Broadband threats pose their own unique signal-capture challenges. Nevertheless, the latest versions of the EXA signal analyzers from Agilent Technologies include a pair of instruments capable of reaching 32 and 44 GHz, respectively, stretching to 325 GHz with external mixers. The N9010A EXA X-Series signal analyzers cover 10 Hz to 32 GHz with option 532 and 10 Hz to 44 GHz with option 544. Both variations feature low noise floors and wide dynamic ranges.

These versatile signal analyzers provide the performance needed to capture and study millimeter-wave signals in high-resolution military radar, imaging, and sensor systems, as well as in high-speed wireless and optical communications systems. Signal analysis with an N9010A EXA X-Series signal analyzer (see photo) can be performed in swept or Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) modes, when searching for an unknown signal or scrutinizing a known signal, respectively. The analyzers can handle input signal levels to 1 W (+30 dBm) and peak power levels to 100 W (+50 dBm) without damage; peak power is defined as a pulsed signal with pulse width of 10 μs or less at less than 1% duty cycle, and with at least 30-dB attenuation on the analyzer. Nonetheless, they also incorporate electronic and mechanical attenuators for precise control of signal amplitude.

Attenuation can be set from 0 to 30 dB with electronic attenuation and from 0 to 80 dB with a combination of electronic and mechanical attenuators, with adjustments in 1-dB steps. For displaying signal amplitude, the reference level can be set from −170 to +23 dBm in 0.01-dB steps, resulting in a display dynamic range from +23 dBm to the displayed average noise level (DANL). The latter is typically −145 dBm from 10 Hz through 26.5 GHz, and typically −135 dBm through 44 GHz. With an optional preamplifier, the DANL can be extended to typically −160 dBm through 26.5 GHz and typically −153 dBm through 44 GHz. The optional preamplifiers provide nominal gain of 20 dB through 3.6 GHz, 35 dB from 3.6 through 7.0 GHz, and 40 dB from 7 to 44 GHz. Using the firm’s line of “smart” harmonic mixers, the analyzers can achieve better than −140 dBm/Hz sensitivity across V-band frequencies.

The analyzers can display captured signal information in logarithmic or linear scales. The former can be set from 0.1 to 1.0 dB/div in 0.1-dB steps and 1 to 20 dB/div in 1-dB steps; the latter is shown in 10 divisions. Signal traces can be shown with scales in dBm, dBmV, dBuV, dBmA, dBuA, V, W, or A. With either type of attenuation, the analyzers achieve frequency response of typically ±1.7 dB to 5.2 GHz, ±2.0 dB to 22 GHz, ±2.5 dB to 34 GHz, and ±3.2 dB to 44 GHz.

The resolution bandwidths of the N9010A EXA X-Series signal analyzers can be set from 1 Hz to 3 MHz in 10% steps, and at 4, 5, 6, and 8 MHz. These instruments exhibit impressive spectral purity, with spurious levels typically as low as −82 dBc to 22 GHz and −79 dBc to 44 GHz. The phase noise is typically −101 dBc/Hz offset 1 kHz from the carrier, −106 dBc/Hz offset 10 kHz, −116 dBc/Hz offset 100 kHz, and −137 dBc/Hz offset 1 MHz from the carrier.

Measurements rely on an extremely stable crystal reference oscillator with standard accuracy of ±1 x 10−4/year. Over temperature, the reference maintains its frequency accuracy within ±2 x 10−6 from +20 to +30ºC and within ±2 x 10−6 over the full operating temperature range of 0 to +55ºC. Option PFR upgrades the reference frequency accuracy to ±1 x 10−7/year and ±1.5 x 10−7/two years, and within±1.5 x 10−8 from +20 to +30ºC and within ±5 x 10−8 over the full operating temperature range.

The signal analyzers can perform swept-frequency measurements from 10 Hz to the maximum frequency of the instrument, as well as zero-span (0-Hz) measurements using its FFT capability. The sweep/triggering times range from 1 µs to 6000 s for zero-span measurements and 1 ms to 4000 s for sweeps across spans of 10 Hz and more. P&A: $42,000 and up (32-GHz option), $60,000 (44-GHz), and $2805 (external mixer); stock.

Agilent Technologies, Inc.
5301 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95051
(877) 424-4536
(408) 345-8886
FAX: (408) 345-8475
e-mail: us@agilent.com


USB Controls Fast Power Sensors

Doing away with the traditional power meter display and control panel, Agilent’s U2020 X-series of power meter sensors takes advantage of command and control possible over Universal Serial Bus (USB) to show results on a personal computer (see photo). There is no compromise associated with the USB data exchanges, since these sensors can operate at better than 3500 readings per second. They capture single-shot, real-time data at 80 MSamples/s; they measure power across a 30-MHz video bandwidth at frequencies from 50 MHz to 18 GHz (for the model U2021XA) and 50 MHz to 40 GHz (for the model U2022XA). The sensors can detect peak or gated power from −30 to +20 dBm and average power from −35 to +20 dBm.

The compact, light-weight USB power sensors operate without a power meter or power supply. They connect to a laptop or desktop computer with USB port and use software on the computer to setup and control measurements and to display results. The sensors offer built-in triggering functions for measurements on signals close to the noise floor. A trigger-out port can be used for data logging or for connection to an oscilloscope to display and analyze pulsed signals.

Both sensors can capture pulses as narrow as 50 ns with rise/fall times of better than 13 ns. The average measurement accuracy is ±0.2 dB for the U2021XA power sensor and ±0.3 dB for the U2022XA sensor. The power sensors include internal zeroing and calibration functions, and they are bundled with the N1918A Power Analysis Manager software at no additional cost. P&A: $6700 (U2021XA) and $7100 (U2022XA); stock.

Agilent Technologies, Inc.
5301 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95051
(877) 424-4536
(408) 345-8886
FAX: (408) 345-8475
e-mail: us@agilent.com