Insights > RF + Microwave

Whether It's RF or Microwave Spectrum Analysis, There Is Nothing We Can’t Do!

2021-08-31  |  6 min read 

A reliable spectrum analyzer is essential if your daily work entails RF and microwave technologies; it must be capable of offering essential functionality and performance at an affordable price. Achieving higher productivity on a smaller budget is the biggest challenge you will face, whether you are fine-tuning a new design, balancing throughput and accuracy on the manufacturing floor, or maintaining field equipment. To avoid paying extra for equipment you will never use, choosing the right balance between price and performance is critical. So, despite market forces that dictate "cost-down" programs, the quality and reliability cannot be compromised. 

Whether you are responsible for consumer electronics R&D, manufacturing bench repair, RF-related education, or spectrum management projects, you need a spectrum analyzer that is equipped with essential functionality and performance. To this end, Keysight's new general-purpose spectrum analyzers (BSA) deliver a choice of value-priced, general-purpose instruments to help you overcome your development challenges in RF and microwave applications.

As a long-time trusted spectrum analyzer solution provider in the industry, we are now introducing Keysight's N9321C BSA, a new generation of value-priced, all-purpose instruments to address 9 kHz to 4 GHz frequency range applications. The new N9321C BSA makes higher productivity achievable on a smaller budget with proven test efficiency, best-in-class usability and flexibility to adapt to new requirements. A variety of RF components is used as building blocks for larger systems. As a designer, you rely on certain specifications being met, such as the filter cutoff frequency, amplifier power output, and antenna matching. These specifications must be verified by the component manufacturer and often by the R&D designer as well. N9321C with Option TG4 provides a tracking generator with 4 GHz performance for low-cost scalar network analysis. To ensure efficient RF energy transfer, components should also be measured for reflection. For antenna match, for example, the Option TG4 and Option RM4 coupled with a tracking generator and a built-in VSWR bridge, support one-port return loss, VSWR, insertion loss, and distance-to-fault measurement for frequencies up to 4 GHz. The Baseband Enhancement option BB1 provides better a displayed average noise level (DANL) and phase noise performance for your xDSL and AM/FM IBOC 2 measurements. The N9321C offers many advantages over competing units in this class, including wider frequency range, better frequency response, better close-in phase noise and TOI, GPIB support, more features (including tracking generator with VSWR bridge, ASK/FSK demodulation, EMI filter, Spectrogram, Task Planner), a more rugged design with a full metal body and internal shield, as well as a longer standard warranty. Figure 1 shows examples of some of the key applications performed using the new N9321C basic spectrum analyzer.

Figure 1. Examples of spectrum monitoring performed using Keysight’s N9321C basic spectrum analyzer. From left to right: Antenna reflection measurement, Channel scanner, ASK measurement, FSK measurement, Power suite channel power measurement

With the addition of our new N9323C and N9324C basic spectrum analyzers, Keysight’s BSA is the only spectrum analyzer family covering full frequency ranges from RF (4 GHz, 7 GHz) to microwave (13.6 GHz, 20 GHz for N9323C and N9324C, respectively)  in one code set on the cost-effective market. Featuring microwave bench-top swept signal analyzers, you can demodulate AM/FM, ASK/FSK signals, use the task planner to significantly reduce your test setup time, and even record the spectrogram of your signal of interest, in the most cost-effective fashion. In addition, the USB power sensors will support true power measurements of the highest accuracy.

New mobile devices are putting unprecedented demand on the spectrum. You won’t be happy when there are glitches in your system. With our new microwave spectrum analyzers, you will be able to resolve tightly spaced frequencies while detecting your low-level microwave signals. You can view captured traces of interfering signals in the microwave frequency ranges up to 20 GHz via the spectrum monitoring feature. Captured traces can then be played back to easily identify interfering signals from unwanted transmissions. Figure 2 shows an example of spectrum monitoring and tracking generator bandpass filter measurement performed by N9324C:

Figure 2. An example of spectrum monitoring (left) and Tracking generator bandpass filter measurement (right) performed using Keysight’s N9324C basic spectrum analyzer

With our unique 5-year standard Keysight warranty on every single purchase of N9321/23/24C in the first year after launch, you will be assured to get the best support while you focus on your time-to-market and on-schedule-delivery goals, completely worry-free.