Test & Measurement

Low noise synthesiser is quiet performer for Microwave market

18th June 2007
ES Admin
Now available exclusively in the UK from Admiral Microwaves, is a series of wideband, low noise frequency synthesisers, manufactured in the US by Micro Lambda Wireless. These YIG based devices are ideal for use in local oscillators (LOs) in receiving systems, transmitters, frequency converters and as laboratory instrument signal sources.
The MLSE Series of synthesisers exploit multi-loop synthesis and frequency extender techniques to achieve 1 to 22 or 2 to 20GHz frequency coverage with 1Hz resolution. Rivalling the best laboratory-grade test equipment, in terms of phase noise performance, the synthesisers cost significantly less, at around £12,500 for a 2-18GHz unit.

At 10GHz, the typical phase noise at 100kHz offset is –117dBc/Hz. Minimum output powers are in the range of +14 to +20dBm, while spurious performance is –60dBc.

A number of options are available including additional RF outputs for downconverting (4 to 11GHz), second LO output (500MHz to 4GHz) and special auxiliary frequency input to allow an external, additional 2 to 20GHz signal to be switched to the main output RF connector. The standard external frequency reference is 10MHz, but the unit may optionally be supplied with reference frequencies from 5 to 100MHz.

The MLSE units are easily connected to a standard PC or laptop via a parallel port using a 5-wire serial command structure, for simple operation using the computer display and keyboard now with RS232, RS422 and RS485 converters available. However, an integrated microcontroller, with non-volatile memory, supports up to 1,000 preset frequency commands plus storage of user setup data, and provides feedback on operating status, including internal temperature.

The synthesisers are particularly suitable for systems employing complex modulation, providing designers with a cost effective solution for frequency control of high performance systems requiring a 1 to 22GHz signal source, plus optional additional LO signals. They are expected to appeal to any company building radar systems or microwave instrumentation in the avionics and defence sectors.

Admiral Microwaves offers the synthesisers on a 10 to 12 week delivery and demonstration units are available for customer evaluation now.

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