Test & Measurement

Product of the Month: July 2017

Tektronix, Beaverton, OR, introduced the TTR500 Series USB vector network analyzer, a USB-based RF test instrument. It includes VectorVu-PC analysis software and built-in bias tee for testing active devices. The 2-port, 2-path S-parameter VNA features 100 kHz to 6 GHz frequency range, 122 dB dynamic range, less than 0.008 dB trace noise, and -50 to +7 dBm output power. The built-in bias tee allows for 0 to ± 24V, and 0 to 200 mA on both ports for active devices. The analyzer operates with any Windows PC or laptop, and VectorVu-PC software controls and calibrates the instrument. For automated test systems in design or manufacturing, the software offers programmatic support for SCPI commands, including command compatibility with common legacy VNAs for integration into existing test systems. In addition, the software offers an offline mode for data analysis with an output file format compatible with common EDA simulation tools. Accessories include a rugged carrying case, rack mount kits, phase-stable cables, attenuators, adapters, and calibration kits.

Posted in: Products, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
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Sound-Off: How to Set Pass/Fail Thresholds for Self-Driving Vehicles

As Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technology evolves, how do you test autonomous cars that ‘learn from their mistakes?’

Posted in: News, Automotive, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement
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Coming to a Lab Bench Near You: Femtosecond X-Ray Spectroscopy

The ephemeral electron movements in a transient state of a reaction important in biochemical and optoelectronic processes have been captured and, for the first time, directly characterized using ultrafast X-ray spectroscopy at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Like many rearrangements of molecular structures, the ring-opening reactions in this study occur on timescales of hundreds of femtoseconds (1 femtosecond equals a millionth of a billionth of a second). The researchers were able to collect snapshots of the electronic structure during the reaction by using femtosecond pulses of X-ray light on a tabletop apparatus.

Posted in: News, Lasers & Laser Systems, Optics, Photonics, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement
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Infrared 3D Scanner Measures Like Human Vision

A 3D scanner, with a resolution of one million pixels and real-time data processing, operates using measuring technology that works in a similar way to human vision. To detect an object, periodic patterns are projected onto the surface using a specially developed near-infrared projector. A sequence of different patterns is projected in rapid succession in order to record as many measurement points as possible by the two cameras.

Posted in: News, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement
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Product of the Month: April 2017

Astronics Test Systems, Irvine, CA, has introduced the PXIe-1802 arbitrary waveform generator and the PXIe-1803 digitizer that provide test capabilities and measurement accuracy in a compact PXI form factor for aerospace, defense, communications, and other high-reliability applications. The arbitrary waveform generator offers both speed and performance for output frequencies of up to 125 MHz. With built-in waveforms, high signal quality, and high density and modularity, the instrument delivers dual 14/16-bit waveform generator channels, bandwidths of 90-140 MHz, synchronization, and 250 μV measurement accuracy. The 130/180 MS/s dual-channel digitizer provides speed and performance for input frequencies up to 175 MHz. The dual-channel 14/16-bit digitizer is configurable as separate or fully synchronized channels. Other features include waveform bandwidths of 65-175 MHz (typical), 64M of waveform memory per channel, and relative accuracy of up to 0.006%.

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Posted in: Products, Measuring Instruments, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
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Optical Device Tester

Anritsu Company (Richardson, TX) has introduced the BERTWave MP2110A, an all-in-one instrument that conducts simultaneous BER measurements and eye pattern analysis to more efficiently evaluate multi-channel optical devices used in optical communications systems, including 100GbE, InfiniBand EDR, and 32G Fibre Channel. The BERTWave MP2110A features a built-in BERT that can be configured with up to 4 channels at up to 28.2 Gbit/s, and up to a 2-channel sampling oscilloscope. This single-instrument design allows the BERTWave MP2110A to conduct simultaneous TRx BER measurements of multi-channel optical modules used by 100GbE standards, such as QSFP28, and other standards, such as InfiniBand EDR and 32G Fibre Channel, as well as simultaneous 2-channel eye pattern analyses.

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Posted in: Products, Products, Data Acquisition, Instrumentation, Measuring Instruments
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Low-Cost Device uses Light to Detect Oil Spills

Researchers have developed a simple device that can detect an oil spill in water and then pinpoint the type of oil present on the surface. The device is designed to float on the water, where it could remotely monitor a small area susceptible to pollution or track the evolution of contamination at a particular location.

Posted in: News, Test & Measurement
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Data Logger Aids in Development of New Vehicles

A new data logger developed by Fraunhofer researchers simultaneously collects data from vehicles with combustion engines, electric drives, external sensors, and location data, and permits the development of new hybrid and electric vehicles. Once installed in a car, it records all the relevant operational data from the trips the car makes over a period of several weeks or months, enabling evaluation of how a car is used, including characteristics such as route profiles or driving style – when does the driver drive more cautiously, when more aggressively?

Posted in: News, Monitoring, Test & Measurement
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High-Altitude Radiation Tests Will Protect Airline Travelers

Imagine you’re sitting on an airplane cruising at 36,000 feet. Just above you, high-energy particles, called cosmic rays, are zooming in from outer space. While we are largely protected from this radiation on the ground, up in the thin atmosphere of the stratosphere, these particles can affect humans and electronics alike.

Posted in: News, Measuring Instruments, Test & Measurement
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Hydraulic Carts Streamline Structural Tests for Aircraft

The Flight Loads Laboratory (FLL) at Armstrong Flight Research Center tests the strength and endurance of aircraft structures using hydraulic actuators to apply forces that simulate the stresses of takeoff, flight, and landing. The contract to build the FLL’s next-generation hydraulic controller system went to Moog Inc., an East Aurora, NY-based company that specializes in motion control systems. The company designed a multi-function mobile cart that not only houses the hydraulics for up to eight actuators, but also includes most of the necessary electronics, which were previously housed in the control room.

Posted in: News, Aerospace, Test & Measurement
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