Increasing the realism of radar testing with an advanced signal scenario generator: Page 2 of 3

April 11, 2012 // By Beate Hoehne, Agilent Technologies
Radar designers face three seemingly contradictory imperatives: Increasing system capability while shrinking overall size and accelerating time-to-market. They face similar needs when creating systems capable of testing their new designs. All of these exist under today’s constant overarching driver: the need to reduce all associated costs, from up-front equipment purchases to on-going maintenance.
then reuse them programmatically as needed. These capabilities can be applied to waveforms or waveform sequences.

Sketching a versatile test setup

A typical test system configuration will help illustrate the value of the M8190A SSG. In addition to the SSG, the other instruments in the example system are a wide-bandwidth oscilloscope, a signal analyzer and an RF/microwave signal generator, which also serves as an upconverter (Figure 1).

Figure 1: A well-chosen combination of stimulus and measurement instruments enables highly accurate simulation and characterization of radar systems .

Agilent’s recommended configuration includes a 44-GHz Agilent E8257D PSG analog signal generator, 50-GHz Agilent Infiniium DSO90000A Series high-performance oscilloscope, 50-GHz E4448A PSA Series spectrum analyzer (with Agilent 89600B vector signal analysis software) and the M8190A SSG. Within this system, the M8190A adds its unique combination of resolution and bandwidth, enabling developers to push their radar designs to the limit and extract new insights about system performance.

This system is capable of producing the radar LFM chirp shown in Figure 2. In the bottom-right trace, a frequency-versus-time display illustrates the performance of the M8190A across a 2-GHz frequency span.

Figure 2: The M8190A enables the creation of highly realistic signals such as this radar LFM chirp (as displayed using vector signal analysis software). Click, image to enlarge.


Successful delivery of future radar systems depends on the ability to increase system capability while shrinking overall size, reducing costs and accelerating time-to-market. The same is true for the test system used to characterize radar accuracy and performance. The most cost-effective way to satisfy these needs is through the use of standardized products in both the radar and its test system. Through advances in digital technology, “standardized” is no longer synonymous with “limited functionality.” The Agilent M8190A SSG embodies this new direction: Even though the M8190A is a standardized product, it provides the signal fidelity and functional versatility needed to address a wide range of present

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