Keysight Technologies’ vector adapter enhances realism for EW threat simulation

At European Microwave Week in Nuremberg, Germany, this week (9 to 12 October), Keysight Technologies will showcase an agile vector adapter which extends the capabilities of the UXG X-Series agile signal generators to generate complex pulsed signals and waveforms based on IQ data for more realistic electronic warfare (EW) threat simulations.

The N5194A UXG X-Series agile vector adapter enables what Keysight claims is the industry’s highest fidelity agile threat simulations when used with Keysight’s commercial off-the-shelf (COTS), UXG X-Series agile signal generators for aerospace and defence applications.

The N5194A UXG X-Series agile vector adapter operates throughout the 50MHz to 20GHz frequency range and includes a two-Gsample per second digital baseband generation system capable of producing wideband signals with up to 1.6GHz bandwidth. This makes it possible to generate complex pulsed signals with variable rise and fall times, non-linear chirps, and advanced modulation coding schemes with excellent signal purity, typically -70dBc in X-band, explains Keysight. To mimic antenna scan patterns and angle-of-arrival (AoA) scenarios, the UXG vector adapter includes a built-in solid-state attenuator and provides 120dB of agile amplitude range. Engineers can add commercial communications signals for even greater realism, notes Keysight.

 The N5194A vector adapter receives its local oscillator (LO) and reference signals from the N5193A UXG X-Series agile signal generator. This architecture provides features such as agile switching and phase coherence, frequency, amplitude and phase switching speed of 170-nano seconds with phase repeatability at all frequencies. It also allows for easy multi-channel and multi-port configurations to allow engineers to control the amplitude, phase and time delay of each UXG agile vector adapter output. This also provides faster evaluation of multi-port direction-finding receivers for accurately simulating the AoA of multiple threat signals

Another benefit is that the architecture allows simulation systems to be scaled easily, as needs change, with the addition of further UXG agile vector adapters.

The adapter is compatible with the US government’s next-generation EW environment generation (NEWEG) system architecture.

Engineers can use the N5194A with Keysight’s N7660C Signal Studio software for multi-emitter scenario generation. With Signal Studio’s graphical user interface, engineers can set up radar parameters, perform AoA simulations and optimisations. Users can stream multi-emitter scenarios created in Signal Studio directly to the N5194A to reduce programming time. For system testing, users can create and store waveforms in N5194A UXG’s baseband generator memory, and then access them on a pulse-by-pulse basis as pulse descriptor words (PDWs) are streamed to the N5194A.

The N5194A occupies minimal rack space, says Keysight, it is 2U high, making it a suitable system component for multi-channel, multi-port AoA threat simulation systems. AoA simulations require precisely calibrated amplitude, time and phase across multiple RF ports.

Keysight offers system-level multi-port calibration to the measurement plane of the EW system under test (SUT). For applications that require fully-calibrated threat simulation systems, Keysight’s Aerospace and Defense Custom Solutions group can configure and integrate a solution for specific requirements.

Keysight will demonstrate the N5194A UXG X-Series agile vector adapter at Hall 7A-stand 107, European Microwave Week 2017.

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