Evolution of Broadband Signal Measurement and Analysis

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  • Author: Dennis Handlon
The bandwidth of signals has grown very quickly over the years, challenging the ability to effectively measure and analyze them. Traditionally, swept tuned spectrum nalyzers have been used to measure bandwidth, amplitude, sidebands and harmonic distortion. In many cases this is all that is required to characterize a signal. The information from these measurements can then be viewed in several ways such as spectral density and spectral regrowth. What is missing from the swept tuned measurements is the ability to analyze the information contained within these bandwidths. In order to analyze the information, the signal must be digitized at a high enough rate to capture the highest frequency component within the band. The challenge is to analyze these signals, which are also broadband in nature, at high center frequencies. Within this challenge is the issue of calibration overthe bandwidth to insure the best possible system error vector magnitude performance.