Power meters tackle the real world.
Bird Technologies' WPS (wideband power sensor) series of USB Thruline power meters includes five models each capable of measuring true average power, peak power and duty cycle, as well as VSWR/return loss, average burst power and CCDF.
They work with any modulation scheme and are available in the UK from Aspen Electronics.
Most RF power meters in the milliwatt range focus on measuring power levels of typically -10dBm +/-30dB. Bird's sensors measure "real world" transmitter power levels without the need to use directional couplers or high power attenuators.
The new USB meters for RF power measurements cover: 350MHz to 4GHz (150mW to 150W); 350MHz to 4GHz (25mW to 25W); 25MHz to 1GHz (500mW to 500W); 150MHz to 4GHz (100mW to 25W) and 25MHz to 1GHz (100mW to 100W).
Insertion loss is less than 0.1dB (typically 0.05dB) with a VSWR of 1.1:1max (typically 1.05:1), plus a directivity specification of typically 30dB.
These parameters contribute to an average power accuracy for all models of +/-4% of reading, or 0.17dB, over the full power range at +15 to +350C.
All the sensors come with Virtual Power Meter software to allow connection to a PC. In addition the WPS will interface with the Bird 5000-XT Digital Power meter, or the majority of the Bird SA / SH series of Site Analysers or SignaHawks.