White Paper: Test & Measurement

Spectrum Analyzer Fundamentals – Theory and Operation of Modern Spectrum Analyzers Primer


This primer examines the theory of state-of-the-art spectrum analysis and describes how modern spectrum analyzers are designed and how they work. That discussion is followed by a brief characterization of today's signal generators, which are required as a stimulus when performing amplifier measurements.

Basics of spectral analysis, including a discussion of Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) analyzers, aid understanding of important operating parameters. The effects on the spectrum caused by the nonlinearity of real devices under test are also discussed.

RF analog signal generators and vector signal generators generate their output signals in completely different ways. The distinguishing features of each are described. The final chapters look at measurements on signals with a high crest factor, phase noise measurements, and mixers and mixer measurements.

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