Agilent Technologies Adds Precision Noise and Gain Figure Measurements to its PSA Spectrum Analyzers

11/13/2002 - Agilent Technologies introduced a noise figure measurement personality for its PSA Series high-performance spectrum analyzer that allows measurements of noise figure and gain from 200 kHz to 26.5 GHz at the touch of a button.

The new noise figure measurement personality can be used with any spectrum analyzer model in the PSA Series. Instruments currently in service require a minor hardware upgrade (option 119), the measurement firmware (option 219), and an inexpensive recalibration performed at an Agilent Technologies service center. PSA models shipped after Dec. 19, 2002 will incorporate the hardware enhancements, and can be upgraded at any time by purchasing the firmware and recalibration.

To ensure low measurement uncertainty (high accuracy) and improve sensitivity when making noise figure measurements, spectrum analyzers generally require a low-noise preamplifier. The PSA Series instruments incorporate a preamplifier with very low noise, wide dynamic range, and flat frequency response from 10 MHz to 3 GHz. This preamplifier and the instruments' inherent performance characteristics combine to produce total measurement uncertainty at frequencies up to 3 GHz as low as +/-0.05 dB, which is comparable with Agilent's industry-leading NFA Series noise figure analyzers. The NFA Series provides the lowest levels of measurement uncertainty of any commercially available noise figure measurement solution.

The measurement personality makes noise figure measurements extremely easy, automating the various steps in the process and guiding the operator. All of the calculations required of noise figure and gain measurements are performed automatically. The operator simply connects the noise source, presses "Calibrate," then inserts the device to be measured and the results appear immediately.

Unlike other spectrum analyzer-based noise figure measurement solutions, the PSA Series has an integrated uncertainty calculator that automatically calculates total measurement uncertainty. The instrument calculates errors introduced by all elements of the test setup, including the instrument, noise source, and cables. In addition, the measurement personality provides guided routines for amplifier and mixer measurement that make it simple to characterize the noise figure of these devices. The instrument prompts the operator to enter all required information and provides assistance throughout the measurement procedure.

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The noise figure measurement personality (option 219) is priced at $5,650, and the hardware upgrade (option 119) for instruments currently in service is $700. Both options are expected to be available on Dec. 19, 2002. The PSA Series high-performance spectrum analyzers are currently available starting at $42,000.

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics and life sciences. The company's 37,000 employees serve customers in more than 120 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $8.4 billion in fiscal year 2001.

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