Android Applications in Focus #12 – Rohde & Schwarz Power Viewer Mobile

One from earlier this month – Rohde & Schwarz have released a Power Viewer Mobile app for Android, letting you use the company’s NRP-Z family of USB SMART power sensors with your Android smartphone or tablet. Multi-path diode and wideband power sensors are also supported.

A R&S NRP-Z52 thermal power sensor connected

Functionality includes: Continuous power measurement and display of the results in dBm, dB-relative, or W; Frequency selection; Automatic and manual averaging; Power offset; Zeroing; and S-parameter activation.

The company writes:

The NRP-Z power sensor’s USB interface makes it very convenient to connect the sensor directly to a mobile PC. This is an attractive alternative to the operation with an NRP2 base unit. To support Windows-based portable computers such as laptops to display and analyze the data, NRP-Z sensors have been shipped with the R&S Power Viewer program since the first sensor was released. The more advanced, and still free-of-charge, R&S Power Viewer Plus Windows program is also available to download.

Rohde Schwarz - Mobile Power viewer - screenshotThe free app requires Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or later, and requirements for using the app are:

  • R&S NRP-Zxx Power Sensor
  • R&S NRP-Z3/-Z4 USB adapter
  • Device runs Android 4.0 or higher
  • USB-OTG adapter cable

A screenshot is shown, right.

Supported R&S NRP-Z Sensors:

  • Universal power sensors
  • Wideband power sensors
  • Thermal power sensors
  • Average power sensors

Supported features:

  • Continuous average mode
  • Absolute power measurements (in dBm or Watt)
  • Relative power measurements (in dB relative)
  • Averaging (manual and automatic)
  • Power offset
  • Zeroing
  • Activate/deactivate S-Parameter compensation, if loaded into your R&S NRP-Z
  • Display sensor information

You can read more in the Application Note »

It says the R&S NRP-Z family includes multiple power sensor types capable of mobile use from DC to 110 GHz and with levels ranging from -67 dBm to +45 dBm / 30 W. These

  • R&S NRP-Z8x wideband power sensors
  • R&S NRP-Z5x thermal power sensors
  • R&S NRP-Z9x average power sensors
  • R&S NRP-Z11, R&S NRP-Z2x and R&S NRP-Z31 three-path diode sensors
  • R&S NRP-Z2xx two-path diode sensors

The app has been tested successfully on the following devices running Android 4.x:

  • Google Nexus 7
  • Samsung Galaxy S3
  • Sony Xperia P LT22i
  • HTC Desire X

Two important things to note:

* “This app depends on a working USB host (USB – On The Go) controller built into your device. Some smartphones block high-power USB devices. In this case only the thermal power sensors will work. For usage hints refer to application note 1MA215 available at or your local site.”

* “Connecting an R&S NRP-Z power sensor to the USB port of your Android device will drain your battery regardless whether this app is active or not. Make sure to disconnect the power sensor whenever not in use.”

[Image: A NRP-Z52 thermal power sensor connected via a NRP-Z4 adapter cable (middle) and an USB-OTG adapter cable (left) to an Android tablet.]

Previous Android Applications in Focus:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *