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Less-than-$10,000 RF spectrum analyzer debuts

Posted: 07 Oct 2005     Print Version  Bookmark and Share


Offering a low-cost portable platform for a range of applications, Agilent Technologies introduces compact high-performance RF spectrum analyzers for under $10,000. The company claims high performance at this price point will let consumer electronics manufacturers increase repeatability, thereby reducing manufacturing and support costs. Short preliminary datasheets are available now.

Dubbed the CSA, Agilent is offering 3GHz and 6GHz models, with optional pre-amplifiers and tracking generators. Operation is from 100kHz to the high end.

The CSA incorporates a full-featured general-purpose spectrum analyzer with an internal VSWR (voltage standing wave ratio) bridge. With a tracking generator, it will let you accurately characterize single-port and dual-port devices such as filters, cables, and amplifiers.

Small and portable

The CSA's form-factor, low weight, and battery operation also makes it a choice for installation and maintenance of communications systems. Its card slot architecture also enables future performance and capability enhancements.

The CSA also includes built-in measurement help that leads you through each measurement task step-by-step. Minimal training and setup is required to achieve sophisticated, accurate measurements—even for non-expert users. Auto-tune, auto-scale, and auto-couple functions speed measurement processes by automatically optimizing setup parameters. With its high-resolution display, you can readily read and interpret measurement results.


Connectivity is also provided to ease tasks such as remote control, data transfer, and making firmware upgrades. Installing new firmware is as straightforward as transferring files from a USB memory stick.

Measurement automation uses SCPI (Standard Commands for Programmable Instruments) syntax, transmitted over a 100Base-T Ethernet LAN. The standard commands ensure the analyzer can also be integrated into existing systems for expansion or upgrade. In fact, the CSA is part of the Agilent Open program. It provides system-ready convenience and connectivity.

Agilent Open simplifies the process of connecting and programming test systems to help you design, validate, and manufacture products.

- Alex Mendelsohn


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