DURING THE SIMULATION of a complete subsystem, the quality of the measurement data is critical to determining whether the finished product will meet or exceed the demands faced by the system when in use. Ideally, that measurement data will allow engineers to save time and money by making changes to the system earlier in the design process. Of course, that capability requires a direct link between the system simulation software and measurement equipment. One way to accomplish this link is by coupling tools like AWR's Visual System Simulator (VSS) communications-system design software with the TestWave software. AWR details this approach with a four-page white paper titled, "Hardware in the Loop."
The TestWave software connects VSS to test and measurement equipment via VISA, GPIB, LAN, or RS-232 connections. As a result, designers can perform tradeoff studies to optimize a circuit using the data obtained from the test equipment. The VSS/TestWave user interface imports signals, manages data, and controls the test equipment. During simulation, the block configures the test equipment, passes variables to the instruments, and collects measurement data from the instruments for use in analysis. To illustrate the resulting capabilities, examples are provided ranging from the generation and passing of a signal through a power amplifier to evaluating the performance of radar systems that employ pulsed signals.
AWR Corp., 1960 E. Grand Ave., Suite 430, El Segundo, CA 90245; (310) 726-3000, FAX: (310) 726-3005, Internet: www.awrcorp.com.