over-the-air deployment

Communication test and measurement system experts at Anritsu Corporation have developed what they believe to be the world’s first 5G RF test system that uses Over-The-Air (OTA) technology for sending and receiving data via wireless communications. The development took place as part of a joint investment with Toyota in a Microwave Vision Group (MVG) OTA test environment using Anritsu’s MT8000A Radio Communication Test Station.

The test system will support the development of automotive products particularly in the fiels of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV), in which 5G plays an important role.

Achieving autonomous vehicle control requires simultaneous communications with the surrounding environment, including other vehicles, road infrastructure, networks etc (V2x Communications). In particular, the introduction of 5G supports large-capacity, low-latency, massive connections, which is a key technology required for transferring the large data volumes generated by various sensors, such as vehicle cameras, as well as for 3D high-definition mapping data. Consequently, car manufactures, and Telematics Unit suppliers are pushing forward with the development of communications products that support the latest 5G New Radio standard.

Once developed and installed in the vehicle, the 5G communications products are form the heart of the connected car. However, before release, the connected vehicle communications performance must be tested and verified in an environment that simulates the actual operating conditions as far as possible. Vehicle engineering specifically lends itself to OTA communications and testing.

Now, Anritsu and Microwave Vision Group (MVG) have partnered to deliver the MT8000A and OTA system to Toyota as the world’s first 5G vehicle OTA RF test system.

5G base station simulator

The all-in-one MT8000A Radio Communication Test Station is a 5G base-station simulator for 5G RF and protocol measurements as well as application tests. It supports high-order 4×4 MIMO (Massive Input Massive Output) and carrier aggregation (8CA) technologies for fast, large-capacity communications. As well as focusing on smartphone testing, it covers a wide application range, including 5G communications function tests and evaluations of antennas and high-frequency parts.

To characterise an antenna, it is necessary to measure its radiation patterns to determine how well, and in which direction, it radiates. To quickly obtain reliable 3D radiation patterns, antenna performance tests are moving towards Over-The-Air (OTA) test systems to obtain fast and reliable measurements at the system level.

For OTA measurements, the tests are performed through a radio communication tester and are conducted using a near-field measurement method in an anechoic chamber to block external electromagnetic fields and to simulate realistic and complex RF scenarios.

Addressing the complexity of measuring highly connected vehicles, MVG offers OTA measurement systems specifically designed for the complete verification of automotive wireless performance. Thanks to a high precision positioning system (controller and turntable), continuous on-the-fly measurements can be performed. This allows for quick and accurate measurement of directivity, gain and efficiency.

“To deliver a full-vehicle OTA test system that meets the needs of current and future vehicle testing, we needed to integrate a radio communication test system supporting 5G frequencies. We believe that the MVG OTA test environment combined with the Anritsu MT8000A is the right combination to meet the test needs of tomorrow’s connected vehicles,” says Per Iversen, MVG’s Chief Technology Officer

Jonathan Newell
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