RF Testing with USB Vector Network Analyzers

in the Automotive Industry

In the fast-paced world of automotive production, comprehensive component testing and reliable throughput count for everything. The more you can improve and accelerate component testing, the greater the benefits in terms of streamlining processes, satisfying customers, and increasing profits.


Automobiles are relying on a growing number of wireless technologies as the connected car becomes a reality. Many vehicles already support LTE data connections and operate as small Wi-Fi hotspots while vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) communications are expected to become a reality over the next few years. With the advent of connected vehicles, the role played by RF communications within the vehicle and V2V and V2X communication has increased dramatically.


V2V and V2X connections have enabled new capabilities other than just communications and streaming services. These new capabilities will require advanced designs of the various electronics and sensors in vehicles. To address some of the complexities of automotive V2V and V2X testing, Microwave Journal created an eBook on ‘Design Trends in Automotive Electronics and Radar Sensors‘ that was sponsored by CMT. Some topics covered include high-resolution wide-band radar measurement challenges, automotive radar and the congested spectrum and proper antenna design/testing.

Copper Mountain Technologies USB Vector Network Analyzers (VNAs) deliver high level of accuracy and performance at significantly lower total cost of ownership than traditional VNAs. The form factor enables engineers to use them in the lab, on the production floor, in the field and in the vehicle, to ensure the vehicle and all its components deliver the best and safest experience for the driver.

​USB VNAs are designed for secure environments. Taking traditional network analyzers in or out of secure environments is a lot of work, requiring removable hard drives, data purging procedures, and oversight on those data purging procedures. With USB network analyzers the computer that stores and processes the data is separate from the measurement module. This means while the computer remains in the secure area, all concerns about data security are eliminated.

Because the processing of all USB VNA test data is done on an external PC, integration with other test systems is faster and more efficient and your results and instrument states can be saved directly onto your own computer. Copper Mountain Technologies’ VNAs can readily be automated to suite your application. Our team of expert engineers will work with you to design and perform your measurements in a simple and efficient way. 

remote vector network analysis vna measurements with ethernet usb meaurement


Our 1-Port USB VNAs delivers lab-grade performance in a handheld device. Our patented 1-Port VNAs perform lab quality measurements connecting directly to the DUT without the need for a test cable.

Our Compact USB VNAs deliver lab grade performance in a compact package, while still providing all the features engineers expect. Compact models are ideal for field and road testing from a SWAP perspective.

Our Cobalt VNAs deliver industry-leading dynamic range and sweep speed. The Cobalt 9 and 20 GHz VNAs offer 10 – 12 μs measurement times per point for shorter test times per DUT and higher throughput.

High-performance, cost-effective millimeter-wave test solution for automotive collision-avoidance radar systems and radar ICs for the transmit and receive functions. Configurable from 18 GHz to 330 GHz.

Build Your CobaltFx System

Use this form to build a CobaltFx Frequency Extension System, specifically designed to suite the needs of your automotive application.

Cobalt USB Vector Network Analyzer C4209 2-Port VNA and FEV Frequency Extension Systems and Monitor

CobaltFx System Delivers Accurate & Repeatable mmWave Measure

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Still have questions? Our engineers are available to answer your questions about any VNA, frequency range, or testing application.