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RF/microwave products offer flexibility.

Elsewhere in this issue you'll find a special report on 5G test--featuring instruments and software tailored to research and development of the emerging technology. In the five years or so that it will take to get 5G to roll out, you may have need of flexible test equipment or instruments tailored to other applications. Here is a sampling of current products that might fill the bill. They range from general-purpose signal generators to a system that could help pave the way for vehicle-to-vehicle communications. In addition, you'll find mixers and attenuators as well as a microwave pulse power amplifier intended primarily for EMC applications but useful for other test applications as well.

RF signal generators

The DSG800 Series RF signal generators have expanded the vendor's portfolio of RF test solutions. Targeting engineers integrating RF technology into their Internet of Things designs, the DSG800 series covers output frequencies from 9 kHz to 3 GHz. The instruments provide maximum output power up to +20 dBm and low SSB phase noise of -105 dBc/Hz, amplitude accuracy of [+ or -] 0.5 dB, and frequency resolution of 0.01 Hz at any frequency. An oven-controlled crystal oscillator time base supports <5 ppb temperature stability and <30 ppb/year aging stability.

The DSG800 is available in two models: the DSG815 (9 kHz to 1.5 GHz) for $1,999 and the DSG830 (9 kHz to 3 GHz) for $3,599. RigolTechnologies,

Mobile device tester

The ME7834 mobile device test platform is a scalable GCF, PTCRB, and carrier-validated test system that enables certification of 3G and LTE devices to industry and carrier standards. The ME7834LA provides test coverage for 3GPP 36.523 as well as a wide portfolio of carrier acceptance test (CAT) plans across multiple operators. For existing users of the ME7834L platform, an upgrade path is available with support for new 3 Carrier Aggregation (3CA) as well as legacy test cases. The vendor said in November that the ME7834 allows it to offer support for LTE-A 3CA CAT requirements at two additional major North American carriers after rolling out the capability to the first carrier in September. Anritsu,

Frequency mixers

Millimeter wave (mmWave) waveguide frequency mixers are available in six down-conversion and six up-conversion models that cover the full Ka, Q, U,V, E, and W bands. Designs utilize high-performance GaAs Schottky barrier beam lead diodes in balanced configurations that require a +13 dBm LO drive and display low levels of conversion loss.

The new waveguide mixers, also referred to as wave-guide converters, are a key building-block component of mmWave receivers used to down-convert very high frequency signals to usable RF frequencies for cost-effective signal processing. They also are useful for test-and-measurement applications to convert signals to frequency levels that can be measured with available equipment. Similarly, these mixers can be used to efficiently up-convert RF signals to mmWave frequencies for point-to-point radio and mmWave radar applications. Pasternack,

Pulse power amplifier

The S21-4KWP-2KWP FLEX solid-state microwave pulse power amplifier has a frequency range of 1.0 GHz to 2.0 GHz and supplies 4 kW of pulse power up to 10% duty cycle with a maximum pulse width of 100 [micro]s.

Although primarily for EMC testing applications, the FLEX Series pulse amplifier can be used for other industry test-related programs and requirements. When used for EMC testing at labs, where multiple chambers require multiple setups, this flexible amplifier can be configured easily into two separate 2-kW pulse amplifiers for lower-power requirements at multiple locations. It is suited for radar and high-intensity radiated field testing as well as automotive and industrial applications.

The S21-4KWP-2KWP FLEX's rugged, heavy-duty aluminum chassis and compact, modular design make it convenient for many test configurations. Instruments for Industry, a unit of AMETEK Compliance Test Solutions,

Mobile-data traffic generator

The PacketLoad high-density GTP traffic simulator can simulate high-volume mobile data traffic (or user-plane traffic) over LTE, UMTS, and GPRS networks. PacketLoad is a high-density packet-traffic-generation module that generates stateful TCP/HTTP, UDP, and PCAP replay traffic and provides real-world traffic conditions in the lab. It is a 1U network ap pliance that includes 4x1 GigE Ethernet ports supporting total capacity of up to 4-Gb/s stateful packet traffic generation. The PacketLoad network appliance works with the vendor's MAPS signaling and traffic simulator software to generate a high volume of Mobile GTP and packet traffic up to 4 Gb/s. GL Communications,

Radio communications tester

The R&S CMW290 functional radio communication tester is designed to meet the requirements of integrators with mostly cost-sensitive applications related to machine-to-machine communications (M2M) and the Internet of Things (IoT). Users from the M2M/loT sector typically require only simple functional tests for hardware and applications, and the R&S CMW290 offers all essential measurements for RF or hardware testing. For end-to-end testing of applications, the R&S CMW290 can simulate a cellular network and set up a connection between the application on the device or system and the server, enabling users to check the correct functioning of platforms with an integrated wireless module in a defined network.

The R&S CMW290 is another member of the established R&S CMW platform and supports cellular and noncellular standards. Additional R&S CMW options such as IMS server, audio, or eCall/ERA-GLONASS functionalities also are available for the R&S CMW290 and round out the new M2M/loT test solution. Rohde & Schwarz,

Signal generator + power detector

The SynthNV programmable 34.4-MHz to 4.4-GHz software-tunable RF signal and sweep generator includes a built-in RF power detector. It is controlled and powered from any device running Windows, Linux, or Android OS via a USB port. The onboard RF power detector can be used as a generic RF power meter or combined with the SynthNV's sweep function to create a basic RF network analyzer. When the RF signal-generator frequency is set, RF power can be measured in less than 400 ps. The SynthNV design also includes nonvolatile memory so it can be programmed to wake up with any frequency, power, sweep, and modulation setting.

The SynthNV is designed and manufactured by Windfreak Technologies. Saelig,

Variable attenuators

A new line of high-precision waveguide attenuators operates to 110 GHz. The continuously variable waveguide attenuators can alter the attenuation level from 0 to 30 dB over the specified band, allowing users to dial in the amount needed for their application. The attenuators come in five models covering broad frequency ranges from 33 GHz to 110 GHz in five bands. They are commonly used in aerospace, defense, telecom, industrial, instrumentation, and medical-device industries for applications including high-efficiency RF/microwave transmissions, benchtop testing, radar, satellite communications, and military communications testing. The vendor says design engineers will commonly use these types of variable attenuators when designing and testing concepts in a lab environment. Fairview Microwave,

GNSS record/playback system

The GSS6425 GNSS record and playback test system helps drive innovation and improvements in the rapidly evolving vehicle navigation and connected-car ecosystem. The system is an integrated custom solution that provides RF recordings for all the major Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)--GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou, and QZSS-and vehicle CAN bus data. The GSS6425 also can record up to four video streams, audio, and other high-speed sensor data to provide a complete record of the route. The recorded data is time-stamped and then can be replayed repeatedly to help engineering teams verify that new designs work all over the world without leaving the lab. Spirent Communications,

Vector-network-analyzer options

Five new frequency options for the E5063A ENA Series vector network analyzer cover the 100-kHz to 500-MHz, 1.5-GHz, 3.0-GHz, 6.5-GHz, and 14-GHz frequency ranges. The options complement the E5063A's existing 4.5-, 8.5-, and 18-GHz measurement capabilities. Flexible frequency upgrades also are available to meet future needs and protect equipment investment.

The E5063A is a low-cost network analyzer providing optimized performance and functionality for testing simple passive components, such as antennas, cables, filters, and PCBs. The analyzer uses the consistent measurement framework of the industry-standard ENA Series to boost efficiency and productivity and is future proof and ready to evolve as the technologies change. KeysightTechnologies,

Vector signal analysis for scopes

The VectorLinQ vector signal analysis software option for the vendor's oscilloscopes enables sophisticated visualization and analysis of standard modulation schemes including n-PSK, n-QAM, circular QAM, ASK, and FSK as well as custom signal types and symbol positions. The VectorLinQ software includes functionality to either demodulate RF signals for analysis or directly acquire and analyze base-band I and Q signals.

VectorLinQ operates through a unique, intuitive model, passing the signal through a chain of user-defined processing blocks to simplify the most sophisticated analysis. Standard processing blocks include mixers, filters, phase estimators, and equalizers. Users also may insert custom MATLAB processing blocks at any point in the processing chain. Teledyne LeCroy, EE
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Author:Nelson, Rick
Publication:EE-Evaluation Engineering
Date:Feb 1, 2016
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