- Buyers Guide
As the spectrum grows more crowded, higher and higher frequencies are being used. One example is microwave backhaul for cell sites in the 38 GHz range, although there are many others as well. The new Spectrum Master™ MS272xC series from Anritsu Co., which includes the industry's first 32 and 43 GHz handheld spectrum analyzers, has been developed for these higher frequency applications.
Five models—the MS2722C, MS2723C, MS2724C, MS2725C and MS8726C—are included in the series. In addition to the wide frequency coverage, as shown in Table 1, these instruments deliver excellent phase noise of -95 dBc/Hz at 10 kHz offset at 1 GHz and dynamic range of 101 dB. The instruments include a broadband preamplifier that operates all the way to 43 GHz.
Figure 1 MS272xC spectrum analyzer.
A new fast sweep selection feature of the handheld spectrum analyzers gives them unprecedented sweep speed of about 27 seconds for a 43 GHz span with 30 kHz RBW. Similar analyzers need more than an hour to conduct the same sweep. Additionally, those analyzers are large, heavy and require AC power. The MS272xC weighs less than eight pounds and employs a long-life rechargeable battery that can be field-swapped without tools (see Figure 1).
Three sweep modes—Fast, Performance and No FFT—are available in the MS272xC series. In the Fast sweep mode, the handheld spectrum analyzers deliver sweep speeds that are virtually the same for resolution bandwidths from 10 MHz down to 30 kHz. Performance mode allows sweeps to be conducted in the traditional method, with sweep speed changing as the RBW is changed. The No FFT mode allows users to see the line spectrum of pulse modulated signals.
Commercial and Aerospace/Defense Applications
The MS272xC series can be configured with a 140 MHz IF output option that is 30 MHz wide, which is ideal for signal monitoring agencies since they often have their own proprietary signal processing tools. The small size coupled with SCPI programmability makes these products ideal instruments for incorporation in flight line test systems.
A number of 3G/4G options can be easily incorporated into the handheld spectrum analyzers to measure LTE, HPSA+, W-CDMA, CDMA/EVDO, GSM/EDGE, TD-SCDMA and WiMAX signals. The many available options enable users to purchase the exact capability they need at the moment while providing the flexibility to add measurements when/if requirements change. Further, the instrument can be equipped with a GPS receiver that allows location stamp measurements to be made, as well as enhances time base accuracy to 50 ppb.
Ease of Use
The MS272xC family employs the same familiar Spectrum Master user interface. Some evolutionary changes have been added to the interface, such as larger, easy-to-read text for data entry and a very large marker data display choice. Other benefits of the new user interface include logical grouping of set-up parameter annotations and simultaneous display of x-axis annotations—start, stop, center and span frequencies.
All measured data can be extracted and the instruments can be remotely operated using Anritsu Master Software Tools (MST), which provide users with the capability to conduct detailed evaluation of measurement data. Interference sources can be easily identified using built-in reporting tools, mapping, folder spectrograms and 3D Spectrograms. These tools eliminate the need for more expensive, larger, heavier benchtop instruments, as well as third-party spectrum monitoring software.
Morgan Hill, CA
RS No. 304
Get access to premium content and e-newsletters by registering on the web site. You can also subscribe to Microwave Journal magazine.