28 Aug 2018

Wideband I/Q data recorder provides realistic laboratory device tests

Rohde & Schwarz have introduced their new IQW wideband I/Q data recorder. This can be used to record signal scenarios typically required in test cases at a bandwidth up to 512 MHz and high sampling rates.

The R&S IQW solution records wideband RF signals and reproduces them to simulate real-world test environments, enabling realistic, repeatable device tests in the lab.

The overall data recorder solution comprises: an R&S FSW signal and spectrum analyzer; the new R&S IQW wideband I/Q data recorder; and an R&S SMW200A vector signal generator. The R&S IQW records the signal spectrum of a wideband RF signal or the spectra of multiple narrowband signals in a frequency band, with a bandwidth up to 512 MHz. This makes it ideal for realistic component tests with radar signals, for deployments using a variety of RF test scenarios in the automotive sector, and for tests employing GNSS signals, for example.

To obtain signals as realistic as possible for simulations, the R&S IQW high-end I/Q data recorder samples signal spectra at a rate up to 640 Msample/s and a large bit depth – 16 bits each for I and Q data. Removable 6.4 Tbyte SSD memory packs are used for storage.

Signals are captured by an R&S FSW signal and spectrum analyzer. The instrument acquires signals with high sensitivity, generates the corresponding I/Q data in real time and transfers the data gapless to the R&S IQW. The R&S FSW comes in seven models for frequency ranges up to 90 GHz.

For signal playback, the wideband recorder feeds the I/Q data to the R&S SMW200A vector signal generator, which reconstructs and delivers the corresponding RF signal. This high-end generator supports a wide range of signal configurations and can add any desired radio signals, e.g. standard cellular, WLAN and GNSS signals, to the R&S IQW signal to create more complex signal scenarios. This enables defined and repeatable measurements under controlled conditions in the lab or in an EMC test chamber, as frequently required in the test cases for the diverse standards.

The wideband I/Q data recorder is usually operated via LAN using a web based GUI that automatically adapts to the actual screen size. The recorder can also be operated locally via its 5.7" TFT touchscreen, with the option of connecting an accessory keyboard and mouse.

Using this overall solution, a realistic capture of the real life scenarios can be captured more accurately, enabling better testing during development and prior to release.

By Ian Poole

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