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Step Attenuators Reach 67 GHz

Feb. 13, 2013
A series of precision step attenuators has been developed for measurement applications through 67 GHz.

Millimeter-wave measurements just got a boost with the new R&S RSC family of test units from Rohde & Schwarz, which include step attenuators capable of operating to 67 GHz. The step attenuators can be controlled manually or remotely and are ideal for the precision control of test signals and calibration of signal generators. The R&S RSC family is available with internal and external step attenuators covering a variety of different frequency ranges, including 18 and 67 GHz, with a standard internal unit providing a 139-dB attenuation range in 1-dB steps through 6 GHz. A version developed for aerospace and defense applications covers a frequency range from DC to 6 GHz with maximum attenuation of 139.9 dB and step size of 0.1 dB. Yet another version operates to 18 GHz with 115-dB maximum attenuation and 5-dB steps.

Every R&S RSC base unit can control as many as four external step attenuators, including two base models capable of operation to 40 and 67 GHz and maximum attenuation of 75 dB in 5-dB steps. The external step attenuators are configured and controlled via the base unit, using a personal computer (PC) with Rohde & Schwarz control program, or by using an appropriate application program. These precision attenuators feature measurement-grade repeatability of 0.02 dB. All models are equipped with IEC/IEEE, local-area-network (LAN), and universal serial bus (USB) interfaces.

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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