Vector signal transceiver cuts SATCOM design costs

5th June 2019
Posted By : Mick Elliott
Vector signal transceiver cuts SATCOM design costs

The PXIe-5831 vector signal transceiver (VST) from NI has been developed to further address time-to-market challenges for X-band, Ku-band and Ka-band radar and satellite communications (SATCOM) components and systems.

As the electromagnetic spectrum rapidly evolves to keep up with expanding requirements in areas like the electronic battlefield and SATCOM, engineers need to reduce the time it takes to prototype, validate and test radar and communication systems at higher frequency bands.

The PXIe-5831 VST with modular millimetre wave (mmWave) heads expands the VST product family to provide frequency coverage up to 44GHz.

It delivers 1GHz of instantaneous bandwidth for generation and analysis and features a high-performance FPGA, so users can perform faster and optimised measurements, inline signal processing and high-speed data transfer. 

“When the first VST was released in 2012, it revolutionised the way high-performance RF test sets were developed, offering the dependability of calibrated RF measurements, the flexibility of user-programmable inline processing and the ability to program in LabVIEW or leverage existing VHDL IP,” said Luke Schreier, vice president and general manager of NI’s aerospace, defense and government business. “By extending that capability to even more radar and SATCOM frequencies, we are helping address the schedule, cost-of-test and quality issues inherent in the development of complex transmit/receive systems. As a company, we also gain significant technology leverage between these applications and the commercial 5G sectors, which enables us to more efficiently support the product.” 

The PXIe-5831 combines the PXIe-5820 baseband VST with the PXIe-3622 vector signal upconverter/downconverter for direct RF generation and analysis from 5 to 21GHz.

Modular mmWave heads further expand coverage to include frequencies from 23 to 4 GHz with integrated and calibrated switching for up to 32 channels.

This enables multichannel beamformer and phased-array measurements without the need for additional infrastructure. 

The PXIe-5831 complements NI’s modular instrumentation portfolio of more than 600 PXI products, ranging from DC to mmWave. It also offers NI platform features such as high-throughput data movement using PCI Express Gen 3 bus interfaces and performs subnanosecond synchronization across PXI modules with integrated timing and triggering.

Users can take advantage of the productivity of LabVIEW software, the flexibility of the LabVIEW FPGA Module and a vibrant ecosystem of partners, add-on IP and applications engineers.

These benefits help them adapt to fast-changing technology and demanding technical requirements so they can deliver new systems on time and on budget.


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