- Buyers Guide
Recent Advances in Radar Technology
Using Calibration to Optimize Performance in Crucial Measurements
Agilent Technologies Inc. introduced a pulse measurement option for its FieldFox handheld analyzers that is designed to further simplify radar field testing.
Radar is the most important element in any aerospace/defense communication system. However, testing radar in the field can be challenging due to the multitude of instruments engineers and technicians are required to carry. Additionally, handheld products traditionally lack the performance necessary to measure pulsed signals, and field measurements typically do not correlate with those taken using laboratory instruments.
With the new pulse-measurement option, Agilent’s FieldFox analyzers allow users to carry a single instrument into the field to verify and measure radar pulse characteristics, S-parameters, spectrum analysis and transmitter power. Moreover, all measurements made with FieldFox are consistent with those of benchtop analyzers.
The FieldFox pulse measurement option efficiently characterizes radar signal quality by leveraging Agilent U202x peak-power sensors (available in 18- and 40-GHz models). Working together, the pulse measurement mode and U202x enable maintenance crews to check radar signal quality without having to carry a heavy benchtop instrument into the field. With a single push of a button, users can perform pulse characterization in the field and obtain all key performance indicators.
“Carrying precision into the field is the key driver behind Agilent’s FieldFox analyzers,” said Dan Dunn, handheld general manager for Agilent’s Component Test Division. “Our new pulse measurement further builds on this idea by enabling customers to use FieldFox to simplify their radar testing in the field, while continuing to deliver Agilent-quality measurements.”
The FieldFox calibration engine now features ECal module support. ECal support reduces calibration time and the need to make multiple connections during testing, while also providing for greater consistency between measurements. For FieldFox users, that translates into fewer human errors and increased accuracy.
FieldFox analyzers boast a number of features that help simplify radar field testing. They include InstAlign, a built-in spectrum analyzer with time gating (Option 238), burst trigger and pre-trigger, and verification of most RF pulse transmitters in the field.
InstaAlign is a spectrum analysis technique to accurately measure radar spectrum and power without time-consuming amplitude alignment and instrument warmup. The time-gating function, specifically geared toward engineers testing the pulse characteristics of their radar systems, allows users to view both frequency and time domain at the same time. With time gating and burst trigger/pre-trigger capabilities, Agilent’s FieldFox analyzers can measure very narrow RF pulses (less than 1µs wide) with sweep time as small as 8 µs.
Agilent also offers a suite of economical microwave waveguide calibration kits to support C, X, Ku and K band radar, satellite and microwave backhaul communication measurements. The kits, which are ideal for field maintenance and troubleshooting, provide users excellent measurement results at lower costs.
Agilent’s new pulse measurement capability (Option 330) is now available for all FieldFox RF and microwave analyzer models at a price of $1,200.
More information on the new FieldFox option is available at www.agilent.com/find/FieldFox. Images are available at www.agilent.com/find/FieldFox_Enhancements_images.A related backgrounder can be viewed at www.agilent.com/about/newsroom/tmnews/background/fieldfox.
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Agilent’s FieldFox handheld analyzers received Frost and Sullivan’s 2013 New Product Innovation Leadership Award for Handheld General Purpose Test Equipment. FieldFox was selected for its leading-edge product technology, increased customer ROI, and superior value-added features and benefits.
Agilent will demonstrate the FieldFox pulse measurement capability, along with its newest test solutions in microwave, millimeter-wave and submillimeter-wave systems, antennas and propagation and wireless technologies at European Microwave Week (Booth 105), Oct. 6-11 at the Nürnberg Convention Center in Nuremberg, Germany. A 10-year Platinum Sponsor, Agilent will also present a number of workshops, including a hands-on 3-D electromagnetic workshop using EMPro and another on correlating microwave measurements between handheld and benchtop analyzers using FieldFox. Registration is required to attend either workshop.