Signal generators enable a stimulus to be provided in a test system. There are many different types of signal generator, and even for RF signal generators the capabilities are wide ranging.
Today, RF signal generators have a host of capabilities that enable them to set up a variety of different waveforms - these are required for testing everything from the various types of mobile or cellular communications including 5G to the different types of wireless systems like Bluetooth, Sigfox, LoRa and many others.
Pulsed waveforms from RF signal generators are also needed for testing radar systems.
As RF signal generators these days are not just needed to provide a continuous wave RF signal, their use is also more complicated. Find out about some useful techniques and approaches in the links below.
This application note explains how to generate phase coherent signals using signal generators. It details what to consider and how to best calibrate the relative phases and timing between the individual channels. In addition to this it includes in-depth details about measurements of the phase stability over time for different RF frequencies. Read more . . .Read more
Radar test systems are essential in research, development, production and maintenance of radar systems. Most radar tests are expensive to carry out in the field and have a complicated setup and operation. One of the main advantages of the Radar Echo Generator presented in this application note is its ability to generate arbitrary virtual radar echo signals in real time in the laboratory using only commercial measuring equipment. The Radar Echo Generator not only allows to reproduce the results and automate the tests, but also it significantly reduces the measurement effort and costs while providing greater utility for the existing common test equipment. Read more . . .Read more
Multichannel vector signal generators can be used to set up a variety of scenarios for testing modern RF electronics systems. With many complex applications like testing MSR, carrier aggregation, MIMO and enhanced interference scenarios the new generation of advanced vector signal generators provides an easy means of realising these test applications.Read more
With the world moving further towards digital technologies and approaches, there is a growing need for high performance analogue to digital converters, ADCs. Their performance will govern that of the whole system. These need to be characterised and their performance in circuit need to be analysed. Find out more in this useful video.Read more
Signal sources can be one of the most important elements when testing any system. Put an imperfect signal into a system, then it can give rise to issues that have not been caused by the unit under test. Accordingly choosing the best signal source is key. This video looks at the example of using a Rohde & Schwarz signal source for testing ADCs, and it shows how using a good signal source like this can overcome many issues that might be experienced with lesser equipment.Read more
Clock sources are very important in testing many circuits, and they are often forgotten. Modern digital designs and data converters can only work as well as the clock source allows. To bring out the best performance of a data converter design, an ideal clock source is required to minimize any influence on the signal purity of a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) output or the sampled data of an analog-to-digital (ADC) converter. As clock rates increase, the requirements for signal quality remain or become even more demanding. The bottom line is that you need a flexible clock source that can provide the signals needed for today’s and tomorrow’s designs with minimal jitter and noise as well as best spectral purity.Read more
Capturing narrow pulses correctly can be difficult. Radar equipment is one area where short pulses of RF energy form the basis of operation of the system, and when testing these systems it is necessary to capture the waveforms accurately to investigate any issues or test them to ensure the system is working correctly. The R&S®SMA100B analog RF and microwave signal generator with its high-quality pulse modulator provides narrow pulse modulation. Thanks to a powerful closed-loop level control concept also for narrow pulses, outstanding level accuracy and repeatability is now available for pulse widths starting at 100 ns.Read more
Signal generators are often set manually during testing, but often these settings need to be used in executable scripts. This useful video explains about using a SCPI macro recorder to record the manual settings of the signal generator and to create an executable MATLAB script.Read more
With signal frequencies used for everything from Wi-Fi to cellular communications always increasing, testing of the various elements requires to provide accurate results, even at high frequencies. Ensuring test leads and other components do not affect the readings is vitally important. Find out more about generating a frequency response compensated RF signal . . .Read more
To satisfy the need for higher modulation bandwidths, the R&S®SMBV100B is equipped with a high performance baseband. Thanks to the generator’s intelligent internal realtime frequency response correction, an extremely high amplitude flatness is achieved across the entire bandwidth of 500 MHz. Find out all you need to know in this video.Read more
Testing and characterising wideband receivers and amplifiers requires the use of a generator with excellent performance. Find out some of the key issues, techniques and equipment to enable the right measurements to be made.Read more
The R&S®SMW200A vector signal generator has the outstanding ability to simultaneously generate up to eight independent signals from a single instrument. The advanced multi-channel architecture allows realizing even complex applications like MSR, carrier aggregation, MIMO or enhanced interference scenarios with a minimum of effort. Read more . . .Read more