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Data Acquisition

Data acquisition projects are using some kind of acquisition frame to measure the real world signals and converting the samples into digital numeric values.
Data Acquisition projects contain several standard elements like:

  • Temperature (Thermo Couple / PT-100 ...), Pressure, Vibrartion ... measurements.
  • Calibration data.
  • Graphical Presentation.
  • Logging.
  • Database handling.
  • Alarming.
  • Reporting (pdf).

Existing standard programs provide many of these elements but most of the time some custom request makes them not the ideal solution. This is where CAT-Solutions comes into play, offering custom build data acquisition software with all the requirements you need.

Below the Keysight Technologies 34980A frame. Other types of data acquisition can be used also of course.

Cable characteristic measurement

Cable characteristic measurement application using the E5061B-005 LF-RF Network Analyzer with option 005 for Impedance Analysis.

The network analyzer offers versatile network analysis in the broad frequency range from 5 Hz to 3 GHz. Comprehensive LF network measurement capabilities including built-in 1 Mohm inputs have been seamlessly integrated with the high-performance RF network analyzer. The analyzer has two kinds of test ports; the S-parameter test port (Port 1 and 2) and the gain-phase test port. The S-parameter test port has a 50 ohm built-in S-parameter test set that seamlessly covers a broad frequency range from 5 Hz to 3 GHz. The gain-phase test port has reference and test receiver inputs whose input impedance is switchable to 1 Mohm or 50 ohm. The frequency range is 5 Hz to 30 MHz. The most typical application is the frequency response analysis for low-frequency devices and circuits, such as OP amps and control loop circuits of DC-DC converters or in this case low-frequency cables.

The cable characteristics measurements application helps the operator to conduct different kind of cable measurements (including calibration procedure).

Reflection method

Using the S-parameter port-1 and port-2 50 ohm coaxial cables can be connected and measured via the binding post fixture. Other cable impedance measurements are conducted using an impedance transformer (BALUN). During calibration procedure the BALUN is included to measure and compensate for the BALUN frequency response. After calibration the reference pane is the BALUN.

Series-thru method

Non-coaxial cables (twisted pair) are measured using the gain-phase test port. A power splitter is used to measure the reflected energy.
Below a few measurement types; Calibration-Thru, Cable-Thru, Cable-Far-End Cross-Talk and Cable-Near-end Cross-Talk.


Impedance measurement

Impedance measurement application using the E4980A LCR meter and E4990A Impedance Analyzer.

This application is used in a production line where electronic components are produced. At the end of the production line a robot is used to pick and place the components in a fixture. There is one fixture for LCR measurements and one fixture for the Impedance Analyzer. Limit Testing is done by the Application using Marker data from the Impedance Analyzer. There are 5 Markers used for this purpose. The setup of the Impedance Analyzer is stored in settings file on the instrument, the LCR setup is done by the Test Application using the parameters from the xml configuration file. The application is build using C# and Microsoft .NET framework 4.0. The application is communicating via LAN Sockets with the E4990A Impedance Analyzer and E4980A LCR meter.

The application communicates with the robot to perform complete measurement cycle for each component and to report if the component is Pass or Fail. The application is also logging all test results for later statistical analysis and performs the required calibration steps for both instruments.

For debugging purposes there are calibration and test buttons available to control the application without robot communication. These buttons are disabled during normal operation.

RF Switch-Box

RF Switch box solutions using the Keysight Technologies L4490A or L4491A frame.

This universal frame can be equipped with RF switch modules. The frame contains the hardware to control the switching via GPIB or LAN (LXI). The RF Switch box is used in combination with a RF-signal monitoring / alarm application using MXA signal analyzer. The application is remote controllable.