Making vector network analysis accessible
Today’s microwave measuring instruments need to be straightforward, accurate, portable and affordable. No longer restricted to specialists, they are now used by scientists, educators, surveyors, inspectors, engineers and technicians in radio and gigabit data applications. Now Pico Technology has applied its expertise in microwave sampling oscilloscopes and time domain transmission and reflectometry to bring you a USB vector network analyzer.
The PicoVNA 106 is a professional USB-controlled, laboratory grade vector network instrument of unprecedented performance, portability and affordability. Despite its small size and low cost, the instrument boasts a ‘Quad RX’ four-receiver architecture to eliminate the uncorrectable errors, delays and fragility of three-receiver designs with internal transfer switches.
The PicoVNA 106 offers exceptional dynamic range of 118 dB and only 0.005 dB RMS trace noise at its maximum operating bandwidth of 140 kHz. It can also gather all four s-parameters at every frequency point in just 190 µs; in other words a 500 point 2-port .s2p Touchstone file in less than one tenth of a second. The cost is so low that the PicoVNA 106 could even be used as a cost-effective high-dynamic-range scalar network analyzer! It’s affordable in the classroom, small business and even amateur workshop, yet capable in the microwave expert’s laboratory.
Vector network analysis everywhere
With all these advantages, the PicoVNA 106 is ideal for field service, installation test and classroom applications. Its remote automation interface extends its use to applications such as:
Test automation or the OEM needing to integrate a reflectometry or transmission measurement core, in:
Electronics component, assembly and system, and interface/interconnect ATE (cable, PCB and wireless)
Material, geological, life-science and food science tissue imaging or penetrating scan and radar applications
Inspection, test, characterization or calibration in the manufacture, distribution and service center industries
Broadband cable and harness test at manufacture, installation and fault over life
Antenna matching and tuning
In the classroom, Pico supports Network Metrology education through a low-cost, potentially one-per-student classroom kit. The Network Metrology Training Kit comprises PCB based passive and active circuit and transmission line examples, calibration standards and test leads, and for Microwave Office users, the project files used in its design. Just add the PicoVNA 106 to start making and learning about network measurements and their critical role within the Design-Simulate-Implement-Measure design cycle.
PicoVNA Interface Wizard
Pico provides the PicoVNA Interface Wizard, which provides instrument control and one-click data transfer into the NI AWR Design Environment platform. Additionally a Software Development Kit is available on GitHub, providing coding examples that interface MATLAB and NI LabVIEW, and languages such as C, C# and Python.