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TestBench, October 2010: T&M on Display at this Season's Trade Shows

October 13, 2010
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This fall seems to be an exceptionally busy season for trade shows with European Microwave Week, AMTA (Antenna Measurement Techniques Association), 4G World, Electronica and MilCom all taking place between the last week of September and the month of October. Making a big appearance at most of these shows are the test & measurement equipment providers, many of whom released new products or directed their product information toward the interests of show attendees.

For instance, T&M exhibitors at EumW focused their attention (and demonstration stands) on test solutions for RF/microwave component R&D; while at 4G World I suspect the focus will shift to network and field testing, i.e. handheld instruments and Milcom will be the focus of pulsed radar solutions. The locations of these events span from Paris and Munich to Atlanta, Chicago and San Jose, making it easier for their customers worldwide to get a chance to see some of these new products and talk directly with the application staff.

Here’s a sample of what can be seen at trade shows this month:

Rohde & Schwarz will present its T&M solutions at Electronica 2010 under the motto "Frequency meets Time": Its new oscilloscopes have advanced the company into the time domain. The R&S®RTO and R&S®RTM families are a highlight at the Rohde & Schwarz booth 307 in hall A1. One of the other top products on exhibit is the R&S FSVR, the world's first real-time spectrum analyzer up to 30 GHz. But that's not all: Rohde & Schwarz showcases new innovations in the microwave and millimeter-wave T&M portfolio with signal generation up to 110 GHz.

The launch of two oscilloscope families at the end of June catapulted Rohde & Schwarz into a completely new market segment. The R&S®RTO family of high-performance oscilloscopes is designed for speed and signal fidelity. These instruments offer a sampling rate of up to 10 GHz as well as 2 GHz bandwidths, and can analyze 1 million waveforms per second, making even the rarest errors immediately visible. Plus, the world’s first digital trigger system means very low trigger jitter. The R&S®RTM universal oscilloscopes from Rohde & Schwarz are the first choice for everyday measurement tasks due to their excellent characteristics, wide range of functions and compact design. 500 MHz bandwidth, a maximum sampling rate of 5 Gsample/s and a memory depth of up to 8 Msample make them ideal for testing and debugging analog and digital circuits with low clock rates. The sophisticated user interface of both oscilloscope families provides the perfect overview, even in the case of complex measurements.

Agilent Technologies introduced two digital multimeters (DMMs) this month to complement its growing family of PXI products. These new 6.5 digit PXI DMMs offer the industry's highest measurement speeds within their price range, along with excellent accuracy and stability. Test engineers in aerospace, defense, electronic manufacturing and automotive industries now have an alternative when designing their mission-critical PXI test systems.

The M9182A 6.5 digit DMM and M9183A 6.5 digit enhanced-performance DMM measure common parameters such as DCV, DCI, ACV, ACI, 2- and 4-wire resistance and temperature. Each offers 30 parts-per-million basic DCV and 300 parts-per-million basic ACV 1-year accuracies and inputs up to 300 volts. The DMMs deliver 4,500 readings-per-second and 20,000 readings-per-second, respectively. These fast reading speeds translate into higher test system throughput and lower cost of test.

At EumW, Anritsu introduced the MS202x/3xB VNA Master series, the highest-performing handheld RF vector network analyzers (VNAs) in the industry. With frequency coverage from 500 kHz to 4/6 GHz, and featuring multi-instrument functionality in a rugged, lightweight design that can withstand harsh environments, the MS202x/3xB allow field engineers to find faults, optimize mission-critical systems, and maintain more sites while reducing operating and capital equipment expenditures. This handheld VNA will no doubt be on display at 4G World and Milcom as well.

Tektronix announced that they will feature an extensive range of new and enhanced products and solutions for video, audio and content quality at the SCTE Cable Tech Expo, October 20-22 – booths #2127 and #2227. Highlights for this year’s show include new products and enhancements for picture quality evaluation, VoD asset verification, QoE analysis including audio loudness, and the new Mixed Signals Sentry product family featuring real-time video and audio quality monitoring.

Participation at the SCTE Cable Tech Expo formally marks Mixed Signals integration into the Tektronix family – bringing decades of award winning video and audio test innovation together with cutting edge QoE and QoS monitoring. With a broad set of products, a deep technology base and unparalleled expertise in video and audio quality, the combined power of innovation is driving the roll out of cutting edge technology to address new problems for Cable Operators.

These are just a few T&M solution providers, but they clearly represent the amount of activity that is happening in test equipment development and the value of attending some of the trade shows taking place this October.

Recent Articles by David Vye

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