Kintex UltraScale FPGAs for space applications

Last April at ESA’s SEFUW conference, I discussed the first design-in experiences of Xilinx’s next FPGA for space applications, the 20 nm Kintex UltraScale XQRKU060. The new space-grade device will enable future ultra high-throughput applications and will contain the same die as the current commercial equivalent, but its silicon will be ‘locked-down’ to provide more … Read more

Cow tipping

Radar antennas used to guide missiles require rather tight boresighting specifications, usually in the 0.1 degree range or less. Guided anti-aircraft missiles fly at high speeds, so small directional errors can mean missing the target, not a good thing. In the 1970s our company was producing these radar antennas and missiles for the US government. … Read more

Clean Those Connectors

Keeping your connectors and adapters clean will allow for the maximum measurement accuracy and repeatability. I started my engineering career as a microwave engineer at Raytheon in Goleta, Calif. Working at the typical microwave frequencies of 1GHz to 18GHz, we had to be rather religious about keeping our coaxial connectors and adapters clean. Older connectors … Read more

Dual-band amplifier meets radar-pulse test requirements

Covering a frequency range of 1.0 GHz to 4.0 GHz in two bands (1.0 GHz to 2.0 GHz and 2.0 GHz to 4.0 GHz), the AS0104-700/300 solid-state amplifier from Milmega exceeds the requirements of automotive radar-pulse test standards when used in conjunction with a new lensed horn package. The power amplifier performs radar-pulse radiated-immunity testing … Read more

Agile signal generator produces multi-emitter simulations

Keysight Technologies’ N5193A UXG agile signal generator not only enables realistic and scalable threat simulations for aerospace and defense applications, but also serves as a slide-in replacement for legacy fast-switching local oscillators often used in large, dedicated simulation systems. To produce realistic multi-threat scenarios, the UXG can switch frequency, amplitude, and phase settings in as … Read more

8-channel digitizer occupies a single PCIe slot

Agilent Technologies now offers an eight-channel version of its U5309A 8-bit single-slot PCIe Gen2 digitizer with onboard processing, increasing channel density and minimizing footprint in embedded OEM applications. Both the two-channel and eight-channel versions furnish an analog bandwidth of DC to 500 MHz and up to 2 GB of DDR3 memory for long acquisition time. … Read more

VNA test cables work up to 110 GHz

Outfitted with 1.0 mm stainless-steel connectors, flexible coaxial cables from Pasternack enable measurements to 110 GHz using a vector network analyzer. A nonconductive Nomex outer sleeve serves as light-duty armor to protect the small 0.27 in. diameter cable and improve stability during flexure. The test cables are offered in 6 in. and 12 in. lengths … Read more

Live from Autotest: Keysight sets sights at modular instruments

Autotest, the show formerly known as Autotestcon, kicks off this Tuesday in St. Louis.  And your humble correspondent is on the scene.  The news alerts are already piling up, so I’m going to cover the event in a different way from before.  I’ll publish this column, highlighting what is the biggest news so far, and … Read more

Not Your Father’s Calculator

Most technicians and engineers have a special calculator that they call their favorite. This calculator may be the one that got them through algebra and upper level engineering classes, or the one associated with a particular memorable portion of their career. In some cases, a favorite calculator is the only calculator a technician or engineer … Read more

Circuit synchronizes sensors and cameras

 View as PDF Measurement systems often usecameras and other sensors thatrequire synchronization. This DesignIdea describes an aerial-photographysystem that uses a camera comprisingCCD (charge-coupled-device) imagesensors, an inertial-measurement unit,and a GPS (global-positioning-system)unit. The resulting circuits provide triggersignals to synchronize the measurementsat the optimal rate. The GPSprovides information on spatial location,and the inertial-measurement unitprovides information on spatial azimuth.The … Read more