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Quantifying Receiver Nonlinearities in VNA Measurements for the WR-15 Waveguide Band



Angela Stelson, Aaron Hagerstrom, Jeffrey Jargon, Chris Long


Scattering (S-) parameters are fundamental to numerous microwave quantities including antenna factors, microwave power, and phase. The uncertainty in S-parameter measurements is influenced by the test setup, including instrument noise, drift, position of the cables and more. Here, we present a model to assess the uncertainty in S-parameter measurements due to nonlinearity in the receivers of a vector network analyzer (VNA). We developed a model that describes the nonlinearity of raw wave-parameters and can be propagated through to corrected S-parameters. We designed an experiment to extract the parameters of our model for a test setup from measurements of a series of devices under test and demonstrated our model for the WR-15 rectangular waveguide band. This model can correct for or assess uncertainties due to receiver nonlinearity on S-parameter measurements and is agnostic to the calibration method used. Using our model, we assess the effects of receiver nonlinearity on calibration error coefficients and the corrected S-parameters of one- and two-port devices-under-test (DUT).
IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques


Scattering parameters, microwaves, uncertainty, rectangular waveguide


Stelson, A. , Hagerstrom, A. , Jargon, J. and Long, C. (2022), Quantifying Receiver Nonlinearities in VNA Measurements for the WR-15 Waveguide Band, IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, [online],, (Accessed June 22, 2024)


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Created March 15, 2022, Updated December 22, 2023