Agilent Introduces FieldFox Pulse Measurements to Simplify Radar Field Testing

October 3, 2013. Agilent Technologies Inc. has introduced a pulse measurement option for its FieldFox handheld analyzers that is designed to further simplify radar field testing.

Radar is the most important element in any aerospace/defense communication system. However, testing radar in the field can be challenging due to the multitude of instruments engineers and technicians are required to carry. Additionally, handheld products traditionally lack the performance necessary to measure pulsed signals, and field measurements typically do not correlate with those taken using laboratory instruments.

With the new pulse-measurement option, Agilent’s FieldFox analyzers allow users to carry a single instrument into the field to verify and measure radar pulse characteristics, S-parameters, spectrum analysis and transmitter power. Moreover, all measurements made with FieldFox are consistent with those of bench-top analyzers.

The FieldFox pulse-measurement option efficiently characterizes radar signal quality by leveraging Agilent U202x peak-power sensors (available in 18- and 40-GHz models). Working together, the pulse measurement mode and U202x enable maintenance crews to check radar signal quality without having to carry a heavy bench-top instrument into the field. With a single push of a button, users can perform pulse characterization in the field and obtain all key performance indicators.

“Carrying precision into the field is the key driver behind Agilent’s FieldFox analyzers,” said Dan Dunn, handheld general manager for Agilent’s Component Test Division. “Our new pulse measurement further builds on this idea by enabling customers to use FieldFox to simplify their radar testing in the field, while continuing to deliver Agilent-quality measurements.”

The FieldFox calibration engine now features ECal module support. ECal support reduces calibration time and the need to make multiple connections during testing, while also providing for greater consistency between measurements. For FieldFox users, that translates into fewer human errors and increased accuracy.

FieldFox analyzers include a number of features that help simplify radar field testing. They include InstAlign, a built-in spectrum analyzer with time gating (Option 238), burst trigger and pre-trigger, and verification of most RF pulse transmitters in the field.

InstaAlign is a spectrum-analysis technique to accurately measure radar spectrum and power without time-consuming amplitude alignment and instrument warm-up. The time-gating function, specifically geared toward engineers testing the pulse characteristics of their radar systems, allows users to view both frequency and time domain at the same time. With time gating and burst trigger/pre-trigger capabilities, Agilent’s FieldFox analyzers can measure very narrow RF pulses (less than 1µs wide) with sweep time as small as 8 µs.

Agilent also offers a suite of economical microwave waveguide calibration kits to support C, X, Ku, and K band radar, satellite, and microwave backhaul communication measurements. The kits, which are suitable for field maintenance and troubleshooting, provide users excellent measurement results at lower costs.

Agilent’s new pulse measurement capability (Option 330) is now available for all FieldFox RF and microwave analyzer models at a price of $1,200.

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