How to Use Spectrum Analyzer, Preamplifier and Signal Generator to Measure Noise Figure

Spectrum analyzer is a superheterodyne receiving equipment with display device. It is an instrument to study the spectrum structure of electrical signals. It is used to measure signal parameters such as signal distortion, modulation, spectral purity, frequency stability and intermodulation distortion. It can be used to measure some parameters of circuit systems such as amplifiers and filters. It is a multi-purpose electronic measuring equipment. Preamplifier usually refers to the circuit or electronic equipment placed between the source and the amplifier stage. It is designed to receive weak voltage signals from the source. The signal generator is generally called signal source and oscillator. It is a facility that can support a variety of frequency waveforms and level signals.

What is the function of preamplifier in Spectrum Analyzer?

Preamplifier: the power amplifier placed in front of all processing circuits (just behind the input port) to increase the signal strength, increase the signal-to-noise ratio and reduce the interference of bottom noise. In fact, the signal increases and the bottom noise remains unchanged. However, taking the signal as a reference, it is considered that the signal is unchanged, which can also be said that the bottom noise is reduced.

How to use spectrum analyzer, preamplifier and signal generator to measure noise figure?

Many noise figure measurements can be made only with spectrum analyzer and preamplifier. The frequency of the device under test can be covered only by spectrum analyzer, preamplifier and signal generator. The accuracy of this method is lower than the Y-factor technology that needs to be calibrated noise source, and is equivalent to the amplitude accuracy of the analyzer at the frequency of interest. The specific measurement steps are as follows:

1. Set the signal generator and spectrum analyzer to the frequency of the measured noise figure and measure the gain of the device. Mark the value gain (d).

2. Measure the gain of preamplifier in the same way. Mark the value gain (P).

3. Disconnect any input of the spectrum analyzer and set the input attenuator to 0dB. The preamplifier input has no connection. Connect its output to the input of the spectrum analyzer. When making this connection, you will see an increase in the average noise level displayed by the analyzer.

4. Connect the input of the device under test to its characteristic impedance and the output to the input of the preamplifier. At this time, the noise level displayed by the analyzer shall increase.

5. Set the spectrum analyzer video bandwidth (VBW) to 1% or less of the resolution bandwidth. Press the marking function (MKR fctn) key, then press the noise marker on soft key. Place the mark on the frequency of the noise figure to be measured. Read the marked noise power density in DBM / Hz and mark it as noise (o).

6. Then calculate the noise coefficient nfig of the device under test: nfig = noise (o) - gain (d) - gain (P) 174 DBM / Hz.

How to Use Spectrum Analyzer, Preamplifier and Signal Generator to Measure Noise Figure 1

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