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From Bob Helsel, Editor of the PXI Newsletter:

Welcome to the October 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.

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

Our thanks go to Pickering Interfaces, the sponsor for this month's issue.

Visit for more information.

Main Article


High-Precision Multichannel PXIe Systems
Realize More Efficient Wind-Tunnel Testing

Submitted by ADLINK

Simulation tests of aerodynamics are conducted to improve the physical designs of a variety of products so as to enhance overall safety, comfort, and performance. The larger the object being tested, the more complicated the test will be. Test and measurement solutions based on PXI Express (PXIe) architecture can help to simplify and speed up system installation.

Military aircraft are commonly put through wind tunnel testing to analyze hardware and software response in combat or other mission-related simulations. In the initial stage of a wind-tunnel test, a scale model in miniature is often used for simulation in a small laboratory, with design improvements continually made based on data acquired from the tests. However, the airflow volume measured in a small wind-tunnel laboratory is not enough to determine more subtle changes in airflow behaviors; real-world tests, at scale, in a large wind tunnel are still required at the final testing stage.


For instance, testing a true scale model of an aircraft requires a large number of sensors mounted across the length of the tested object in order to acquire data related to critical components such as airfoils and engine, or to determine the disturbance of high-speed airflow caused by various airfoil shapes. The increased number of sensors and extended test scale add to the difficulty of achieving accurate test and measurement.



The PXI Show China – Success on a Small Scale!

By Bob Stasonis, Pickering Interfaces

I think we can all agree that the Chinese Test and Automation markets are the largest in the world today. And as a PXI manufacturer, Pickering and many other PXSA members want a piece of this market.

Unfortunately, for many of the smaller PXI companies it is hard to break into this market.  Trade shows are huge, so small exhibits can get lost. The Marketing budgets of the smaller PXISA members limit their impact on such a huge market. But even the big players are looking for new ways to create PXI Market Awareness. National Instruments has the best market awareness and they have done an excellent job in making the Chinese market understand what NI has to offer in PXI. So how do the rest of us make an impact?

As I said above, many other PXISA members want their piece of the China market and have expressed an interest in holding a PXI related show in China.  As members of the PXISA, we also have products and services that the test and measurement industry needs and compliments NI’s offerings in many instances.  So perhaps by working together as a group, we can do a better job of creating awareness.

Read more>>

Optimizing IP3 and ACPR Measurements:
Tips for Getting the Best Performance from Vector Signal Analyzers

Submitted by National Instruments

As wireless communication becomes widespread, the increased complexity of the devices and wireless protocols create an unrelenting demand for linear RF components and systems. These ubiquitous wireless devices require high performance test systems to characterize linearity. Linearity performance, particularly third order intercept point (IP3 or TOI), has become a defining characteristic as it affects power efficiency, channel density, signal coverage, and adjacent channel power ratio (ACPR).

IP3 performance is a figure of merit used to describe the linearity of components including power amplifiers, frequency mixers, switches, ADCs, DACs, and others. This measurement involves the use of a two-tone stimulus  and requires the comparison of the power of two fundamental tones with the power of third order distortion products.

ACPR, also known as Adjacent Channel Leakage Ratio (ACLR), is an important metric for components designed for use in wireless standards such as UMTS or 3GPP LTE.

Read more>>

Thanks to all our readers.
Bob Helsel, Editor


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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):

VTI Instruments CMX18 18-Slot PXI Express Hybrid Chassis
Designed for High Power ATE System Requirements
VTI instruments’ CMX18 is a high power hybrid PXIe chassis designed for ATE test systems.  The CMX provides extensive built-in health monitoring, giving the user feedback of temperature, fan speed (airflow) and supply line monitoring to help reduce the mean-time to repair (MTTR), or shut down the system in real-time if a fault condition occurs.

New VPC VTAC High Speed Data Solution
Virginia Panel Corporation created the VTAC High Speed Data solution in response to higher data rate demands required by the latest technologies. Used in the test and measurement industry for unmanned aircraft, delivery drones, medical robotics, electric vehicles, smart devices, and consumer electronics, VTAC delivers communications at greater speeds.

SP Devices ADQ10GBE PXIe 10-Gbit Ethernet module
The ADQ10GBE module enables a 10 Gbit network connection from a cPCIe/PXIe chassis to an external host computer. It occupies a single slot is an 3U cPCIe/PXIe chassis and can be used with backplanes supporting up to x8 Gen2 PCIe. All necessary software drivers are included and can be installed on the PXIe controller. ADQ10GBE can be used both under Windows and Linux.

ADLINK  PCIe-PXIe-8638 PCI Express-to-PXI Express Expansion Kit
The PCIe-PXIe-8638 PCI Express-to-PXI Express expansion kit provides control of PXI Express modules installed in a PXI Express chassis using high bandwidth PCI Express technology. The extension kit can provide up to 4GB/s using PCIe Gen 2 x8 signaling.

NI PXIe-5668R High-Performance VSA and Spectrum Analyzer up to 26.5 GHz

The PXIe-5668R vector signal analyzer (VSA) offers 765 MHz of bandwidth with best-in-class measurement performance and speed. This high-performance microwave signal analyzer meets the challenging requirements of applications such as wireless communications, radio frequency integrated circuit (RFIC) characterization, RADAR test, and spectrum monitoring/signal intelligence.


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