Bob Nelson

MXA (N9020A) Product Support Engineer,
Agilent Technologies

Bob Nelson is Agilent Technologies’ MXA (N9020A) Product Support Engineer. He has spent the last 14 years with the company, supporting the Agilent field organization and customers with application-focused measurement requirements. Nelson holds a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from California State University, Chico.

How to Optimize Linear Distortion Measurements with a Signal Analyzer
Traditional spectrum analyzer measurements of RF device performance are classically measurements of non-linear performance such as harmonics, Third-Order Intercept (TOI) or input-related spurious responses.
Eight Errors Common To Spectrum Analysis
Learn how to overcome eight common mistakes when performing spectrum analyzer measurements
Understanding Adjacent Channel Power Measurements In Spectrum Analysis
Adjacent-channel-power (ACP) measurements are hardly new, but several techniques for maximizing them are.
Understanding Measurement Uncertainties In Spectrum Analysis
Understanding the codependent relationship between measurement accuracy and other parameters is crucial.
Optimize Settings For Improved Analyzer Sensitivity

Spectrum analyzers are often used to measure low-level signals. They may be known signals that must be characterized or unknown signals that must be found. In either case, knowing how to enhance the sensitivity of a spectrum analyzer can greatly aid the process. Certain spectrum-analyzer settings are optimum for measuring low-level signals, and these will be reviewed, along with how to use noise corrections and noise floor extensions to maximize a spectrum analyzer’s sensitivity.

Optimize Time Gating in Spectrum Analysis
Although various types of time gating exist, some applications are more appropriate for certain time-gating methods. Beyond making this determination, designers should know the latest techniques for gate triggering and measuring wide-bandwidth signals.
Demystify Integrated-Phase-Deviation Results In Phase-Noise Measurements 2
Most modern spectrum analyzers have an automatic measurement for determining the integrated phase deviation of a mostly sinusoidal signal across a range of offset frequencies. The results can be expressed in units of dBc or rads.
Optimize Signal/Spectrum Analyzer Throughput For High-Volume Manufacturing Test
To obtain the highest throughput for the analyzers used in manufacturing test, one should create a test plan that accounts for speed, repeatability, and dynamic range.
Optimize Spectrum-Analyzer Settings For TOI Measurements

One of the more common measurements made with an RF/microwave spectrum analyzer is determination of third-order-intercept (TOI) point for a device under test (DUT), which is often an amplifier. TOI point is a parameter used to evaluate the linearity of components that are utilized in applications where nonlinear effects can cause distortion—for example, in digitally modulated signals. This measurement can be challenging, as uncertainties vary significantly based on the spectrum analyzer’s settings.

Techniques for Making Measurements of Noise-Like Signals with a Spectrum Analyzer

Many of today’s communication formats, such as W-CDMA, cdma2000®, and WLAN, produce signals that are noise-like in nature. Accurately measuring these types of signals requires tools and setups that are different than traditionally used for continuous-wave (CW) signals.

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