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From Bob Helsel, Editor of the PXI Newsletter:

Welcome to the March 2014 edition of the PXI Newsletter.  Our intent is to educate and inform you about how the PXI standard is being used in modular test systems for a wide variety of industries.

Our main article this month, Achieving Excellent Spectrum Analysis Results Using Innovative Noise, Image and Spur-Suppression Techniques, shows a PXIe vector signal analyzer that provides advantages to those who need to quickly locate known or unknown signals—including spurs and harmonics—across a wide frequency range. Also, we have a case study, Advancing Subaru Hybrid Vehicle Testing Through Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulation, which shows how a PXI platform user achieved the simulation speed and model fidelity required for verification of an electric motor ECU.

In the New PXI Products section, we are showcasing PXI products recently released by members of the PXI Systems Alliance.

Our thanks go to National Instruments, the sponsor for this month's issue.

Visit for more information.

Main Article

Achieving Excellent Spectrum Analysis ResultsUsing Innovative Noise, Image and Spur-Suppression Techniques

Submitted by Agilent Technologies

The need to measure spurious and harmonic signals is not  new. However, emerging requirements include more of these measurements and specify demanding test conditions. In aerospace and defense applications, the task may be a search for known or unknown signals across a broad spectrum. In wireless communications, the need is to characterize increasingly complex devices in an ever-increasing number of conditions and device states—and do so as quickly as possible.

In all cases, searching for spurs and harmonics requires instrumentation that can help you find low-level signals at unknown frequencies across a wide frequency range. Making such measurements requires a spectrum or signal analyzer that can perform high-speed measurements with a low noise floor, minimal spurs and images, and high dynamic range.

As will be discussed here, signal analyzers generally fall into two broad categories: preselected and non-preselected. A typical preselected analyzer may not be fast enough for high-speed, high-resolution measurements. This is especially true of units that include a YIG-tuned preselection filter: sweeps generally take tens of milliseconds, which isn’t fast enough for many of today’s high-speed test equirements. By eliminating the preselection circuitry, non-preselected analyzers typically offer advantages in speed, accuracy and noise floor compared to preselected analyzers. However, unwanted images and spurious mixer products will significantly impair usability for general spectrum measurements.



Advancing Subaru Hybrid Vehicle Testing Through Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulation


Case study submitted by National Instruments
Author:  Mr. Tomohiro Morita - FUJI Heavy Industries, Ltd.

The Challenge:
Using automated testing to develop a new verification system that satisfies the control quality level required for the motor electronic control unit (ECU) in Subaru’s first production model hybrid vehicle, Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid, and creating strenuous test conditions that are difficult to achieve using real machines.

The Solution:
Building a verification system with the NI PXI-based platform that makes automatic execution of all of the test patterns possible and replicates the most severe testing environments to ensure the highest level of safety to the user, while obtaining the required control rate and meeting critical timelines.

Today, automobiles are equipped with an enormous number of ECUs to manage expanded functionality and advanced controls in the vehicle. In a hybrid vehicle, the motor ECU plays an even more complicated role as it manages the interaction between the conventional engine and the electric motor, along with its power systems.



Thanks to all our readers.
Bob Helsel, Editor

NI sponsor 2014

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New PXI Products

The PXI platform continues its explosive growth with many new product introductions. New products introduced in the last three months include (listed in the order received):

AMC58103 8-Slot PXI Express Chassis
The AMC58103 eight-slot chassis features a high-bandwidth backplane with PXI Express capability in every slot to meet a wide variety of high-performance test and measurement and control application needs. It is ideal for high-speed measurements, data streaming, and high-channel-density system solutions.

Agilent M9393A PXIe performance vector signal analyzer
The new M9393A, the world’s fastest, most accurate high-performance PXIe VSA, offers analysis up to 27 GHz. The performance and frequency range of this instrument make it ideal for aerospace/defense manufacturing and deployment of transmitters and their components for MilCom, SatCom and Radar, as well as wireless design validation and manufacturing when higher frequencies are required for harmonics or spurs. 

NI PXIe-5646R vector signal transceiver
The PXIe-5646R extends the benefits of the software-designed instrument platform by providing new hardware capabilities to the Vector Signal Transceiver product family. Built on the NI LabVIEW RIO architecture, the PXIe-5646R provides a vector signal analyzer and vector signal generator with an industry leading 200 MHz of RF bandwidth while also leveraging the speed and flexibility of the user programmable FPGA.

VPC 150 Amp High Power Contacts
VPC has developed a new High Power contact that reaches up to 150 Amps for your high current applications. Our High Power solution offers 360° of contact with low insertion force for quick and easy connections. Available in contacts and patchcords, which can be used in our PXI compatible 90 series products.

OpenATE DPS16, 3U PXI High Voltage PMU/DPS

DPS16 offers high voltage PMU/DPS in a compact, 3U PXI form factor. It supports -1V to +10V +- 256 mA FVMI/FIMV modes. Every 8 PMUs can be ganged to DPS for high current driving. DPS16 has 2 ADC to measure 2 channels in parallel.



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