RF and microwave measurement uncertainty

Training course

This course explores practical scenarios for RF measurements of power and impedance while giving insight into the underlying relationship between measurement uncertainty and error.

RF Hero


This course explores practical scenarios for RF measurements of power and impedance while giving insight into the underlying relationship between measurement uncertainty and error. It covers basic notions, with an emphasis on complex quantities. It explains how sources of measurement error are described mathematically, how the associated uncertainty is calculated and how to report the final uncertainty in a measurement result.

Measurement best-practice at radio and microwave frequencies involves quantities that are inherently complex-valued (such as scattering parameters). International guidelines, such as the recent EURAMET calibration guide for vector network analysers (cg-12 version 3), assume familiarity with the measurement uncertainty of complex quantities. This course provides a suitable introduction to such concepts.

Where possible, the course material on the day will be illustrated by examples of interest to attendees.


Cost $895 + GST earlybird

EARLY BIRD RATES apply until 30 June 2019. From 1 July $945 + GST.




Blair Hall

Principal Research Scientist | Radio Frequency

Blair joined the Measurement Standards Laboratory in 1998 and has been responsible for setting up and maintaining national standards in radio and microwave quantities.
Blair trained as a physicist. He holds a doctorate from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, for research into the atomic structure of nanometre-sized particles. He later worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Swiss national metrology institute (METAS), studying the quantum Hall effect. In 1993, he returned to New Zealand to lecture in Physics and Electronics at Massey University.

Find out more


The Course is Suitable For:  Staff will find this course useful if they are working in an environment where RF and microwave measurements are made and operating under the standard ISO 17025: "General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories".

General Programme and Learning Outcomes

The course shows how notions of measurement uncertainty for real-valued quantities can be extended to cover complex quantities. Attendees will be taken through several scenarios involving measurement error and shown appropriate descriptions of the associated uncertainty. The course also includes a review of flowgraph reduction for network analysis, and an explanation of how a change in measurement unit can affect uncertainty statements.

The course includes problems that will be worked through in the class room, and a booklet of exercises for further self-study is provided.


  • Basic uncertainty concepts
  • Extension of uncertainty concepts to complex-valued quantities
  • Review of RF network analysis
  • Uncertainty calculations for real-valued quantities
  • Extension of uncertainty calculations to complex-valued quantities
  • Measurement uncertainty and measurement units

Course Qualification: Students will receive a course attendance certificate.


Students are encouraged to attend the MSL course "Measurement, Uncertainty and Calibration" as a prerequisite. Attendees are expected to have mastered basic notions of measurement uncertainty and be familiar with common RF and microwave measurement techniques for power and impedance.

Date and Venue

To be scheduled

Lower Hutt

MacDiarmid Centre, Callaghan Innovation
69 Gracefield Road, Gracefield
Lower Hutt

  • Free Parking

  • Approximately 45 minute drive from Wellington Airport, 30 minutes from Wellington CBD

Course Times

  • 8:30am - 9:00am

Welcome tea and coffee


  • 9:00am - 5:00pm

All courses commence at 9:00am sharp. All courses are expected to end by 5:00pm unless otherwise noted in the registration page.



Catering includes Morning Tea, Lunch and Afternoon Tea.  Please indicate dietary requirements on the registration form. 



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