Monday, June 17, 2024

AESA Testing That Helps Reduce Complexity and Costs For TRM Testing

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New test and measurement solutions for TRM performance validation enables the customer to maximise their radar system capabilities

Modern active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars are an essential part of the global aerospace and defence industry. Their performance depends strongly on the performance of the individual transmit-receive-module (TRM) assembled in the antenna array. 

Rohde & Schwarz’s new test and measurement solutions for TRM performance validation enable the customer to maximize their radar system capabilities.

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Typical TRM test cases can be covered with a single Rohde & Schwarz network analyzer as a turnkey solution, such as the R&S ZNA. If higher performance such as pulsed noise figure is required, the R&S FSW signal and spectrum analyzer can be added to the setup. When combined with the integrated calibration routine, this simplifies the setup, ensuring full accuracy and high repeatability. Users benefit from reduced test procedure complexity and a minimized cabling assembly.

The R&S TS6 TRM test library optimizes Rohde & Schwarz test equipment for top speeds, in combination with fast control handover. Due to fast frequency sweeps and multiple measurements within one pulse, the number of required TRM state changes is reduced and overall test time minimized. With the R&S ZVAX-TRM signal conditioning unit, all tests run automatically without interaction, including port multiplexing.

The calibration routine in the R&S TS6 TRM test library helps collect all the calibration requirements from the test and runs an optimized precise calibration. The support of multiport calibration units enables the efficient calibration of devices under test (DUTs) with many ports. This combination of a simplified test setup with a high degree of automation ensures reliable and reproducible measurements by a scalable solution. It offers a variety of use cases, from manual testing of components to complete module characterization in development and to automated production testing.

Achieving Fast Speeds

Rohde & Schwarz has also developed solutions which reduce the number of parallel running systems during production by their efficiency. The R&S TS6 TRM test library, together with the R&S TS6710 TRM radar test system, delivers fast possible speeds for TRM testing, in combination with a fast handover between measurement and device programming. This enables typical test time for a complete TRM characterisation reduced from hours to only a few minutes.

The parameters of TRM designs are radar specific and are considered confidential. Each TRM must be controlled by a specific interface, protocol and trigger for testing. The R&S TS6 TRM test library has an open software interface for TRM control, which makes it possible that the whole test configuration can be carried out locally. This also allows for faster on-site adaptations and optimisations. An efficient option is the R&S Compact TSVP test system versatile platform with flexible and fast control interfaces, plus digital and analogue measurements. This configuration enables very short test times in setups, without any field-programmable gate array (FPGA) programming.

All solutions for TRM and AESA testing are available at Rohde & Schwarz.


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