Networked Acquisition Controller
The Networked Acquisition Controller (ELE-NAC), part of the Advanced Antenna Measurement System, has three primary purposes:
- Extend the basic measurement functionality to support beam steering operation with active electronically steered array (AESA) antennas in Advanced Antenna Measurement System
- Improve acquisition speed in systems with a Vector Network Analyzer
- Provide interfaces to legacy equipment in hybrid systems that have a mix of new and old equipment
The Networked Acquisition Controller is a valuable component that optimizes overall system throughput and test capacity. The overhead of networking, handshaking, sequencing, coordination, triggering, data flow, etc. between many types of devices is often the most significant limiting factor in total system performance. The Networked Acquisition Controller was specifically designed to optimize these interactions, achieving significant performance advantages.
The ELE-NAC manages the position trigger from the position controller, the external trigger to the receiver and the ‘measurement done’ signal from the receiver. This optimizes the triggering cycle among these different instruments for high throughput timing and data collection. External sources and LO units in a measurement range can be triggered by the ELE-NAC to coordinate with receiver operation, allowing efficient multiple frequency measurements across many instruments. The ELE-NAC can also manage NSI-MI Multiplexers to provide an additional 16 channels of data. For active antenna testing, a 16 bit beam steering port is provided, with handshake lines, so that a beam steering computer or additional switched data channels can be added seamlessly to the acquisition. Two high-speed binary coded decimal (HSBCD) ports are provided for position data from position control systems such as third-party controllers or the legacy MI-1885 Position Display Unit. The ELE-NAC collects this position data so that it can be referenced to the position trigger points for the receiver or on each frequency when external sources are used. The ELE-NAC buffers vector network analyzer or microwave receiver test data for transmission to the control PC. The ELE-NAC then coordinates the transmission of the buffered data to the control PC where it is captured for data analysis purposes. This removes the control PC from real-time responsibilities during the acquisition allowing higher system throughput.
The Networked Acquisition Controller (NAC) optimizes overall system throughput and test capacity achieving significant performance advantages.
- Wide frequency coverage
- Synchronizes measurements with multiple axes of high-speed position data
- Up to 16 channels of multiplexer control
- Maximizes acquisition throughput with VNAs
- Up to 1024 beam steering states in a single acquisition sequence
- Buffers acquisition data