Keysight address phase noise with phase noise test system (PNTS)
The N5511A phase noise test system (PNTS) enables power users to optimise and prove the performance of new designs, on schedule and on budget, says Keysight Technologies.
Phase modulation noise emerges in nearly all radio frequency and microwave devices including oscillators, mixers, dividers, multipliers and amplifiers. Power users need to validate the phase noise measurement on their designs, whether developing high-performance aerospace and defence applications or device characterisation for 5G and other wireless communication systems.
The N5511A PNTS models are available in three frequency ranges from 50kHz and going up to 3.0, 26.5, or 40GHz with offsets from 0.01Hz to 160MHz internally. It can be configured for either single or dual-channel operation.
The test system has flexible architecture to integrate external reference sources enabling users to select from a variety of commercially-available low-noise sources. There is also a phase detector (quadrature) technique which maximises dynamic range and what is described as best-in-class absolute and residual measurements on both continuous wave and pulsed signals.
Another feature is cross spectral averaging (cross-correlation) to measure noise approaching the limits of physics, down to the kT (–177 dBm/Hz) thermal noise floor. This is done by removing uncorrelated noise between two channels and enabling users to see the real performance of their device under test
The flexible and scalable architecture of Keysight’s N5511A PNTS enables power users to solve specific challenges in phase noise by removing uncorrelated reference noise, system noise and any additional uncorrelated noise from signal conditioning devices such as attenuators and amplifiers.
The system can also generate faster measurements using hardware acceleration with fast Fourier transform (FFT) and cross-correlation in an FPFGA rather than software on a CPU.
The set-up of residual measurements can be specified using the phase noise measurement interface (PNMI) accessory.
The user can upgrade from single channel to dual channel (for cross-correlation) and other PXI modules can be integrated for new functionality.
The N5511A PNTS consists of phase detector and data conversion modules housed in a custom, low-noise single PXIe mainframe four units (4U) high. The system software included runs on an integrated PC controller using the Microsoft Windows 10 OS.