ShockLine™ ME7868A family of modular 2-port VNAs
Anritsu introduces the ShockLine™ ME7868A family of modular 2-port vector network analyzers (VNAs) that can conduct full vector S-parameter measurements over wide distances of up to 100 meters. Consisting of two MS46131A 1-port VNAs with the PhaseLyncTM synchronization option hardware and accessories, the ME7868A VNA uses the MS46131As as portable VNA ports to directly connect to the device under test (DUT) to deliver vector transmission measurements over longer lengths and at a lower cost. The VNAs offer multiple advantages compared to traditional solutions that use 2-port VNAs with very high dynamic range and require long and expensive phase stable microwave cables to reach the DUT.
Available in 8 GHz, 20 GHz, and 43.5 GHz frequency models, the ME7868A series supports multiple existing and emerging commercial and military applications, including high frequency 5G. As the first modular-port-based VNA, the ME7868A eliminates the need for long port cables to measure transmission over distance for applications such as outdoor antenna range testing, over-the-air (OTA) chamber installations, large vehicle (aircraft, ship) electromagnetic characterization (shielding, RF propagation), and long-distance cable insertion loss measurements.
The new PhaseLync technology enables two MS46131A 1-port VNAs to phase synchronize with each other over a distance of up to 100 meters for the first time. PhaseLync improves dynamic range and measurement stability of s-parameter measurements by eliminating the need for long cables with conventional benchtop VNAs. The result is greater cost and operational efficiencies when measuring transmission over distance.
Very lightweight and extremely compact, the two MS46131A 1-port VNAs that comprise the ME7868A are USB controlled via an external PC running ShockLine software. Engineers can easily configure and control MS46131A VNAs from a single PC to conveniently match port count to test setup requirements. Data is more secure, as all measurement results are stored on the PC, rather than the VNA, making the solution well suited for confidential testing environments. Analysis and documentation are also simplified, as there is no need to transfer data off the onboard instrument memory.
Target Markets and Applications
The ShockLine ME7868A aims at insertion loss applications that require long cable runs at higher frequencies up to 43.5 GHz. Testing in OTA chamber applications as well as large vehicle (aircraft, ships, etc.) shielding analysis and propagation measurements are target applications for this system because they require long interconnect cabling between the (typical) 2-port VNA and the device or antenna under test. At millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequencies, the cabling used with a standard VNA has significant insertion loss and phase instability that negatively affect the dynamic range and repeatability of S-parameter measurements. To overcome these issues, high-performance (expensive) VNAs, active signal conditioning hardware, and other components must be added to the typical test setup, which greatly increases the cost and complexity. With the groundbreaking ShockLine ME7868A, the two ShockLine MS46131As act as portable ports on a 2-port VNA that can be spread apart by 100 meters or more with the PhaseLync synchronization technology. This enables the ME7868A to eliminate the long cable runs and extra equipment in these long distance test setups by bringing the VNA port to the device or antenna under test directly, significantly reducing cost and complexity.
Video: ShockLine ME7868A 2-Port VNA System Introduction
Please visit the Anritsu VNA page for more information