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VNA measures noise from 70kHz-125GHz

Posted: 26 Jun 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:VNA? VectorStar? MS4640A-041?

Anritsu Co. has introduced the VectorStar MS4640A-041 vector network analyzer (VNAs),which the company claims gives RF/microwave amplifiers a higher level of measurement capability.

The MS4640A-041 makes VectorStar the only VNA family with 70kHz to 125GHz noise figure measurement. This is made possible by a receiver optimized for measurements from 30GHz to 125GHz that is designed to improve noise performance and reduce sensitivity to source impedance. The receiver is said to take high quality microwave and millimeter-wave noise figure measurements on a wide variety of active devices.

Noise figure measurements enable test engineers to determine potential degradation of SNR from system components in applications including radar, wireless and digital communications. These engineers often have to balance the conflicting demands of designing higher performance requirements with less budget in shorter times.

For less experienced test engineers, configuring a noise figure test setup can be challenging. It is often necessary to add pre-amplification and filtering in front of the measurement receiver to ensure there is sufficient sensitivity to make a quality measurement. If too little amplification is used, there may be excessive jitter from the instrument ADC. If too much power or amplification is applied, compression can impact the measurements. These two constraints form the effective noise figure measurement range and can limit the flexibility a user has in choosing pre-amps and filters.

The MS4640A-041 option also enables the use of a simple, low-cost termination, rather than a specialized noise source, as part of the cold source noise figure measurement method. These advantages result in an easier to use, more flexible test system.

The MS4640A-041 option for noise figure measurement capability is priced at $15,000 and is available in approximately 8 weeks ARO. The 125GHz receiver is model SM6609 priced at $30,250 and available in approximately 16 weeks ARO.

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