Test & Measurement

Network metrology training kit coupled with Microwave Office

29 July 2020 Test & Measurement

Pico Technology has added significant functionality and value to its low-cost, high-performance vector network analyser, by joining the NI/AWR Connected Partner community.

The PicoVNA interface wizard integrates and tightly couples highly affordable vector network measurement within the market-leading Design–Simulate–Implement process flow of Microwave Office (MWO) and the AWR Design Environment. Component, system and subsystem measurements become available, controllable and displayed inside the Microwave Office workspace. Real-world measurements are available for one-click transfer to plots for direct comparison with simulated data or to users’ project files for use within simulation.

Features at a glance:

• Control and view PicoVNA output from inside the design environment.

• One-click measurement transfer to new or existing project data files or plots.

• Fast, convenient comparison of ideal, modelled and measured component data.

• Simulation with measured component or subsystem data.

• Extend measured data to zero hertz for passive component simulation at DC.

• Active device measurement and plotting of maximum stable and available gain, K-Factor and B1.

A powerful education and training alliance

Can there be any more effective and rewarding learning experience than completing an entire design cycle? Unfortunately, the high costs of microwave network measurement have, for many, compromised that experience in the classroom. However, the more affordable PicoVNA 106, 6 GHz, full-function, professional-grade vector network analyser, partnered with Microwave Office, could change the game.

Add to that mix the newly available Network Metrology Test Kit from Pico Technology. Low-cost, potentially a per-student item, the kit includes active and passive circuit elements and all the low-cost calibration standards and test leads that are needed to partner the PicoVNA 106 in classroom microwave network measurement. This PCB-hosted kit was designed within Microwave Office. DUT (device under test) elements can be modified by students and the kit is supplied with the MWO project design file for immediate engagement with any of the available circuit elements at any point in their design cycle.

Either within MWO or used standalone with the PicoVNA 106, this single integrated teaching accessory supports teaching objectives around reflection and transmission measurements, S-parameters and standard measurement quantities. These can be presented and interpreted as log, linear, phase, real, imaginary, polar and Smith charts, with derived quantities, group delay and time domain transmission and reflection.

Additionally, by including an active broadband amplifier element, nonlinear compression measurements such as P1dB and AM to PM phase due to amplitude modulation can be explored using the PicoVNA 106’s built-in measurement utilities.


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