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Anritsu Introduces Noise Figure Measurement Capability for VectorStar

10/03/2012

Anritsu at the International Microwave Symposium introduced noise-figure measurement capability for its VectorStar MS4640A and ME7838A vector network analyzers (VNAs) to provide designers, modelers, and manufacturers of RF/microwave amplifiers with a new level of measurement capability. The company said Option MS4640A-041 equips VectorStar to be the only VNA family with 70-kHz to 125-GHz noise-figure measurement, enabled in part by a unique receiver optimized for measurements from 30 GHz to 125 GHz.

Noise-figure measurements enable test engineers to determine potential degradation of signal-to-noise ratio from system components in applications including radar, wireless communications, and digital communications. These engineers often have to balance the conflicting demands of designing higher performance requirements with lower budgets in shorter times.

The receiver used to perform the VNA-based noise-figure measurements at 125 GHz incorporates a unique design focusing on improved noise performance and reduced sensitivity-to-source impedance, Anritsu said. The result is a robust capability to make high-quality microwave and mm-wave noise-figure measurements on a wide variety of active devices.

For less experienced test engineers, configuring a noise figure test setup can be particularly challenging. It is often necessary to add pre-amplification and filtering in front of the measurement receiver to ensure sufficient sensitivity to make a quality measurement. If too little amplification is used, there may be excessive jitter from the instrument A/D converter. If too much power or amplification is applied, compression can impact the measurements.

These two constraints form the effective noise-figure measurement range and can limit the flexibility a user has in choosing pre-amps and filters. The MS4640A-041 option takes advantage of the high-performance VectorStar architecture to provide a wider noise figure measurement range and greater configuration flexibility. In addition, Anritsu enables the use of a simple, low-cost termination, rather than a specialized noise source, as part of the cold source noise figure measurement method. These advantages result in an easier to use, more flexible test system.

Anritsu Corporation, www.anritsu.com



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