Aeroflex Launches PXI 3000 Configurable RF Test Platform

Aeroflex is using its presence at European Microwave Week 2007 (Stand 111/210) for the European launch its new modular RF test platform for wireless applications up to 6GHz. The scaleable platform has the flexibility to easily perform at any stage of wireless development from research to manufacturing, and can integrate seamlessly into any wireless market including cellular, wireless data, RFIC test and military/aerospace.

The configurable RF measurement system encompasses three powerful new additions: New PXI 3000 Series hardware modules, PXI Studio software with new measurement plug-ins, and a new PXI instrument chassis to tie it all together.

“The combination of a single-sourced PXI instrument chassis, with system controller, PXI module resources and PXI Studio application software heralds the arrival of a complete out-of-the-box configurable and scalable RF measurement system that surpasses the performance of rack-and-stack instrumentation of old,” said Tim Carey, PXI product manager, Aeroflex Test Solutions. “The flexibility and speed offered by the Aeroflex 3000 Series modular platform sets a new benchmark for configurable instrumentation, offering users a degree of freedom never before imagined.”

Aeroflex PXI3000 Series modulesNew PXI modules extend frequency range coverage to include HF, VHF and UHF
The Aeroflex RF modular measurement system is comprised of PXI 3000 Series modules which now additionally include the 3025C 1MHz to 6GHz digital signal generator, 3030C 250kHz to 3GHz wideband RF digitizer and 3035C 250kHz to 6GHz wideband RF digitizer.

With this launch, the frequency range coverage of the PXI 3000 Series hardware modules has been extended to include all HF, VHF and UHF bands – from 250kHz to 6GHz for signal analysis and 1MHz to 6GHz for signal generation. This extends the application base to include military/aerospace applications as well as cellular, wireless data and RFIC test.

The new 3025C module features an increased RF output power range of -120dBm to +6dBm to more effectively support RF component testing. All new modules provide the ability to generate and analyse signals with RF bandwidths up to 90MHz – nearly three times the bandwidth on current models. This places Aeroflex at the leading edge for instrumentation technology capable of supporting WiMAX and other emerging wideband communications systems. The new hardware modules have been made even faster to further accelerate production throughput. For example, new features within the digitizer family offer significant improvement in data-transfer speed over the PCI bus and the new 3025C signal generator can switch frequency ten times faster than before for frequencies up to 85MHz.

PXI Studio unlocks the speed and flexibility of Aeroflex RF modular instruments
PXI Studio is a software application for use with Aeroflex 3000 Series PXI modules. This highly flexible application can be used to simultaneously generate and analyse complex modulated signals.

Additional measurement plug-ins enable PXI Studio to be used to analyse WiMAX OFDMA and WLAN signals as well as providing general purpose spectrum analysis. WiMAX analysis can be performed for any type of WiMAX UL/DL OFDMA PUSC sub-frame configuration. WiMAX and WLAN signals can be analyzed for power, modulation quality and spectrum with the speed and accuracy that comes with using Aeroflex 3000 Series PXI modular instruments. General purpose spectrum analysis includes a full range of measurement functions for channel power, adjacent channel power and occupied bandwidth.

Measurement results can be displayed graphically, including EVM spectrum, EVM time, constellation, spectral mask, spectral flatness and burst power. Numerical data is displayed for power, RCE, carrier frequency error, carrier leakage and symbol clock error.

PXI chassis provides multiple configurations for maximum versatility
To complete the package, Aeroflex also offers a new PXI chassis and system controller to host both Aeroflex modular instruments and PXI Studio application software. Aeroflex is now a complete one-stop shop for modular RF instrumentation. The Aeroflex PXI chassis includes one system controller slot and seven peripheral PCI or PXI slots to support multiple configurations of Aeroflex PXI modules for maximum flexibility. The chassis is available in two models: the 3000 and 3000A.

The 3000 is suitable for use with embedded or external controllers. The 3000A is equipped with an integrated 8.4-inch touch screen colour display with an 800 x 600 resolution and the 3001A PM 1.8GHz embedded system controller module. The 3000A is designed for use as a self-contained, stand-alone instrument that can be used for both bench-top and portable applications. Both the 3000 and 3000A chassis offer extended operating temperature range from 0ºC to 55ºC, with facilities for offline monitoring of power, cooling and temperature. Automatic fan speed control ensures both models emit extremely low audible noise (41.6dBa). Both the 3000 and 3000A combine a lightweight aluminium internal structure with a robust metal shell to provide an easily portable, yet rugged PXI system.

These latest additions to the Aeroflex 3000 Series modular RF test platform are available for delivery beginning in October 2007.

About Aeroflex
Aeroflex Incorporated is a global provider of high technology solutions to the aerospace, defence, cellular and broadband communications markets. The Company’s diverse technologies allow it to design, develop, manufacture and market a broad range of test, measurement and microelectronic products. Founded in 1937, Aeroflex is a privately held company with more than 2,600 employees worldwide.

About Aeroflex Test Solutions, Instruments Division
Staffed with experts in RF and microwave signal generation and processing subsystems, Aeroflex Test Solutions Group provides test and measurement systems, instruments, modules, services and integration support for the communications test, military, government and semiconductor industries. Aeroflex’ solutions reflect a commitment to industry-accepted standards and the concept of modular product development. They encompass Communications test (public mobile radio, wireless cellular and telecom, military radio and avionics radio test), Signal sources (synthesizers, signal generators, signal analyzers and phase noise systems), General-purpose test (spectrum analyzers, microwave analyzers, bit error rate testers) and Systems (satellite, ATE, PXI and radar).