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Amplifiers / Passive Components / Semiconductors / Integrated Circuits / Subsystems and Systems / Test and Measurement

R&S ZVAX24 Hardware Extension Unit

January 17, 2011
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Compact and modular solution from Rohde & Schwarz simplifies complex measurements in network analysis

Jan 13, 2010 - The new R&S ZVAX24 hardware extension unit converts the vector network analyzers of the R&S® ZVA family into space saving solutions to make intermodulation or pulse profile measurements easier. Even applications up to +43 dBm can be performed with no problem. Thanks to its modularity, the R&S® ZVAX24 can be tailored to the individual application: It can be equipped with combiners, harmonic filters, pulse modulators and high power couplers. Therefore, users only invest in what they truly need. The new T&M solution from Rohde & Schwarz enables manufacturers from the wireless communications, automotive, or aerospace and defense industry to develop active components and then test them in production.

The R&S® ZVAX24 is custom-tailored to the R&S® ZVA24, but can be used with all vector network analyzers of the R&S® ZVA and R&S® ZVT family. Connecting the extension unit to the vector network analyzer is quite handy: The R&S® ZVAX24 is placed under the vector network analyzer and the RF ports are connected via semi-rigid coaxial cables. Control is performed via USB directly from the vector network analyzer, which displays a dialog box containing a block diagram of the extension unit. Depending on the test task, the required RF components can be connected.

Users who, for example, want to perform tests under pulsed conditions implement the modulators for pulse generation. The built-in pulse generators of the R&S® ZVA vector network analyzer can then generate single pulses, periodic pulses or variable pulse sequences. The resolution of 12.5 ns is higher by a factor of ten compared with equipment previously available on the market. As a result, short pulses can be characterized more precisely. Since the pulse generators support user-configurable pulse trains, the user can generate arbitrary sequences of pulses of any width, duration and power which can help to characterize components under real-world conditions.

The combination of the R&S® ZVA and R&S® ZVAX24 is also particularly good for measuring intermodulation. To generate the required two-tone signal, the test setup using conventional vector network analyzers with only one internal generator must be expanded by an external generator and a combiner. In the case of the Rohde & Schwarz solution, the internal combiner of the extension unit uses the two sources of the four-port R&S® ZVA and outputs the two-tone signal directly at the port. There is no need to perform any highly complex wiring and calibrations of any additional components. Together with the intermodulation wizard, intermodulation measurements can be configured and performed quickly and conveniently.

To test harmonics, the R&S® ZVAX24 enables users to activate filters in the generator path and in the receive path. The filters improve signal purity and achieve very good suppression (60 dBc for the second, 70 dBc for the third harmonic) at maximum power. Furthermore, two high-power couplers can be integrated to permit an input level up to 43 dBm – a feature that permits tests on high-power amplifiers, for example.

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