Signal analysis with the Signature analyzer takes on new meaning when linked to MATLAB® and Simulink® software tools from The MathWorks (Natick, MA). The combination forms a test/software design environment with seamless flow between measurements and simulation. Using the intuitive language and powerful graphical capabilities in MATLAB, engineers can create and plot complex measurements, such as waterfall displays, power spectral density plots, signal rise/fall time, frequency as a function of time, and even plots of modulation quality. Simulink enhances the capabilities of MATLAB by providing a block-diagram environment to simplify modeling, simulations, and analysis.

For example, this sample string of MATLAB code

for i=1:10
    Tracedata(i,:)=Trace1;
    pause(0.1);
end
waterfall (Tracedata);

works with the Signature analyzer to import 10 signal traces from the instrument, one every 100 ms, and create a waterfall display (see figure). A simple loop or a timer object can make this display update every time the instrument makes a new measurement. Signature automatically creates the variable Trace1 in MATLAB, and updates it whenever a new measurement is made.

While Signature provide an environment for direct analysis of data using MATLAB and Simulink, the MathWorks Instrument Control Toolbox allows users to communicate with and control additional hardware in a test setup, such as a signal generator or a power meter. Support is provided for GPIB, VISA, TCP/IP, and UDP communication protocols. Using MATLAB with the Instrument Control Toolbox and the Anritsu Signature analyzer, users can easily create a test system for performing tasks such as monitoring power changes with temperature or measuring amplifier distortion as a function of signal level.