In test applications that require automated closed-loop or stimulus-response testing, the ideal piece of test equipment is one that can simultaneously generate and acquire signals. For things like reproducing and capturing echoes such as are found in radar, sonar, lidar, or ultrasound systems, Spectrum Instrumentation’s new hybridNETBOX is an appropriate platform for just this sort of work. Six models are available offering the choice of two, four, or eight pairs of matched AWG and digitizer channels, with output and sampling rates of 40, 80, and 125 Msamples/s. With their multi-channel capability, hybridNETBOXES can test these systems even when arrays of transmitters and receivers are used.
The hybridNETBOX is also suited to ATE applications where components and subassemblies need to be tested quickly and automatically. They can quickly ascertain the functionality and tolerance of devices or units under test (DUTs or UUTs) by exercising them with numerous easily adjusted and complex signals. This powerful testing process can be deployed in a host of applications such as bus testing, MIMO communications, circuit verification, mechatronics, and robotics.
For accurate, low-noise waveform generation and acquisition, the units all use the latest 16-bit digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital converter technology. All channels are synchronized from a common clock and trigger. The AWG channels can produce almost any waveform with signal amplitudes that go up to ±6 V into 50 Ω, or ±12 V into high impedance. Waveform output modes include single-shot, loop, FIFO streaming, gated replay, and sequence replay. This permits the easy creation of test routines that can range from simple to complex.
Meanwhile, the digitizer channels handle a wide range of input signals. They have variable input ranges of ±200 mV up to ±10 V, with fully programmable offset and selectable input impedance (50 Ω and 1 M Ω). Both single-ended and differential measurement modes are available. Like the AWG channels, they support several operating modes including single-shot, FIFO streaming, multiple recording, gated sampling, and ABA (sample rate switching). This combines with a variety of flexible trigger modes (Channel, External, Software, Window, Pulse, Re-Arm, Spike, Logic and Delay) to make sure that important events are never missed.
In addition to the digitizer and AWG channels, the front panel of each hybridNETBOX includes multiple digital I/O connectors. These make it easy to integrate units into a test system. For example, synchronous marker outputs are available that can be used on the AWG channels to allow precise control of other devices or instruments. Similarly, it’s possible to synchronize the unit with other equipment, by applying an external clock and triggers. As the hybridNETBOX instruments are fully LXI-compliant, they’re easy to control and operate by connecting the instrument to a PC or a company network via the rear-panel Gigabit Ethernet port.
The instruments come with all the tools needed to start generating waveforms and acquiring signals. Each hybridNETBOX includes Spectrum’s own control software—SBench 6—for signal generation, acquisition, display, signal processing, storage, and reporting. SBench 6 allows waveforms to be created using standard functions and mathematical equations. Data can be acquired with the digitizer part and then being transferred to the AWG for replay. Data sharing with other programs or devices, such as oscilloscopes, is possible using built-in import/export functions for transferring data in binary, ASCII or wave formats. The fully programmable hybridNETBOX comes with drivers for Windows and Linux operating systems, as well as programming examples for C++, LabVIEW, MATLAB, Visual Basic .NET, Python, and other popular programming languages.
The hybridNETBOX is available now, with typical delivery being 2-3 weeks from order.
Spectrum Instrumentation, www.spectrum-instrumentation.com