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Test & measurement


Figure 1


Easy measurement of radar pulse stability


The higher the amplitude and phase stability within a radar pulse, the more information a radar system can extract from the received signal. Making stability measurements with the required level of sensitivity used to be complex and costly. A new option for the Rohde & Schwarz FSWP phase noise analyser and VCO tester now makes these measurements easy and straightforward


R


adars not only receive echoes from the targets they are intended to detect, but also from surrounding objects such as


trees, buildings and ocean waves. These incidental echoes, which are referred to as clutter, are of no interest to radar operators, plus they impair radar performance. However, signal processing in advanced radar systems can detect and suppress unwanted reflections by comparing the phases and amplitudes of successive echoes and displaying only moving


Figure 2


targets, for example. The higher the phase and amplitude stability of the transmitted pulses, the better the results of signal processing. With high-quality signals, it can be assumed that any phase and amplitude variations are attributable to the target and not to instabilities in the transmitter system. Knowing the phase and amplitude stability of transmitted pulses is therefore crucial when assessing the sensitivity of a radar system. In particular, the power amplifiers in the transmitters can negatively


affect stability. Precise measurement of these components is necessary in order to maximize overall system sensitivity and to allow the detection of targets with a very small radar cross section such as micro aerial vehicles.


SiMPle SeTuP FOR A COMPlex MeASuReMenT High-sensitivity measurements of the phase and amplitude stability of pulses, especially on amplifiers, previously required complicated test setups involving multiple instruments. The R&S FSWP-K6P option for the R&S FSWP phase noise analyser and VCO tester now greatly simplifies these measurements. The new option is an enhancement to the FSWP-K6 pulse measurements option and is intended specifically for characterising pulse stability. The FSWP-K6P option takes advantage of the FSWP hardware, which is optimised for very low phase noise and measures phase and amplitude stability with higher sensitivity than a spectrum analyser. The FSWP can also generate pulses like a radar


22 April 2019 Instrumentation Monthly


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