Devices that use radio frequency (RF) signals, e.g., Wi-Fi devices, are tested for performance and regulatory compliance. Testing typically covers radio propagation conditions found in the field, e.g., multipath channels, varying interference levels, etc. A device-under-test (DUT) is tested by placing it within an anechoic RF chamber or enclosure. An RF path is created between a test equipment and a DUT, using an RF shielded cable. This provides a fixed RF path between enclosures. When working with multiple enclosures, if the experimental setup needs a change in RF path connectivity, e.g., to test a new multipath condition, current practice is to reconnect (“patch in”) cables for the new path. Because of the one-to-one patching connections between cables, it is not possible to have a one-to-many experimental setup unless an additional RF path is created. Manual patch-in of RF cables limits automation and remote management of the test.
This disclosure provides techniques for connecting RF enclosures via a network of RF relays. Each RF relay is controlled by a switch controller, and can be turned on or off, such that RF signals are routed to particular node(s) of the network. In this manner, multipath conditions, or connectivity between multiple enclosures containing DUTs, can be easily and remotely changed. Techniques disclosed herein lead to faster characterization of or experimentation with RF devices, and are suitable for automated testing.
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Ganesan, Bhavani Devi Raman and Velu, Kamesh Raj, "Routing RF signals via a network of RF relays", Technical Disclosure Commons, (June 23, 2017)