Engineers involved with antenna calibration and testing—especially for multiple-antenna applications—just got a lift, courtesy of a new digital downconversion option for the model M9703A AXIe eight-channel digitizer from Agilent Technologies. The new option aids with testing systems such as radar, direction-finding (DF), and satellite-beam-forming platforms, since it can perform phase-coherent measurements across eight input channels. The AXIe modular test system supports a frequency range of DC to 2 GHz and sampling rates to 1.6 GSamples/s. A simple test system can be formed in an Agilent M9502A two-slot AXIe chassis with a single M9703A AXIe 12-b digitizer and a model M9536A embedded AXIe controller (see figure).

Real-time decimation allows users to analyze bandwidth from 300 MHz down to less than 1 kHz, with reduced noise and improved dynamic range. The modular test format allows users to squeeze 40 channels of measurement power with just 5 digitizers in a 4U rack-mount space. “The M9703A high-speed digitizer with DDC functionality enables a breakthrough in phased-array antenna testing based on commercial off-the-shelf technology,” notes David Myers, Agilent’s Global Business Development Manager for Modular Solutions. “It enables customers in the defense and wireless industries to achieve the fastest possible flexible phase-coherent measurements, without compromising accuracy.” For a video on the M9703A, click here.