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First 42.98GHz spectrum analyzer debuts

Posted: 04 Aug 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:rf? millimeter-wave system? agilent technologies? spectrum analyzer? psa series?

Designed to address the needs of RF engineers, especially those working with millimeter-wave systems, Agilent Technologies is adding what it says is the industry's first 42.98GHz spectrum analyzer to the company's existing PSA series spectrum analysis line-up.

With resolution bandwidths up to 8MHz, this latest in Agilent's PSA Series is dubbed the E4447A. It's priced at about $74,000, and is available now.

If you're working with satellite or digital communications, pulsed signals, or 3G (third generation) wireless systems, the new E4447A, when combined with Agilent's 89601A vector signal analysis software, can help evaluate and troubleshoot wireless and emerging communications formats.

At the other end of the spectrum, the E4447A goes down to 3Hz (it's DC-coupled)! You've got to be impressed with test equipment like this.

It offers the same performance as other PSA Series spectrum analyzers, with 0.62dB (0.17dB typical) amplitude accuracy (at 1GHz), and fast adjacent channel power, with less than 30ms, and low-level spur search capability to 42.98GHz.

The E4447A analyzer also provides wide dynamic range and a 2dB step attenuator that also works up to 42.98GHz. The PSA can also perform both conducted and radiated CISPR and MIL-Std. EMI (electromagnetic interference) measurements.

One-button measurements

In operation, the E4447A analyzer gives you one-button measurement capability. A so-called Power Suite toolset on the E4447A lets you make ten different one-button RF and microwave power measurements, including multi-carrier ACP (adjacent channel power), CCDF and TOI (third-order intercept) measurements.

A dozen format-based setups are also available to automatically set up the parameters for general-purpose wireless standards.

Fifteen optional measurement personalities are also available for the E4447A. Built into the analyzer, these application-specific firmware programs also provide their measurement capability with the touch of a single button.

That makes it easier to perform complex measurements such as phase-noise of oscillators, or the noise figure of an amplifier. It will also let you rapidly do scalar network analysis for components, as well as perform digital modulation analysis on 2G to 3.5G signals.

Vector signal analysis software

The aforementioned 89601A VSA software works with the E4447A to provide conventional RF spectrum displays. These include I/Q (in-phase and quadrature) analysis up to 8MHz, and signal capture memory with recording and playback. You also get RF and IF (intermediate frequency) triggering, and a wide variety of analog and digital demodulators.

The software also supports an extensive set of time, frequency, and modulation analysis tools. Standard-signal presets cover GSM (EDGE), cdma2000, W-CDMA, 1xEV-DO and more. For emerging standards, the 89601A offers digital demodulators with variable center frequency, symbol rate, filter types, and alpha/BT.

- Alex Mendelsohn


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