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Advances Aid Antenna Testing

Sept. 12, 2012
Engineers involved with antenna calibration and testing—especially for multiple-antenna applications—just got a lift, courtesy of a new digital downconversion option for the model M9703A AXIe eight-channel digitizer from Agilent Technologies.

Engineers involved with antenna calibration and testing—especially for multiple-antenna applications—just got a lift, courtesy of a new digital downconversion option for the model M9703A AXIe eight-channel digitizer from Agilent Technologies. The new option aids with testing systems such as radar, direction-finding (DF), and satellite-beam-forming platforms, since it can perform phase-coherent measurements across eight input channels. The AXIe modular test system supports a frequency range of DC to 2 GHz and sampling rates to 1.6 GSamples/s. A simple test system can be formed in an Agilent M9502A two-slot AXIe chassis with a single M9703A AXIe 12-b digitizer and a model M9536A embedded AXIe controller (see figure).

Real-time decimation allows users to analyze bandwidth from 300 MHz down to less than 1 kHz, with reduced noise and improved dynamic range. The modular test format allows users to squeeze 40 channels of measurement power with just 5 digitizers in a 4U rack-mount space. “The M9703A high-speed digitizer with DDC functionality enables a breakthrough in phased-array antenna testing based on commercial off-the-shelf technology,” notes David Myers, Agilent’s Global Business Development Manager for Modular Solutions. “It enables customers in the defense and wireless industries to achieve the fastest possible flexible phase-coherent measurements, without compromising accuracy.” For a video on the M9703A, click here.

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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