Spectrum analysis within a VNA speeds spurious search

May 14, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Keysight Technologies offers a facility to accelerate spurious searches by up to 500 times using a high-performance spectrum analyser capability integrated in its PNA vector network analysers

This capability adds a high-performance spectrum analyser to the PNA and PNA-X Series microwave vector network analysers (VNAs). This capability reduces test times by a factor of 10 to 500 times. Incorporating this functionality into a VNA simplifies system connections and saves time by putting high-speed spurious measurements in the instrument used to characterise S-parameters, compression and distortion in satellite equipment, defence electronics and commercial wireless devices.

It is often time consuming for engineers to perform spurious measurements, thus forcing tradeoffs between test time and test coverage. With the high-performance spectrum analyser capability, a Keysight PNA can perform fast spurious searches across a broad frequency band. Measurement results are comparable, Keysight says, to those obtained with today’s fastest, most sophisticated standalone spectrum or signal analysers.

The VNA also can perform simultaneous spectrum measurements on all test ports. This capability reduces design cycle time by enabling one-connection characterisation of mixers, converters, amplifiers, modules or subsystems. Example measurements include LO, RF and IF feedthrough; harmonics; intermodulation products; and other higher-order mixing products.

In-fixture and on-wafer measurements gain the benefits of VNA calibration and de-embedding, which correct receiver-response errors and also remove cable and fixture effects. The resulting improvement in test accuracy makes it possible to achieve narrower test margins and tighter device specifications.

“The ability to make high-performance spectrum and network measurements in one instrument enables unparalleled insight into the device under test,” said Steven Scheppelmann, PNA marketing manager for Keysight’s Component Test Division. “By replacing a switch matrix and standalone spectrum analyzer, this innovation also addresses the increasingly important need to reduce the size of component-characterization test systems.”

Keysight; www.keysight.com/find/PNA