Rack-mount spectrum analyser with real-time streaming of I/Q data

March 29, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Narda Test Solutions has added a number of new features to its NRA series rack-mount spectrum analyser, most notably the ability to deliver I/Q data as a gapless real-time stream with a channel bandwidth of up to 400kHz. This is especially useful for testing the quality and integrity of transmitted and received signals.

Available in the UK from Link Microtek, the 1U-high 19-in. spectrum analyser covers frequencies ranging from 9kHz to 6GHz and is therefore suited to a wide variety of applications, including satcom uplinks, broadcast systems and communications services such as GSM, UMTS, LTE and WiMAX. Since separate channels are used for the I/Q data and control commands, instrument settings can now be changed on-the-fly without interrupting the stream of data. Further evaluation and quality analysis of the I/Q data can be carried out on a PC, for example by creating constellation diagrams and determining parameters such as modulation error ratio and error vector magnitude.

An enhancement to the NRA series is an increase in the number of sampling points to over 600,000, which will allow users to measure a wide spectrum at high resolution in a single sweep, rather than having to tune to different frequency ranges. Particularly suitable for use in mobile systems or where space is limited, the compact NRA instrument weighs less than 5kg and operates noiselessly without the need for fan cooling. It offers both 100BASE-TX Ethernet and USB connections and a simple ASCII-based command set for remote control. Existing NRA series users can add the new features via a downloadable firmware upgrade.

For further information, visit www.linkmicrotek.com