Agilent Upgrades Spectrum Analyzer with Noise Figure, Gain Measurements

12/3/2003 - Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) introduced measurement capabilities for its ESA-E Series mid-performance spectrum analyzers that allow all the required calculations for noise figure and gain from 10 MHz to 26.5 GHz at the touch of a button.

The new noise figure measurement personality and hardware option (Option 219) can be used with any of the five ESA-E Series spectrum analyzer models: E4401B, E4402B, E4404B, E4405B and E4407B. The addition of noise figure capability brings the number of application-focused solutions for the ESA-E series to 10, making this an extremely flexible tool for the design bench and an economical tool for production facilities, where reducing the variety of test equipment without compromising the range of tests performed is essential.

The ESA portable spectrum analyzer is the only commercially available spectrum analyzer that works with Agilent's SNS Series noise sources. These noise sources provide the advantage of electronic storage and automatic download of excess noise ratio (ENR) data to the ESA, speeding up overall setup time. The SNS noise sources also have automatic ambient temperature sensing that allows the ESA to apply compensation during the measurement cycle, leading to reliable and accurate measurements.

To ensure low measurement uncertainty (high accuracy) and improve sensitivity when making noise figure measurements, spectrum analyzers generally require a low-noise preamplifier. The ESA-E 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 instrument noise figure uncertainty at frequencies up to 3 GHz as low as +/-0.24 dB.

With a user interface identical to the noise figure solution on the Agilent PSA Series high-performance spectrum analyzers, the ESA-E Series also has an integrated 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.

Option 219 provides the richest set of measurement data available in a mid-priced spectrum analyzer with seven different parameters, including noise figure, noise factor, gain, Y-Factor, effective temperature, hot power density (Phot) and cold power density (Pcold). The user can also analyze captured data from many different perspectives by switching between multiple views -- graphical, tabular or meter -- all available with pass/fail limit testing for quick and easy interpretation.

The measurement personality makes noise figure measurements extremely easy, automating the various steps in the process and guiding the operator via setup diagrams or with comprehensive context-sensitive help. All calculations required for noise figure and gain measurements are performed automatically. The operator simply connects the noise source, presses "calibrate" to calibrate the instrument for the desired setup conditions, then inserts the device to be measured and the results appear immediately.

Additional information about the noise figure measurement personality for the ESA-E Series spectrum analyzers is available at Photos of the products are available at

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The noise figure measurement personality and hardware (Option 219) is available now and is priced at $4,500. The ESA-E Series mid-performance spectrum analyzers start at $12,500. Instruments currently in service can be easily upgraded by the customer or at an Agilent Technologies service center.

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 29,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6.1 billion in fiscal year 2003. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

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