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In addition to its modular hardware capabilities in vector signal generators and arbitrary waveform generators, Agilent Technologies has developed extensive measurement software that also supports the PXIe M9393A modular VSA. Software tools include the 89600 VSA software and the X-Series measurement applications. The 89600 VSA software was recently enhanced with stepped spectrum measurement capabilities, allowing the M9393A to search for signals across its available bandwidth.

Given the frequency switching speed of the M9393A and the control of the 89600 VSA software, the combination can perform stepped spectrum measurements across a 27-GHz bandwidth in less than 1 s with a 10-kHz resolution bandwidth. Such measurement capability is invaluable when checking for harmonic and spurious signals cross wide bandwidths.

The X-Series measurement software can be used with the M9393A to simplify device conformance testing of commercial communications applications, such as Long-Term-Evolution (LTE) cellular systems and wireless-local-area-network (WLAN) wireless connectivity systems. The X-Series software supports measurements on a wide range of applications, including Bluetooth and a variety of wireless communications systems. In addition, the software eases general-purpose measurements, including analog and digital demodulation measurements. Developed for use with the firm’s X-Series signal analyzers, the software can control other applications—such as MATLAB and the 89600 VSA software—on the same modular instrument (e.g., an M9393A VSA).

At the same time that Agilent is introducing its 27-GHz VSA and high-powered controller, it is also unveiling modular products that help pack additional measurement power into smaller spaces: the model M9514A AXIe chassis and the model M9521A system module.

The model M9514A is a 14-slot AXIe chassis compatible with AXIe standards 1.0 and 2.0. It features a front-panel Gen 2 × 8 PCIe interface for connecting multiple AXIe and PXIe chassis, PCIe and gigabit LAN for connections to a host computer, and 62 differential local bus lines for module-to-module communications. To make such high measurement density possible and practical, the M9514A chassis is designed with an innovative cooling configuration to achieve 200 W cooling per slot. The M9521A system module also meets AXIe 1.0 and 2.0 specifications.

With their high-performance AXIe communications bus, the chassis and module support many measurements of interest to military and aerospace customers. These include phase-coherent measurements across many test modules and modulation-quality measurements in satellite-communications (satcom) systems. Equipped with the appropriate function modules, the chassis and system module can perform multiple-channel antenna testing and high-speed digital testing with tight timing synchronization possible between modules. The M9393A is available for order but will ship in July. P&A: $42,000 and up (M9393A VSA) and $6950 and up (M9037A controller).

Agilent Technologies, Inc., 5301 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95051; (877) 424-4536, (408)  345-8886, FAX: (408) 345-8475.

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