System Captures Broadband Signals

Nov. 9, 2010
This modular instrument is essentially an RF/microwave signal recorder, capable of capturing long-duration as well as low-probability signals for analysis of timing and modulation details.

Broadband signal analysis requires a wide spectrum analysis bandwidth as well as the memory to capture digitized high-frequency signal information. The new CS9000 Broadband Signal System (BSS) from Aeroflex provides both in standard configurations for analyzing narrowband and broadband signals to 6 and 18 GHz. The modular test systems can snare complex waveforms at bandwidths of 72 or 472 MHz and hop rates to 500,000 hops per second to handle the most elusive of modulated communications and pulsed radar signals.

The CS9000 (see figure) can simultaneously monitor, analyze, and generate complex waveforms for testing of communications, radar, electronic-warfare (EW), electronic-countermeasures (ECM), and other electronic systems based on narrowband and broadband signals. The CS9000 is also suited for electromagnetic interference (EMI) and electromagnetic environment (EME) monitoring.

The CS9000 is available in various versions for narrowband or broadband signal analysis and generation, as well as a hybrid version that performs in both narrowband and broadband modes (not simultaneously). The model BSA-06-N has a narrowband RF input channel with 3-dB input bandwidth of 72 MHz that can be tuned from 2 MHz to 6 GHz. In its base configuration, it is equipped with 8 GB of memory but can also be upgraded to 16 or 32 GB.

The BSA-06-W version has a wideband input channel with 3-dB bandwidth of 472 MHz tunable from 2 MHz to 6 GHz, with the same memory choices. The memory provides about 20 s recording time for 8 GB of memory and a 72-MHz input bandwidth, and 7 s recording time for 8 GB of memory and a 400-MHz input bandwidth.

For higher-frequency operation, the company also offers the model BSA- 18-N with a narrowband (72-MHz) RF input channel that can be tuned from 2 MHz to 18 GHz and model BSA-18-W with a wideband (472-MHz) RF input channel that can be tuned from 2 MHz to 18 GHz. For greater flexibility, the model BSA-18-NW provides singlemode switchable operation between narrowband (72-MHz) and wideband (472-MHz) modes.

These are high-performance waveform/ signal recorders that can also be used to generate the same signals they capture. They deliver a typical narrowband (72-MHz bandwidth) spurious-free dynamic range (SFDR) of -65 dBc courtesy of a 14-b analog-todigital converter (ADC) and a wideband (472-MHz) SFDR of typically -45 dBc with an 8-b ADC. The analyzers feature 2-Hz tuning resolution.

The analyzers are supported by BSA software that enables frequency-banded analysis, real-time signal capture, time and modulation analysis, and parameter logging and display. The company offers Signal Safari 2010 software for download on its web site, which is a demonstration version of the BSA software used with the CS9000 system. Aeroflex, Inc., 35 South Service Road, PO Box 6022, Plainview, NY 11803-0622; (516) 694-6700, (800) 843-1553, e-mail: [email protected]m, Internet: www.aeroflex.com.

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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