Cost efficient modular 2-port VNAs perform at 43.5GHz

5th August 2020
Alex Lynn

Anritsu has introduced the ShockLine ME7868A family of modular 2-port VNA (vector network analysers) that can conduct full vector S-parameter measurements over wide distances of up to 100m.

Consisting of two MS46131A 1-port VNAs with the PhaseLync synchronisation option hardware and accessories, the ME7868A VNA uses the MS46131As as portable VNA ports to directly connect to the device under test (DUT) to deliver vector transmission measurements over longer lengths and at a lower cost.

The VNAs offer multiple advantages compared to traditional solutions that use 2-port VNAs with very high dynamic range and require long and expensive phase stable microwave cables to reach the DUT.

Available in 8GHz, 20GHz, and 43.5GHz frequency models, the ME7868A series supports multiple existing and emerging commercial and military applications, including high frequency 5G. As the first modular-port-based VNA, the ME7868A eliminates the need for long port cables to measure transmission over distance for applications such as outdoor antenna range testing, over-the-air (OTA) chamber installations, large vehicle (aircraft, ship) electromagnetic characterisation (shielding, RF propagation), and long-distance cable insertion loss measurements.

The new PhaseLync technology enables two MS46131A 1-port VNAs to phase synchronise with each other over a distance of up to 100m for the first time. PhaseLync improves dynamic range and measurement stability of s-parameter measurements by eliminating the need for long cables with conventional benchtop VNAs. The result is greater cost and operational efficiencies when measuring transmission over distance.

Very lightweight and extremely compact, the two MS46131A 1-port VNAs that comprise the ME7868A are USB controlled via an external PC running ShockLine software. Engineers can easily configure and control MS46131A VNAs from a single PC to conveniently match port count to test setup requirements. Data is more secure, as all measurement results are stored on the PC, rather than the VNA, making the solution well suited for confidential testing environments.

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