Test and Measurement Channel

Model 10512 programmable signal source

Narda_Model_10512_100The Model 10512 is a programmable signal source that digitally creates frequency-modulated “noise” waveforms and applies them to a carrier whose center frequency can be varied +/-50 MHz in less than 100 ns. It is well suited for use as a fast-hopping signal generator, programmable noise source, or arbitrary signal generator. Characteristics of the waveforms, such as video bandwidth, dispersion bandwidth (to 400 MHz), and power level, can be programmed by the user or remotely by a host system. The waveforms include ramp, sinusoidal, triangle, square wave, and random, among others. The standard model operates to 3 GHz but much higher frequency ranges are available. It consumes only 11 W, measures 4 in. L x 4 in. W x 0.6 in., weighs less than 1 oz., and is rugged enough to meet military specifications for shock and vibration.

The Model 10512 employs two VCOs and a high-speed, PIN-diode-based single-pole, double-throw switch that allows it to change from one frequency to another at extremely high speed. One VCO can operate at one frequency in a band while the other is "staged" to operate at a higher frequency. By “ping-ponging” the two VCOs, it is possible to hop between frequencies in less than 15 ns. For adjusting signal amplitude, each channel utilizes a digitally-controlled attenuator (DCA) with 63 dB range that is controllable in 1-dB steps. The DCAs settle between any two states in less than 100 ns.

The Model 10512 delivers +16 dBm RF output power with a 1-dB gain compression point of +21 dBm. The module exerts real-time control over all signal parameters, and an FPGA enables real-time temperature compensation and linearization. The approach achieves ovenized-type temperature stability without the size and power consumption of an oven. Standard frequency range is 2.8 to 3.2 GHz and other frequencies well into the millimeter-wave region can be specified.

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