EMC TEST INSTRUMENTATION
New wave of test instrumentation amplifiers with military heritage to be shown at German EMC event in Stuttgart, Jonathan Newell finds out more.
New weapon in EMC war
esting for electro-magnetic compatibility (EMC) is requiring higher field strengths than ever before as test chambers become larger and more equipment is
being packed into the EM environment. To meet this new level of demand,
London-based TMD Technologies has created the PTCM series of intelligent, modular travelling wave tube (TWT) RF instrumentation amplifiers, which the company will be introducing on its stand at the EMV 2017 event taking place in Stuttgart at the end of March.
MODULAR RACK-MOUNTED AMPLIFIER The compact PTCM series amplifiers are of customisable 6U high rack mounting construction. They are designed to deliver the highest field strengths in the test environment and to meet even the most demanding global standards, including RTCA/DO-160, MIL Standard, EUROCAE and AIRBUS ABD 100. Operating over a frequency range from DC up to 40 GHz with a power output up to 50 kW, the amplifiers are designed for a range of applications that include EMC/radiated immunity, communications, Electronic Warfare, radar, RF component testing and the scientific field. According to Heather Skinner of
TMD Technologies, the new amplifier range provides advanced EMC capability and offers a superior user interface, easy maintainability and a wealth of operational benefits.
“The user benefits include self-test, fault diagnosis, modular plug and play field replaceable Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) and Ethernet remote control and monitoring,” Skinner explained. The inherent high level of amplifier intelligence is provided by a state of the art ’system on chip’ (SOC) – controlling and synchronising all power conversion circuitry in real time, and all the monitoring, control, data logging and user interface functionality. The modular 6U high system allows a number of options – enabling, for example, dual high power TWT amplifiers at 12U high to be easily configured.
MILITARY HERITAGE The ultra-reliable PTCM Series architecture is based on demanding military standards, with excellent thermal management to provide high Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF). Also featured is Voltage Standing Wave Radio (VSWR) reflected power protection. The history of TMD Technologies
stretches back to the 1940s, when the predecessor company was engaged in radar production. Specialising in tubes, the company went on to combine tube technology with power supplies and progressed to TWT microwave tubes for military usage. I asked Skinner how this defence
industry background was relevant to its current range of instrumentation amplifiers. She explained that although
❱❱ Intelligent modular PTCM Series TWT instrumentation amplifier
instrumentation amplifiers are specified differently to those used in military applications, there are nonetheless a number of advantages that cross over between the two applications. “We have proven our expertise in the defence arena with our high power amplifiers so this is something we’re good at and can transfer to the instrumentation market. We’re also a very innovative company with a lot of flexibility to meet very demanding specifications so we’re used to supplying bespoke equipment,” she explained. Also, TMD works closely with antenna specialists and anechoic chamber manufacturers to provide full turnkey EMC testing systems.
PTCM ON SHOW EMV 2017 in Stuttgart will gather EMC specialist companies from across Europe and TMD Technologies will be using the opportunity to demonstrate the PTCM series. According to Imad Gharib, TMD’s Sales Manager, Instrumentation Amplifiers, the event enables TMD to demonstrate the company’s high level of innovation and technical expertise among some of the most important representatives of the EMC industry. “EMV 2017 presents us with the
perfect platform to discuss our advanced microwave products and services with visitors involved in the very latest EMC-specific developments, trends and emerging technologies,” Gharib concluded. EE
EMC Testing 2017 /// 5
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