Industry News Test and Measurement Channel

Rohde & Schwarz RF Test System Characterizes Radar Modules Ten Times Faster

The new R&S TS6710 test system from Rohde & Schwarz is a highly flexible, turnkey standard solution for manufacturers of AESA radar equipment. Its modular architecture allows it to be configured for product development or for use on production lines. Predefined test cases and the easy compilation of complete test sequences simplify operation significantly. The user can also adapt all test cases individually to specific customer requirements. Moreover, when configuring a test system for a customer, Rohde & Schwarz does not require any detailed information about the modules to be tested. The fastest system on the market, the R&S TS6710 can characterize the 25,000 measurement results of a transmitter-receiver module (TRM) in less than four minutes. The extremely compact test system consists of only three instruments. The frequency range extends from 1 Hz to 24 GHz.

The importance of AESA radar, which is based on electronic beam steering, is increasing significantly in outer-space applications as well as in aerospace and defense. In July 2010, for example, the multinational Euroradar consortium decided to develop AESA radar intensively. To facilitate this and similar initiatives, Rohde & Schwarz now offers the R&S TS6710 as a turnkey test system designed for the development and production of AESA radar modules. The compact solution consists of only three instruments: an R&S ZVA network analyzer for RF measurements, an R&S OSP-TRM control platform for RF signal switching and conditioning, and an R&S TSVP test platform for TRM control and supply.

The speed and performance characteristics of the R&S TS6710 are outstanding. The complete characterization of a module with about 25,000 measurement values takes less than four minutes. This means that the R&S TS6710 is ten times faster than other systems available on the market. The system can also measure the S-parameters for all phase attenuation combinations, the noise factor, output power and intermodulation as well as spurious emissions. Extremely short measurement times are an enormous advantage especially in production, where only about 2500 measurements per TRM are required. Under these circumstances, an R&S TS6710 can complete a test run in less than 15 seconds. Two modules can be tested at the same time with a single system. Optionally, users can even characterize as many as eight DUTs in parallel.

The R&S TS6710 takes relevant safety and secrecy regulations and requirements into account. To configure the system for a customer, Rohde & Schwarz does not require detailed information about the modules to be tested. The operating frequency, for example, is a core parameter of AESA radar systems. With the R&S TS6710, the manufacturers do not have to reveal it. Since the frequency range extends from 1 to 24 GHz as standard, users do not need to specify the bandwidth of the particular module they are working with – unlike with other systems. The R&S TS6710 covers all relevant frequency bands including even future broadband radar.

A comprehensive library of TRM test cases makes operation easy. All test cases can be specifically adapted as required, and the source code for the test cases written in C# is included in the system when it is delivered. The user can compile complete test sequences using the system software.

The R&S TS6710 TRM test system is now available from Rohde & Schwarz.

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