Fast Synthesizer Switches To 20 GHz In 100 s

Dec. 11, 2007
The MG37022A signal generator is based on microwave VCO technology for fast frequency switching speed with excellent spectral purity through 20 GHz.

Jack Browne
Technical Director

Many test applications require fast-switching signal-generation capability. For example, measurements calling for a large number of data points, such as in antenna testing, automatic- test-equipment (ATE) systems, and radar-cross-section (RCS) measurements, can shave hours off the total test time with a fast-switching test-signal source. To fill those requirements, Anritsu Co. (Morgan Hill, CA) has developed the MG37022A microwave signal generator with switching speed of 100 s per point from 2 to 20 GHz. A frequency-extension option (Option 4) brings the frequency range down to 10 MHz by means of a digital downconverter (DDC) with successive divideby- two circuitry.

The model MG37022A microwave signal generator (see figure) gains speed by substituting high-performance voltage- controlled oscillators (VCOs) as the microwave sources in place of the yttrium-indium-garnet (YIG) oscillators used in earlier members of the MG37000 series of signal generators. The switch brings an order of magnitude faster frequency-switching speed than the company's YIG-based signal generators, while still achieving excellent spectral purity. The MG37022A, for example, features typical phase noise of -105 dBc/Hz offset 10 kHz from a 10-GHz carrier.

The MG37022A can switch in phaselocked steps as small as 0.001 Hz through 20 GHz. Operators can choose from a variety of different sweep modes, including setting the total time of a sweep, including the lock time, from a start frequency to a stop frequency, or selecting a manual sweep between two limits with a user-defined number of steps or step size. In addition, an operator can use the MG37022A's list sweep mode to switch among a group of steps, from 1 to 10,000 steps, with that same frequency resolution and with adjustable dwell times between steps from 50 s to 30 s. The fastswitching signal generator provides as many as 20 independent markers with marker resolution of 0.001 Hz.

In its standard configuration or with the lower-frequency extension, the MG37022A delivers +17 dBm maximum leveled output power. With a highpower option (Option 15), it can provide as much as +23 dBm output power from 2 to 20 GHz. With an optional step attenuator (Option 2) to output level can be controlled to typically as low as -110 dBm. Harmonic-related output content is no worse than -40 dBc below 2 GHz (with Option 4) and better than -50 dBc from 2 to 20 GHz.

The signal generator derives its accuracy from an internal 10-MHz frequency reference source with better than 2 X 10-9/day aging rate and better than 2 X 10-8/C frequency stability with temperature from 0 to +50C. When even better stability is required, the MG37022A can work with an external 10-MHz reference source at 0 to +20 dBm.

The user interface for the MG37022A should be familiar to many operators, since it is based on the Windows XP Professional operating system. The signal generator offers a host of connectivity features, including Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0, Ethernet local-area network (LAN), IEEE-488 GPIB, and RS-232.

Anritsu Co., 490 Jarvis Dr., Morgan Hill, CA 95037-2809; (408) 778- 2000, FAX: (408) 776-1744,

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