Modular RF switch and control platform supports range of test scenarios

Modular RF switch and control platform supports range of test scenarios

New Products |
By Nick Flaherty

The R&S OSP is being shown for the first time at the Electronica trade show in Munich this week and allows users to combine a wide variety of switch and control modules for a custom control centre for a test scenario that can include previous generation modules. Test setups for new technologies such as 5G and state-of-the-art radar technology require switch and control technology with large frequency ranges and short switching times.

The R&S OSP220/230/320 units and OSP-B200S2 satellite box include features such as the optional OSP-K100 trigger function as hardware-based switching of predefined paths is possible using the external trigger inputs and outputs. This allows users to reduce switching times even further compared to a LAN based trigger. Such short switching times are necessary, for example, to trigger the high-speed solid-state relays in antenna arrays and radar modules. The OSP320 provides an additional digital address input on its rear panel for direct triggering of predefined paths.

A new web interface gives full control of the platform so that separate software is no longer needed to configure the OSP. The display automatically adjusts to the size of the screen and if the controlling PC has a large monitor, several switch modules are displayed at the same time. This provides a clearer overview of complicated interconnections. Path control allows users to combine the relay switches of one or more OSPs to define paths and these paths can be preconfigured in virtual mode without having all devices and modules available.

The OSP220/230/320 have five, six or ten module slots on the front and rear panel and test engineers can define where the cabling is based depending on their specific requirements. The module slots can be combined to form larger application-specific modules.

As previous modules can be used with the new generation there is already a comprehensive range of modules is available, including RF relays, electromechanical coaxial relays up to 67 GHz, solid-state relays and digital I/O and multiplexer modules. The new switch and control unit can be used as a desktop model for lab measurements or as a control centre for complex rack-based test systems with several OSPs can be combined on a network using a master/slave configuration to create a complex switch network of 20, 50 or more relays.

The OSP-B200S2 satellite box enables remote operation, for example, in a shielded test chamber, moving the switch and control tasks closer to the DUT or the antennas. This reduces the number of long RF cables, improves the RF performance of the setup and saves money. Depending on the application, the satellite box is triggered using a serial electrical bus cable or a fibre-optic connection.

The new generation of the R&S OSP switch and control platform is now available from Rohde & Schwarz.

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