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Innovations Fuel Top Products of 2013, Fig. 2

Advancing the capabilities of vector network analyzers (VNAs), Anritsu Co. introduced its MS4640B series of RF/microwave VNAs with a suite of automatic pulsed measurements (Fig. 2). When equipped with Options 035 and 042 (PulseView™), the MS4640B series VNAs can generate and analyze fast pulsed signals and perform pulse profiling, point-in-pulse measurements, and pulse-to-pulse measurements. The analyzers are available in different models with frequency coverage from 70 kHz to 110 GHz, and with pulse resolution of 2.5 ns across a dynamic range of 100 dB.

Innovations Fuel Top Products of 2013, Fig. 3Although long associated with rack-mount test equipment, Agilent Technologies continued to make advances into more compact, modular test instruments with the introduction of its model M9391A vector signal analyzer (VSA) in PXI Express (PXIe) format (Fig. 3). It provides as much as 160-MHz analysis bandwidth in versions from 1 MHz to 3 GHz or 1 MHz to 6 GHz. It is so compact that four of the VSAs can be housed in a single 18-slot PXI chassis.

For creating phase-coherent signals for testing modern systems, the VSG5000A vector signal generators (VSGs) from X-COM Systems can tune from 50 MHz to 3 GHz and from 6 to 18 GHz with 1-Hz resolution, with each generator providing four independent channels (Fig. 4). The sources produce as much as +5 dBm output power across maximum channel bandwidths of 110 MHz, with phase noise of only -84 dBc/Hz offset 1 kHz from the carrier and -135 dBc/Hz offset 1 MHz from the carrier.

Innovations Fuel Top Products of 2013, Fig. 4

For portable testing, the RoHS-compliant model SSG-6400HS synthesized signal generator from Mini-Circuits covers a range of 250 kHz to 6400 MHz with output-power levels of -75 to +10 dBm (Fig. 5). It measures just 11.00 x 8.50 x 2.15 in. with a Type-N, 50-Ω female coaxial output connector. The SSG-6400HS signal generator can be tuned with typical frequency resolution of better than 0.01 Hz across the full frequency range, with frequency accuracy of ±1.5 ppm when using its own internal frequency reference. It switches frequencies with better than 300 μs tuning speed and supports clean connections with RF/microwave cables via typical VSWR of 1.20:1 through 6400 MHz. It can be controlled remotely via a personal computer (PC) via its built-in USB port or a TCP/IP Ethernet connection.

Innovations Fuel Top Products of 2013, Fig. 5

The portable signal generator achieves excellent spectral performance, with second harmonics of typically -40 dBc through 4000 MHz and typically -25 dBc at higher frequencies. The nonharmonic spurious levels are typically -70 dBc through 3000 MHz and typically -60 dBc through 6400 MHz. Phase noise is typically -133 dBc/Hz offset 10 kHz from a 1000-MHz carrier and -144 dBc/Hz offset 1 MHz from a 1000-MHz carrier. It is typically -123 dBc/Hz offset 10 kHz from a 3000-MHz carrier and -134 dBc/Hz offset 1 MHz from a 3000-MHz carrier.

The phase noise is typically -117 dBc/Hz offset 10 kHz from a 6000-MHz carrier and -128 dBc/Hz offset 1 MHz from a 6000-MHz carrier. The compact signal generator is supplied with a 12-V AC/DC 12-V adapter, an AC power cord, a USB cable, and a compact disc (CD) containing the GUI control program, plus programming APIs for 32- and 64 b programming environments.

For enhanced control over testing through millimeter-wave frequencies, the RSC family of testers from Rohde & Schwarz is available with step attenuators capable of operating to 67 GHz. Controllable manually or remotely, the step attenuators are available over different frequency ranges, including 18 and 67 GHz. As an example, one unit provides a 139-dB attenuation range in 1-dB steps through 6 GHz, while another version operates to 18 GHz with 115-dB maximum attenuation and 5-dB steps. Two base models capable of operation to 40 and 67 GHz and maximum attenuation of 75 dB in 5-dB steps.

Somewhere between systems and test, the CHAMP-WB-DRFM high-speed single-board digitizer jointly introduced by Curtiss-Wright and Tektronix Component Solutions provides reliable capture of the many different types of signals found in defense systems from DC to 6 GHz. The board uses an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) from Tektronix capable of sampling at 12 GSamples/s. It employs a 12-GSamples/s digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and Virtex-7 field-programmable gate array (FPGA) from Xilinx, also working at 12 GSamples/s. The single-board digitizer is suitable for use in electronic-intelligence (ELINT), electronic-warfare (EW), radar, and signal-intelligence (SIGINT) applications.

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