For aerospace and deFense applications, both satellite-communication (satcom) and radar systems require increased signal and analysis bandwidth as well as processing gain. Yet these wide system bandwidths sometimes exceed the intermediate-frequency (IF) bandwidths of commercial RF spectrum analyzers and vector (or FFT) signal analyzers used to test them. When coupled with the higher frequencies, this problem poses significant difficulties for the engineers testing radar and satcom transmitters. In a four-page application note titled, "Solutions for Wideband Radar and Satcom Measurements," Agilent Technologies offers information on using wide-bandwidth oscilloscopes to measure and analyze X, Ku, and Ka-band radar and satcom transmitter outputs to 32 GHz.

Using a wide-bandwidth oscilloscope eliminates the time and cost associated with the use of custom downconverter hardware. The engineer also is relieved from having to deal with issues like hardware calibration, corrections for system impairments, and uncertainty in measurement results. This commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) test solution with integrated software also eliminates the need to create and analyze custom/proprietary wide-bandwidth signals.

The application note provides an example of such a solution, which is comprised of the firm's own offerings. It also explains how the creation of custom/proprietary waveforms and the performance of custom/proprietary measurements on radar and satcom applications can be simplified using MATLAB from The Mathworks. By leveraging this oscilloscopebased approach, engineers can gain insight into the transmitter's true performance while saving time and mitigating design re-work.

Agilent Technologies, Inc.
5301 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95051
(408) 345-8886
Fax: (408) 345-8474
Internet: www.agilent.com.