R&D activities in RF&MW

An overview of project activities in the RF & Microwave Laboratory. 

S-parameter traceability

Since 2006 the laboratory is involved in a series of projects with partners from industry and academia to improve the quality of coaxial measurements with vector network analyzers (VNA). It has established SI traceability through the mechanical characterization of calculable primary calibration standards, not only airlines but also offset shorts. It has investigated the effects of connectors with the help of numerical EM field simulations. It has invented new calibration algorithms for the electrical characterization of the primary standards.
The work has resulted in a more accurate definition of the 50 Ohm reference plane of a VNA after calibration. It has eliminated inconsistencies between different calibration schemes and has led to a better understanding and control of influences that affect VNA measurements. An important supporting role in this process plays the VNA metrology software VNA Tools II.
Recently the laboratory has extended its measurement capabilities to 110 GHz (PC-1.0 mm connector). It is the first NMI to have a CMC entry for that in the BIPM database.



  • Keysight Technologies

    A leading manufacturer of test and measurement equipment

  • Huber + Suhner

    A leading supplier of components and system solutions for electrical and optical transportation of data and energy.

  • ETH Zurich

    One of the leading international universities for technology and the natural sciences.

Selected publications

Metrology Software Development

Selected publications

RF+MW Power

The laboratory is currently extending its power measurement capabilities in the coaxial line system to 110 GHz in collaboration with industry. The work is closely related to the 110 GHz extension in S-parameters. It will use the same measurement system. The work involves characterisation of suitable power sensors and components, systematic studies of influences and the development of a new metrology software based on Metas.UncLib for measuring RF&MW power with reliable measurement uncertainties. 

Terahertz Metrology

METAS is establishing a metrology base in the 500 to 750 GHz wave guide band. This includes traceability for S-parameter, power and material parameter measurements in rectangular wave guide. The activity is performed in collaboration with the photonics, time & frequency lab at METAS, which is addressing the traceability of the generation and detection of THz frequencies in free field using laser based approaches. 

Characterization of Material Parameters at Small Scales

Near field scanning microwave microscopy (NFSMM) is a fairly novel measurement technique that combines an atomic force microscope (AFM) with a vector network analyser (VNA). The device can be used to characterize electromagnetic material parameters at the nanoscale. Further information can be found here

Last modification 06.06.2024

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Federal Institute of Metrology
Laboratory RF and Microwave
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