Monday, May 27, 2024

Vector Network Analyzer For Fast Evolving Modern Technologies

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The newly launched Vector Network Analyzer allows support for multiple measurements and is capable of delivering high-dynamic range 

The market and range of applications for the vector network analyzer have simply grown in recent years and continue to do so. Our development is not simply driven by the proliferation of microwave, gigabit and wireless signals in our lives, but also by penetrating and short-range radar imaging and proximity detection in secure spaces, and in dielectric materials, tissues and composites. The vector network analyzer sits behind our data flow, communications, food, healthcare, defence, civil infrastructure, robotics and automation.

This places heavy and varied demands on the VNA with more frequency range, port power and dynamic range, faster and loaded with varied functionalities

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With this in mind, Pico Technology’s newly announced PicoVNA 108 does not disappoint. The PicoVNA 108 can see out further to 8.5 GHz and see down deeper to –124 dB. It provides new “save on trigger” synchronization for multiple measurements, for example, with changing conditions or multiplexed measurement routings. This, added to the convenience of integrated bias-Ts, speeds batch test and device characterizations. Offset frequency capability has also been added to the Quad RX four-receiver architecture and synchronization and control of the PicoSource AS108 8 GHz agile synthesizer from within the PicoVNA 3 software. This instrument allows RF mixer and RF/IF system characterizations. Other popular third-party signal generators are also supported.

Dynamic and Low-Cost

The PicoVNA 108 is capable of delivering all four s-parameters in as little as 190 µs, with high dynamic range and accuracy. Available at a substantial cost saving for the professional user, the equipment is affordable to small and start-up businesses, volume users in the classroom and even some amateur users. Price is comparable with traditionally lower-cost single-port reflectometers and even scalar network analyzers of similar bandwidth.

Since calibration standards and interconnects can both dominate measurement errors in network analysis, so Pico supports both PicoVNA models with low-cost but equally impressive SMA and PC3.5 calibration standards and test leads – all with precision-machined stainless steel connectors.

Software Support

PicoVNA software supports 8 or 12-term calibration, including the “unknown thru” method. Unwanted measurement contributions from feedlines or test jigs can be eliminated using manual or auto-sensed reference plane shift, normalization or de-embedded Touchstone, taken from either measurement or EM simulation. Fast Fourier time-domain transformation and impedance transformation are both included as standard.  TDT / TDR plots have a system rise time down to 58 ps and these support resistance and distance to fault readout out to over 100 meters.


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