"Active, ambitieuse et un vision pour l'avenir'' is how the French might summarize this latest European Microwave Week (EuMW) event. As a journalist, I've reported on a lot of industry events. As a result, I can easily get a feel for how an industry is doing by gauging the atmosphere and feedback from companies exhibiting at an event. This year's EuMW was unquestionably the most positive event on which I've reported for the past four years. How so? A key indicator is just how much new technology can be found on the show floor and how many visitors are clamoring to find out about it.

For example, Anritsu was showing its latest RF handheld vector-network (VNA) and spectrumanalyzer tool. The MS202x/3xB VNA Master series, which Anritsu boldly touted as the world's most economical tool, covers 500 kHz to 4/6 GHz. It features multi-instrument functionality in a rugged, lightweight design that can withstand harsh environments (see figure). The VNA Master gives field engineers an S-parameter measurement tool for on-site installation and maintenance activities especially two-port transmission measurements like filter tuning, component test, and phase matching cables. For filter tuning, for example, the VNA Master provides display updates of 850 s/point and typical dynamic range of 100 dB.

The series is designed with a two-port VNA architecture, which vows to provide accurate S11 and S21 measurements. For example, the VNA Master can measure filter passband insertion loss (i.e., S21) with better than 0.1 dB precision. In contrast, a scalar approach provides precision on the order of 1.0 dB. Additionally, the VNA Master analyzers offer 1-Hz frequency resolution for enhanced measurements of out-of-band filter characteristics. The selection of up to 4001 data points enables hands-free operation when measuring longer cables or verifying filter characteristics. New polar and impedance graphical formats offer additional flexibility when analyzing cable, filter, and antenna results. In addition, these VNAs add integrated spectrum analysis for on-site verification or troubleshooting. A touchscreen display simplifies operation while reducing size and weight.