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Network analyzers support embedded LO measurement

Posted: 24 Sep 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:network analyzers? embedded LO measurement? Agilent PNA series?

Agilent Technologies Inc. has announced the availability of a new embedded local oscillator (LO) measurement capability for its PNA series network analyzers. This new capability can be used with arbitrarily narrow-bandwidth devicessomething not possible with other methods requiring amplitude and complex modulation. Results from the new embedded LO measurement capability essentially match those achieved by phase locking two independent LO sources. On a typical Ka band satellite converter, delay accuracy as small as 125ps has been achieved.

Typically, methods for characterizing the magnitude, phase and group-delay responses of a mixer require access to the LO. In satellite systems, though, the LO may be internal to the frequency converter and not accessible. Previous measurement methods also assume that the reference mixer must be driven with an identical LO frequency as the DUT; having an embedded LO precludes this. The new embedded LO measurement capability addresses this challenge by allowing users to accurately measure the relative phase and absolute group-delay responses of a DUT with a built-in LO source, and without having to access a common reference signal. A simple two-step calibration allows users to spend more time measuring their devices. Testing conditions have been optimized for maximum throughput without compromising quality.

A key aspect of this method is its ability to track the IF of the DUT. This allows the frequency of the external LOused for the reference channel mixerto be adjusted to accommodate offset and drift in the DUT's embedded LO source. The phase of the DUT's IF is also tracked to accommodate phase shift or slight frequency error. Tracking is done using software techniques that do not require additional phase-locking hardware or added pilot tones.

The Agilent PNA Series of network analyzers consists of three families: the PNA, PNA-L and premier-performance PNA-X.

The new embedded LO measurement capability for the PNA series network analyzers is available as a software option at a list price of $10,200.

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