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RF Signal Generator

Figure 1: Example of an RF signal generator (here the SMB100A)
(Courtesy of Rohde & Schwarz)

Figure 1: Example of an RF signal generator (here the SMB100A)
(Courtesy of Rohde & Schwarz)

RF Signal Generator

An RF signal generator is a device that generates high-frequency electrical voltages with a characteristic time response for measurement purposes. For measurements on radar equipment, a test signal is usually required which has a form close to the echo signal of the radar for testing or tuning work. The essential requirement is that the precisely adjustable carrier frequency is stable and the test pulse has a constant adjustable amplitude.

For classical pulse radars with an analog or digital receiver, a very simple possibility is to generate a pulse of defined length and defined power modulated with the carrier frequency of the radar, which can be shifted synchronously to the timing of the radar within the reception time. With the help of such a test pulse, the performance of the receive path can be optimized.

Vector Signal Generator

Figure 2: Example of a vector signal generator (here the SMM100A)
(Courtesy of Rohde & Schwarz)

Figure 2: Example of a vector signal generator (here the SMM100A)
(Courtesy of Rohde & Schwarz)

In addition to the functions of a simple (“scalar”) RF signal generator, a vector signal generator also has the capability of generating these test signals with a defined phase angle. With such a generator also intrapulse modulated echo signals can be simulated if their internal modulation (the so called waveform) is known. If this modulation is not known, it can also be determined with an additional measuring instrument, a vector spectrum analyzer.