IN MY OPINION

Interconnect Advances Fuel Technology Growth
By Orwill Hawkins, Vice President of Marketing, LadyBug Technologies

With increased frequencies, higher data rates, and lower noise levels, the microwave industry serves as a leader in technological capability. Demand for quality interconnects has increased right along with other higher-performance areas in the industry.
Read More...

MILITARY MICROWAVE DIGEST


MMD March 2014
New Military Microwave Digest

ON THE MARKET


E-Band Active X5 Multiplier
Model SFA-743843516-12SF-N1 is an E-band X5 active multiplier with center frequency at 79 GHz with minimum +/-5 GHz operational bandwidth. It converts 14.8 to 16.8 GHz/+5 dBm input signal to deliver 74 to 84 GHz frequency band with more than +16 dBm power.
Sage Millimeter

Hand-Flex™ Coaxial Cable
Covering DC to 12.5 GHz, this 8” coaxial cable, 141-8SMNB+, has a bulkhead Female Type-N connector at one end and SMA-Male at the other. Features include low loss, excellent return loss, hand formable, and an 8mm bend radius for tight installations.
Mini-Circuits

Phase Trimmer Series
This new phase trimmer series is designed for RF applications where phase match between two cables is needed for proper system performance. Phase trimmers, offered from DC to 50 GHz, will give an accurate phase adjustment over a specified frequency range.
RLC Electronics

Planar Monolithics Industries
Model PTRAN-100M18G-SFB-3UVPX-MAH is a transceiver covering the frequency range of 100 MHz to 18 GHz. The transceiver fits into a 3U Open VPX form factor utilizing the high speed VITA 67 RF connector.
Planar Monolithics Industries

SMT High-Power Attenuators
Now available with full design support capabilities are three new SMT high-power attenuators from Anaren. These 30 to 50W devices are high-performance, high-power chip attenuators covering DC to 3.0 GHz and feature high return loss and small footprints.
Richardson RFPD

See all products in this issue


 

December 2012

The Changing Face of Test & Measurement
By Richard Hawkins, President, LadyBug Technologies

By Barry Manz, Contributing Editor, MPD

Over the years we have seen dramatic changes in the way power measurements are made. At LadyBug Technologies we have been leading the way in some key development areas. Two factors are driving these changes: more functionality in smaller packages, and benefits arising from commercial computing technology advances.

More Functionality in Smaller Packages
In the past, one had to purchase separate instruments to perform CW and peak power meter measurements. Today, it is possible to get this functionality in a single package. This enables a reduction in overall instrument size, which then reduces the power requirement. While in the past a box instrument would have a dedicated power supply, now all necessary power comes via a standard USB cable.

Not only are things getting physically smaller, we are also enjoying greater capability. At LadyBug, our USB power sensor offers an all-in-one solution: average, pulse, and peak power capabilities. This is possible now as a result of improvements in processor speed. True average and true power measurements can now be produced in a smaller package.

These capabilities enable a dramatic simplification of the whole power measurement process. In the past, power meters had dedicated power sensors with multiple ranges that required both zeroing and calibration. This process required a higher degree of skill before it was possible to take even a basic measurement. Today, with the increase in computing power, we are able to avoid external calibration by using internal memory in the sensor to store all the necessary calibration data. Eliminating the need for zeroing and calibrating the sensor greatly simplifies setup time. The previous requirement for the test technician to know calibration factors and what to do with them has been eliminated.

Benefiting from Commercial Computing Technology Advances
The line between computer and instrument has further blurred with instrumentation having transitioned over to standard computer platforms. Today, test and measurement gets advances in computing technologies automatically. For example, as the industry moves to USB 2 and then USB 3, we gain all the benefits of these new capabilities with minimal investment. Drivers for these industry standards are quickly updated and compatibility across test stations and manufacturing locations becomes less of an issue.

In addition, standard commercial software tools are becoming more capable. For example, Microsoft® Excel is becoming our tool of choice for automating our test processes. It no longer is necessary for test engineers to purchase expensive software programs that are dedicated to test and measurement. Today, we write macros that run inside an MS Excel spreadsheet to simplify the basic tasks of our customers. At LadyBug we recently introduced a self-certification process that customers can download for free from our website. Using our spreadsheet, customers can perform their own power sensor re-certification on-site, without having to send units out to a cal lab or back to our factory. The program steps the test engineer through the process, driving the instruments and generating both the cal report and certificate. We are currently working with several of our customers to extend our MS Excel capability into a number of new application areas.

In short: greater capability in smaller packages, combined with computing technology, is making test and measurement both faster and more cost-effective — and at LadyBug Technologies, we are proud to play a part in those advances.

LadyBug Technologies
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FROM WHERE WE SIT

Uncertain Times for DefenseIn Defense of DARPA; Lamenting Bell Labs
By Barry Manz

A federal agency like DARPA is a sitting duck for politicians and assorted other critics. It has come up with some truly bizarre programs over years that ultimately either delivered no tangible results, were canceled before they could cause any damage, or attempted to answer questions that nobody was asking or needed answers to. Read More...


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