Spectrum monitoring RF analysers feature high sweep rates

April 21, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Narda Safety Test Solutions has expanded its NRA series of compact rack-mount RF analysers with the introduction of two ‘RX’ models, which have been specifically designed for spectrum-monitoring applications.

The receivers are intended for short- and long-term observation of all types of RF signals, including pulsed and sporadic transmissions, and are therefore likely to appeal to organisations such as communications authorities, broadcast companies, air-traffic control operators and military intelligence.

Available from Link Microtek, the NRA-3000 RX and NRA-6000 RX analysers cover the frequency bands 9 kHz to 3 GHz and 9 kHz to 6 GHz respectively. Both incorporate a new RF module that uprates performance, with low phase noise and low intrinsic interference.

These RX units provide a fast sweep rate of 12 GHz/src, a maximum channel bandwidth of 32 MHz and up to 600,000 sampling points per sweep, allowing the user to measure a wide spectrum at high resolution without needing to tune to different frequency ranges.

Suitable for integration into automated measuring systems, the new RF analysers include an Ethernet 100BASE-TX interface, a 10 MHz reference input for synchronisation to the system frequency and a simple ASCII-based command set for remote control. There is also a USB interface for local programming and updates, as well as a 3.5 mm audio socket for listening to demodulated analogue signals.

Four different operating modes can be selected: Spectrum Analysis mode with wideband FFT and channel monitoring, Multi-Channel Power mode for rapid evaluation of up to 500 user-definable channels or frequency ranges, Level Meter mode for measurements at a specific frequency, and Scope and I/Q Data mode for high-resolution time-domain analysis. If I/Q data is streamed to a PC, there are several third-party software packages available for carrying out more detailed analysis, e.g. by creating constellation diagrams and determining parameters such as modulation error ratio and error vector magnitude.

The RF analysers weigh less than 5kg and, at just 1U high, take up minimum space in a 19in. rack. Power consumption is 20W, withs no need for fan cooling, so silent operation is assured.

Link Microtek; www.linkmicrotek.com