20 GHz Measurement system streamlines mixer and frequency converter testing

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 1 February 2005




(2005), "20 GHz Measurement system streamlines mixer and frequency converter testing", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 77 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/aeat.2005.12777aad.006



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

20 GHz Measurement system streamlines mixer and frequency converter testing

20 GHz Measurement system streamlines mixer and frequency converter testing

Keywords: Aeroflex, Measurement, Software

Aeroflex Incorporated has announced a new microwave mixer measurement system that is said to speed up the development, tuning, set-up and testing of microwave mixers and frequency converters. Aeroflex's Mixer and Converter Measurement System combines new measurement software with two high-frequency test instruments – the new 20 GHz IFR6813 microwave generator and the 20 GHz IFR6843 microwave system analyser into one streamlined system. Key measurements include insertion loss/gain, RF frequency response, input return loss and group delay.

The new mixer and converter measurement system is reported to be fast and cost-effective The Aeroflex Mixer and Converter Measurement System claims faster, more comprehensive and cost-effective alignment and testing of mixers and frequency converters than current test systems on the market today. According to Aeroflex this new two-instrument solution replaces cumbersome and slow testers that are configured with signal generators and a spectrum analyser, usually controlled via GPIB with its inherent speed penalty.

The Aeroflex Mixer and Converter Measurement System achieves fast sweeps (<2 s for 400 points) by utilising the new frequency list mode within the IFR6813 microwave generator, which is triggered by the IFR6843 via the RS-232 port. Using the RS-232 ports of the two units to control the mixer system results in fast operation because a hardware trigger is used, rather than a continuous transfer of a sequence of commands.

The IFR6843 microwave system analyser acts as the controller for the IFR6813 microwave generator via an RS-232 link to provide synchronised swept RF and local oscillator (LO) signals as the mixer inputs, with the IF output fed to the receiver in the IFR6843. Using the RS-232 link leaves the GPIB port available for control in automated test systems.

List mode for 6813 allows frequency lists to be easily created and stored. A powerful new list mode has been developed for the IFR6813 microwave generator. It allows frequency lists to be created and stored with up to 1,024 points. Frequency list mode allows the creation of fast frequency-hopping systems, as well as linear lists that can be selected in both forward and reverse directions. Lists can be stored as “settings” data and can be recalled to the front panel from the internal flash RAM. More than 1,000 stored settings are possible. Lists can be free run or triggered.

A new option (option 24) also provides a TTL lock output and provides for a TTL trigger input pulse to start the selected list or move to the next frequency in the selected list.

Key specifications of the Mixer and Converter Measurement System:

  • wide frequency range 10 MHz- 20 GHz;

  • the IFR6843 microwave system analyser provides the swept RF signal and fixed IF receiver, triggering the IFR6813 Microwave Generator via RS232 to provide the swept LO;

  • 400 measurement points in approximately 1 s;

  • fully synthesised high-performance signal sources;

  • group delay option; and

  • floppy disk for storage of results.

The Aeroflex 20 GHz Microwave Mixer and Converter Measurement System is available immediately upon receipt of order. The 6840 series microwave system analysers are available in a variety of frequency ranges with many options.

For further information, contact: Aeroflex Test Solutions. Tel: +44 (0) 1438 742200; Fax: +44 (0) 1438 727601; E-mail: mark.wallace@aeroflex.com

Related articles