Microwave Journal

PC-Controlled, Real-Time Spectrum Analyzer Family

July 14, 2015

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Berkeley Nucleonics offers a family of PC-controlled real-time spectrum analyzers (RTSA), with three frequency range options: 100 kHz to 8, 18 and 27 GHz. The BNC RTSA7500 has real-time bandwidth to 100 MHz, a probability of intercept as short as 1.02 µs and spurious free dynamic range up to 100 dBc. The elements of the RTSA7500 consist of the instrument, comprised of a software-defined radio receiver and a wideband digitizer, and the RTSA software that runs on a Windows 7 or 8 PC.

The RTSA7500 can be used anywhere in the wireless ecosystem, including R&D, education, manufacturing, deployment and monitoring. Anyone dealing with signals that may vary dynamically in amplitude or frequency can increase productivity with a real-time spectrum analyzer. Examples include fast intermittent, pulsed and frequency-hopping signals, signals hidden underneath signals and multi-signal environments that share the same spectrum in the license-free bands.

The BNC RTSA7500 solution provides the following real-time capabilities: spectrum graph, spectrogram view, power spectral density display (persistence), triggering, I/Q plots, and recording and playback.  Users can choose between standard swept-tuned spectrum analysis and real-time spectrum analysis with 10, 40 or 100 MHz of real-time bandwidth. Users can also select the high dynamic range mode featuring 100 dBc of dynamic range for making critical IP3 measurements.

BNC utilizes industry-leading APIs and open-source code for easy customization and remote control. Python™, LabVIEW, MATLAB® and C/C++ programming languages are supported. Standard protocols and file formats include SCPI, VRT and CSV and GigE Ethernet for networking. With record and playback files, deeper analysis can be conducted on any PC or multiple PCs running the RTSA7500 RTSA software without the instrument being connected.

Berkeley Nucleonics
San Rafael, Calif.