NI announced a new radar test capability in its modular PXI platform. The all-new Radar Target Generation (RTG) Driver is an add-on to NI’s Vector Signal Transceiver (VST) RF instrument that unlocks closed-loop, low-latency, real-time radar test capabilities. The new driver helps engineers identify and isolate issues in the design validation phase of development before costly open-air range tests, increasing user confidence in radar system performance with accurately calibrated RF test capability.
Today, radar test engineers must test realistic scenarios to fully evaluate system-level performance. Achieving adequate test coverage through traditional test methods is both complex and expensive. Additionally, the application-specific nature of radar systems means test requirements can vary widely from system to system. To meet these nuanced challenges, NI developed the RTG Driver for VSTs, which can inject multiple independent virtual targets into radar systems during validation and production tests. This allows users to validate system performance and provide end-to-end system functional test.
Built on standard, off-the-shelf RF test hardware, the RTG Driver provides engineers with a single high-performance RF instrument for multiple test requirements, effectively combining an RF signal generator, signal analyzer and a specialized radar target generator into a single piece of hardware.
“In recent years, radar technology has become increasingly critical for flight safety, precision navigation, space applications and more,” says Luke Schreier, NI’s senior vice president and general manager of the Aerospace, Defense, and Government Business. “Modern radars are designed to adapt to electronic warfare and the ever-changing electromagnetic spectrum in dynamic ways. Due to the increased complexity of designs, finding issues before an open-air range test has never been more important.”
The NI RTG Driver is an alternative field-programmable gate array (FPGA) configuration for specific PXI Express Vector Signal Transceiver models. The VST configuration is a closed source and license-restricted FPGA personality that allows the transceiver to operate as a closed-loop, real-time radar target generator or channel emulator. Users can confidently add up to four independent targets to their radar or provide four multipath delay channels for data link system test. Since the VST is a calibrated RF signal analyzer and generator, its highly accurate response improves the reliability and repeatability of test scenarios, delivering increased confidence in test results.
Click here to learn more about NI’s PXI Vector Signal Transceiver (VST) Radar Target Generation (RTG) system.