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How the Model 855B is Playing a Pivotal Role in the Breakthrough of Phased Array
San Rafael, CA – January 7, 2020 – Advancements
in phased-array antenna systems have brought about major developments in radar,
mobile communications and satellite broadcasting. The
Berkeley Nucleonics Model 855B is used as an internal LO source
in many of the new state of the art phased array antennas.
Communication with conventional satellites requires one to focus a narrow electromagnetic
frequency beam at the satellite (parabolic surface). Due to the antenna's size and
weight, it can be quite difficult and costly to track a satellites' movement. Phased
arrays, however, are composed of several smaller, fixed antennas. By changing the
relative phase for the signal that each unit transmits, the combination of all these
small signals produces a larger focused beam--and because this process is fully
electronic, adjustments to the beam's direction are nearly instantaneous. A phased-array
antenna system can, therefore, track a satellite regardless of its movements, without
the need for any mechanical moving parts.
"Phased-array satellite antennas have been around
for years," says John Lauder, Chief Technical Officer at Berkeley Nucleonics. "The
challenge has been to decrease the technology size while reducing the manufacturing
cost to an economical price point. Previous industry standards were a fraction of
a percent radial programming accuracy, but this level or radial resolution offers
an order of magnitude improvement."
Multi-channel signal generators play a critical role in the development and advancement
of phased-array antenna systems, similar to how they are used as internal LO sources
in the frequency-converting components of larger antennas. The Model 855 offers
an extremely high resolution with a programmable RF output phase of 16 bits, which
assists in beam formation. Both the frequency and the phase can also be swept with
the same high resolution to provide nearly flawless, synchronous multi-channel sweeps.
Another key feature of the Model 855 is its high phase stability between outputs
and devices when using a common reference, which can be scaled depending on the
application. And the inclusion of the Option PHS (phase-coherent switching) allows
users to replicate initial phase between channels, resulting in reproducible beams
over power cycles without the need for phase calibration after cycling the power.
About the Model 855 Series of Multi-Channel RF / Microwave Signal Generators
- Radar simulation
- Quantum computing
- High volume automated testing
- Phased array antenna / beamforming
- Electronic warfare
- SatCom R&D
- Very low phase noise
- Industry lowest phase drift
- Fast switching
- Phase-coherent switching option
- 2, 3 or 4 phase-coherent outputs
- Option VF, Varied Frequencies
Model 855 Series is a phase-coherent multi-output fast switching
and low phase noise signal generator with a frequency range from 300 kHz (B only)
to 6.2, 12.5, 20.0 or 40 GHz. The 855 is ideally suited for a variety of applications
where good signal quality and a wide, accurate output power range are required.
Excellent phase noise is combined with spurious and harmonic rejection. A high-stability
OCXO reference provides excellent frequency accuracy and stability. The generator
accepts external 10MHz, 100MHz references and 3 GHz System Ref In and System Ref
Out for synchronizing multiple BNC Model 855.
The Model 855 series comes in standard 19 inch 1U (up to 4 channels) or 3U (up
to 8 channels) enclosures and offers various control interfaces such as USB, LAN,
or GPIB. Each interface allows easy and fast communication using the SCPI 1999 command
set. Remote control of the instrument can be quickly attained from any host computer
using a free and intuitive GUI. In addition, a customer-supplied application programming
interface (API) or programming examples for Matlab, Labview, C++, and other commercially
available tools make implementation very straightforward.
About Berkeley Nucleonics
ounded in 1963, BNC is a leading manufacturer of precision electronic instrumentation
for RF/Microwave research. BNC has its corporate headquarters in San Rafael, California
with several additional manufacturing facilities and sales offices located throughout
the United States. Phased Array Antennas are evolving rapidly, and BNC is at the
forefront of this technology shift, capitalizing on these new requirements with
its patented, high performance, software-defined radio technology, and a PC-controlled,
networked architecture that provides unparalleled performance for the price. In
addition to the RF / Microwave signal source line of equipment, BNC offers Phase
Noise Test Systems (Signal Source Analyzers) & Real-Time Spectrum Analyzers.
Berkeley Nucleonics Corporation
22955 Kerner Boulevard
San Rafael, CA
Phone: (800) 234-7858
Posted January 8, 2019