Spectral Analysis with a Vector Network Analyzer

Vector network analyzers (VNAs) are widely used in research, manufacturing, and service environments. These instruments contain stimulus signal sources and receivers with one or more frequency converters. Copper Mountain Technologies produces several VNA models including the Planar 304/1 VNA with a frequency range of 100 kHz to 3.2 GHz and Planar 804/1 VNA with a frequency range of 100 kHz to 8.0 GHz.

In some cases, a VNA receiver can be used for the purposes of simplified spectrum analysis, which might include detection of self-excitation, determination of signal power and harmonic level, or spectrum deviation from an expected reference spectrum, among other parameters. The main difference between a VNA receiver and a classic spectrum analyzer (SA) receiver is that the VNA receiver has less attenuation of its own spurious responses, or spurs, especially the mixing products of the first mixer.

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