Engineering 101

Digitizers deliver precision measurements for up to 48 channels

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Twelve products have been added to Spectrum Instrumentation’s family of LXI-based digitizer NETBOX data acquisition instruments. Designed specifically for situations where multiple signals need to be acquired, stored and analyzed, users can select from models that provide 24, 32, 40 or even 48 fully synchronized channels.

The new DN6.59x series digitizers are all based on the latest high-resolution 16-bit ADC technology and come with a choice of maximum sampling rates (20, 40 and 125MS/s) and bandwidths (10, 20 and 60MHz) to best match applications found in a wide variety of industries.

It’s a combination that makes these instruments ideal for use in multi-channel applications where signals, in the DC to 60MHz frequency range, need to be acquired and analyzed with the highest precision and accuracy.

Importantly, each channel of a digitizer NETBOX has its own ADC and signal conditioning circuitry. The ADC’s all share a common clock so that the acquisitions made on all the channels are fully synchronous and have zero phase error.

The design of the clocking system ensures that cross channel timing measurements are made with the highest possible precision while the independent signal conditioning enables the units to be used with signals that have a wide range of amplitudes.

Each channel has its own programmable input amplifier, with ranges between ±200mV and ±10V, input offset for unipolar measurements, termination of 50Ω and 1MΩ and an integrated calibration circuit. The inputs also feature single-ended and true differential channel modes.

The signal conditioning circuitry is further complemented by the high-resolution 16-bit ADCs which offer signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) up to 81dB, spurious free dynamic range (SFDR) up to 103dB and total harmonic distortion (THD) as low as -86dB.

Oliver Rovini, CTO at Spectrum, says: “These new digitizer NETBOX systems offer an easy-to-use solution for anyone who needs to make accurate multi-channel measurements. They should be of interest to everybody working with multiple signals, such as those produced by arrays of sensors, receivers, detectors or antennas, and also to users who need to test signals from multiple electronic components or test points. As such, we believe the instruments will find wide application in areas such as Ultrasound, Laser, Communications, Lidar, Radar, Power, Physics, Automotive, Medical and Materials Science, as well as general electronic Test and Measurement.”

Controlling and accessing the data collected by the digitizer NETBOX is done by simply connecting it with GBit Ethernet to a host computer (e.g. laptop or workstation) or anywhere on the corporate network.

The platform is fully LXI compliant (following Core 2011 Specifications) and offers an IVI compatible interface for the IVI Scope and IVI Digitizer classes.

Users can write their own control program using almost any popular language including C++, LabVIEW, MATLAB, VB.NET, C#, J#, Delphi, Java and Python code. Alternatively, users can simply run Spectrum’s own software, SBench 6 Professional.

SBench 6 Professional comes as standard with the digitizer NETBOX. It lets users control all the modes and settings of the hardware via a simple, easy-to-use, interface. The software is designed to support multi-channel acquisitions and has a host of built-in features for waveform display, data analysis and documentation.

These include FFT analysis, XY display, a function interpreter, parameter measurements, export into ASCII, Wave, MATLAB, signal and display comment functions as well as a powerful report generator.

Source Spectrum Instrumentation

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