New Agilent PXI VSA seeks out RF interference

As spectrum becomes more crowded, tracking down interference becomes more important. Agilent this week announced a product that gives spectrum users another weapon in the battle against interference. The PXI Vector Signal Analyzer (VSA) is a new configuration of Agilent's M9392A analyzer. Agilent says it is the first dual channel PXI vector signal analyzer with high-bandwidth, independently tuned, two-channel, continuous data capture.

The instrument offers 250 MHz of analysis bandwidth, 26.5 GHz frequency coverage on two channels, and continuous streaming up to 100 MHz bandwidth. It uses Agilent's 89600 VSA software for measurements.

"As modern radios often operate in urban areas in a complex RF environment with many sources of interference, Agilent's new wideband, two-channel solution with 100-MHz continuous data capture provides designers with unique capabilities for environment recording applications," said Mark Pierpoint, vice president and general manager of Agilent's software and modular solutions division.

This power does not come cheap. A single channel PXI VSA costs $66,235 and the dual-channel unit goes for $132,470. Expect to spend more for chassis, controller and 89600 VSA software. The good news is existing M9392A customers and upgrade their hardware and software to enable multichannel control.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.