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RF test system suits AESA radar equipment

Posted: 11 Feb 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:AESA radar? RF test system? radar equipment?

Rohde & Schwarz unveils the new R&S TS6710 test system, which the company claims as a flexible turnkey standard solution for manufacturers of active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar equipment.

Its modular architecture allows it to be configured for product development or for use on production lines. Predefined test cases and the easy compilation of complete test sequences simplify operation. The user can also adapt test cases individually to specific customer requirements. Moreover, when configuring a test system for a customer, Rohde & Schwarz does not require any detailed information about the modules to be tested.

RF test system suits AESA radar equipmentClaimed by the company as the "fastest" system on the market, the R&S TS6710 can characterize the 25,000 measurement results of a transmitter-receiver module (TRM) in less than 4mins. The compact test system consists of only three instruments. The frequency range extends from 1Hz to 24GHz.

The importance of AESA radar, which is based on electronic beam steering, is increasing significantly in outerspace applications, aerospace and defense. In July 2010, for example, the multinational Euroradar consortium decided to develop AESA radar intensively. To facilitate this and similar initiatives, Rohde & Schwarz now offers the R&S TS6710 as a turnkey test system designed for the development and production of AESA radar modules. The compact solution consists of only three instruments: an R&S ZVA network analyzer for RF measurements, an R&S OSP-TRM control platform for RF signal switching and conditioning, and an R&S TSVP test platform for TRM control and supply.

The complete characterization of a module with about 25,000 measurement values takes less than 4mins. This means that the R&S TS6710 is 10 times faster than other systems in the market, according to the press release. The system can also measure the S-parameters for all phase attenuation combinations, the noise factor, output power and intermodulation as well as spurious emissions. Short measurement times are an advantage especially in production, where only about 2,500 measurements per TRM are required. Under these circumstances, an R&S TS6710 can complete a test run in less than 15sec. Two modules can be tested at the same time with a single system. Optionally, users can even characterize as many as eight DUTs in parallel.

The R&S TS6710 takes relevant safety and secrecy regulations and requirements into account. To configure the system for a customer, Rohde & Schwarz does not require detailed information about the modules to be tested. The operating frequency, for example, is a core parameter of AESA radar systems. With the R&S TS6710, the manufacturers do not have to reveal it. Since the frequency range extends from 1GHz to 24GHz as standard, users do not need to specify the bandwidth of the particular module they are working with, unlike with other systems. The R&S TS6710 covers all relevant frequency bands including even future broadband radar.

A library of TRM test cases makes operation easy. All test cases can be specifically adapted as required, and the source code for the test cases written in C# is included in the system when it is delivered. The user can compile complete test sequences using the system software.

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