Agilent - Best Practices for Making the Most Accurate Radar Pulse Measurements

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Introduction


RF and microwave power measurement is critical at every stage of the radar system lifecycle, helping to ensure the basic performance of the system is met. Today’s test engineers are challenged to deliver comprehensive test results within the tightest schedule. Moreover, test coverage is not allowed to be compromised with the reduction in scheduled test time. These factors now force engineers to seek out equipment enabling the most coverage and providing the fastest measurement speed. The most cost-effective way of analyzing the output power from a radar system is with RF and microwave power meters and sensors. As a long time manufacturer of power measurement tools for the aerospace and defense industry, Agilent has invaluable knowledge to share on making optimal radar measurements. This application note describes various tips to help test engineers make the fastest, most accurate radar pulse measurements.


Specific topics to be covered include:

• an overview of IEEE standard 181-2011 as the standard used for pulse definitions
• differences between 10%, 50%, 90% and 1%, 25%, 81% transition duration reference levels
• how to achieve the most accurate and consistent rise/fall time measurements
• how to capture an RF pulse with noisy spikes utilizing hysteresis and the hold-off setting
• how to maximize equipment’s dynamic range to make the most accurate pulse measurements
• how to maximize pulse measurement speed
• advanced radar measurements with multi-pulse functions up to 10 consecutive pulses.

In addition, this application note will highlight a number of real-world scenarios that demonstrate the time savings and accuracy improvement achieved using Agilent power meters and sensors. Also included is a list of relevant literature and links to selection tables and other useful web tools...

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