Test & Measurement

Top 5 T&M products in September

30th September 2021
Sam Holland

Electronic Specifier takes a look at the top T&M (test and measurement) products to have been released in September.

VIAVI equips Picocom to validate O-RAN base stations

Viavi Solutions has announced collaboration with technology supplier Picocom to provide complete test solutions for validation of Open RAN base station components, including chips, physical layers and protocol stack software, for small cell 5G networks compliant with O-RAN standards.

5G network deployments are now well underway worldwide. Yet, communications service providers are challenged to effectively meet the complex and diversified needs of many different industry use cases with macro cell sites. As an Open RAN baseband semiconductor and software specialist, Picocom is actively involved with the O-RAN ALLIANCE and Small Cell Forum (SCF) to advance Open RAN standards for intelligent, manageable and controllable small cell base stations, meeting the differentiated needs of various markets.

The VIAVI TM500 network tester, which is in use with almost every base station manufacturer worldwide, is capable of measuring the complete performance of the 5G network over multiple interfaces, including Open Fronthaul and RF through to the packet core. Picocom selected the TM500 for use in the lab to create a sophisticated and precise test environment, including comprehensive feature interactions, simulated RF and accurate replications of real-world user behaviour profiles, to ensure performance of small cell base stations in O-RAN networks.

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Asset management tool helps speed instrument calibration

Test and measurement engineers looking to speed up and simplify calibration of their fleet of test and measurement equipment have a powerful new asset management tool.Tektronix has released an upgraded version of its cloud-based asset management software CalWeb.

Managing large fleets of test and measurement equipment for calibration services can be a time-consuming, manual process.

CalWeb solves this with a web-based app that enables customers to see their calibration and repair histories and related documentation all in one place.

All information is stored securely and globally accessible from any computer or mobile device. 

“Customers manage complicated fleets of test and measurement equipment, often with multiple brands that require calibrations or other services at different times. With CalWeb, we simplify all of that for customers, so they can track all their services on all equipment from the palm of their hand,” says Tektronix Service and Support Organization vice president Corey Christmann.  

The CalWeb 2021 upgrades provide instant access to more information and can integrate smoothly with existing systems.

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Data logging software takes to the cloud

Pico Technology has announced general availability of the PicoLog Cloud data logging software. The product enables users to set up and control captures on a source PC and then remotely view them on any number of client devices running the software.

They can also be viewed on a standard browser, live or previously saved captures on any PC or tablet device connected to the internet.

A simple server-side API allows PicoLog Cloud to transfer live capture data from a data logger or oscilloscope to a third-party application while the capture is running.

With the PicoLog data residing on a server, this API allows programmers to request the data in batches.

This feature is particularly useful to users who want to add extra functionality such as emailing alarms or captures, plotting data in a different way (fill tanks, throttle needle, large numerical displays and so on), adding logger data to existing databases and much more.

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Laird Thermal Systems expands Nextreme chiller platform

Laird Thermal Systems has developed a next-generation benchtop recirculating chiller that combines advanced thermoelectric cooling technology with high-performance heat exchangers to achieve 400 Watts of cooling capacity, while offering temperature stability to within ±0.05°C under steady state conditions. 

The Nextreme NRC400 Performance Chiller is an ideal cooling solution for research laboratories, analytical imaging, industrial laser systems, and test & measurement applications where precise temperature in a highly portable chiller is required. 

Solid-state thermoelectric coolers utilise the Peltier effect to heat or cool offering more precise temperature stability than compressor-based systems. Because it utilises solid-state thermoelectric technology, the NRC400 chiller has fewer moving components resulting in higher uptime and minimal maintenance. Compared to previous models, the NRC400 is quieter and uses a centrifugal pump with low pulsation, which can be important in the lab for operators and sensitive optoelectronics the chiller is trying to keep cool.

The portable NRC400 chiller weighs only 21 kg, which is significantly lighter and smaller than traditional compressor-based cooling systems. The unit is a semi-closed system featuring a large reservoir tank that requires less refilling during operation. Operators can easily control temperature setpoints and alarm features via an intuitive touchscreen display.

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Yokogawa unveils 5 picometer optical spectrum analyser

Next generation optical performance is the introduction Yokogawa gave to its optical spectrum analyser (OSA).

It is designed to offer the extreme high precision demanded by researchers developing the next generation of optical communication components.

With the exponential growth in the Internet of Things, as well as cloud computing services, video broadcasting and conferencing, and the rise in access to mobile broadband, demand for data capacity will expand hugely over the next few years.

High capacity optical backhaul networks will be needed to serve this growing traffic density. Dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) is an optical multiplexing technology used to increase bandwidth over the existing fibre network.

As data hungry applications push the performance requirements of DWDM systems, telecommunication channels become ever more closely spaced, making it more difficult to separate the individual channels in the wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) analysis on an OSA.

The Yokogawa AQ6380 OSA will enable engineers and scientists to develop and improve the speed, bandwidth and quality of the next generation of communication networks, while its ease of use ensures it can be operated quickly and efficiently.

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