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Industry News / Test and Measurement

Agilent's HD Radio Measurement Application Enables Fast, Easy Low Cost Testing of Broadcast Signals

January 6, 2009
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Agilent Technologies Inc. introduced a new HD Radio measurement application for its N9340B handheld RF spectrum analyzer. Agilent's HD Radio measurement application is the lowest-cost In-Band-On-Channel (IBOC) solution on the market with one-button auto tune and channel list functions. It supports NRSC-5 spectral emission limit masks and includes features that enable fast and easy test. It is ideal for technicians and test engineers performing measurements on HD Radio signals.

HD Radio, or digital radio, uses iBiquity Digital's proprietary IBOC technology. IBOC allows stations to simultaneously broadcast digital audio and traditional analog audio, without changing to new frequency bands. The broadcast radio industry is deploying IBOC to provide superior quality and increase content. The Federal Communications Commission selected IBOC in 2002 as the only digital technology for AM and FM broadcasting in the United States. IBOC technology combines digital information with regular AM or FM radio signals so that HD Radio receivers can tune into the digital content while traditional analog receivers are unaffected.

Agilent's HD Radio measurement application is specifically designed to test broadcast AM and FM HD radio signals. It has specially-added hardware for improved phase noise performance and application measurement software for quick set up of IBOC emission measurements.

This new HD Radio measurement application supports analog, digital and hybrid spectral emission limit masks for measuring radio signal emissions, including four AM signal standards (73.44 (analog), NRSC-5-B Hybrid 5k, Hybrid 8k and all digital) and three FM signal standards (73.317 (analog), NRSC-5-B Hybrid and all digital). For additional limit mask requirements, users simply edit/create masks directly on the N9340B or with the PC software tool, and can also convert mask files from an Agilent ESA Series spectrum analyzer to the N9340B format.

A key benefit of Agilent's HD Radio measurement application is a one-button auto tune function that calculates the appropriate reference level and center frequency following the recommended guidelines from Nation Radio Systems Committees, saving significant measurement time. The channel list function is another key benefit and allows measurement settings to be saved, reloaded, deleted and copied as necessary for quicker setups. Overall, this measurement application ensures fast and simple operation and offers significant time savings. In addition, this is the lowest-cost handheld IBOC measurement solution on the market.

The Agilent N9340B handheld RF spectrum analyzer, operating from 100 kHz to 3 GHz, provides powerful features for field applications (e.g., spectrogram, spectrum emission mask, Agilent USB power sensor support and field strength measurement) and exceptional usability to enhance field productivity. Its outstanding performance (e.g., fastest sweep time, superior sensitivity, best-in-class displayed average noise level and narrowest resolution available) ensures field test confidence.


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