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Test and Measurement

Agilent's PXA Signal Analyzer Now Enables Wideband Measurement

September 20, 2011
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SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 20, 2011 – Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) today announced that its high-performance PXA signal analyzer now supports up to 900 MHz of intermediate-frequency bandwidth, enabling it to act as a broadband down converter for analysis of wideband communications and radar signals in aerospace and defense applications.

Many digital communications and radar applications today require demodulation and analysis of wideband signals in the microwave region. While in some applications, this task can be accomplished using a modern wideband oscilloscope to directly digitize signals for analysis, the Agilent PXA provides a more convenient and economical solution.

Acting as a broadband down converter, the PXA translates the desired microwave or millimeter wave signal down to an IF frequency and then supplies it to an Agilent Infiniium 9000 or 90000 Series oscilloscope running 89600 VSA software where it is digitized and analyzed, respectively. The PXA’s wideband IF output extends the 89600 VSA’s analysis bandwidth to 900 MHz for input signals with frequencies from 3.6 to 50 GHz.

With this 900-MHz solution, engineers now have both the advantage of a fully featured signal analyzer with high-resolution vector signal analysis software and a wideband measurement system to address wideband demodulation requirements. This wideband analysis capability, combined with the industry’s highest performance signal analyzer, provides radar and communications engineers with the most flexible and powerful tools available to date for developing tomorrow’s aerospace and defense systems.

Moreover, using the PXA’s wideband IF output for broadband signal analysis, customers gain the cost advantage of using off-the-shelf instruments for their broadband applications, while avoiding the frustration and uncertainty of home-brew down converters.

“With the PXA and 89600 VSA software, we have assembled the necessary building blocks to measure signal quality and demodulate even the most demanding modulation formats,” said Guy Séné, vice president and general manager of Agilent’s Microwave and Communications Division. “The PXA’s new 900 MHz IF bandwidth capability now extends these capabilities to Infiniium Series oscilloscopes, creating a cost-effective wideband measurement system and allowing maximum reuse of existing equipment.”

The PXA is the highest-performance member of the Agilent X-Series signal analyzers, with frequency coverage from 3 Hz to 50 GHz. The X-Series is an evolutionary approach to signal analysis that spans instruments, measurements and software, including more than 25 industry-leading measurement applications that cover cellular communication, wireless connectivity, digital video, and aerospace and defense.

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Agilent N9030A PXA signal analyzer is currently available worldwide. Base prices range from $51,900 for the 3.6-GHz option to $91,000 for the 50-GHz option. The PXA’s new 900 MHz IF bandwidth capability (Options MPB and CR3) is available for $5,882. The 89600 VSA software and Infiniium oscilloscopes are also currently available worldwide with starting prices of $12,000 and $30,000, respectively.

For more information on using the PXA signal analyzer as a broadband downcoverter, go to www.agilent.com/find/PXA_900MHz. A photo of the new wider IF bandwidth capability is available at www.agilent.com/find/PXA_900MHz_images.

Agilent will demonstrate the PXA with its new 900-MHz IF bandwidth capability, along with other products and services for wireless communication at European Microwave Week (Stand G301), Oct. 11-13 at Manchester Central, Manchester, England.

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