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Recreating Real-World Chaos with Arbitrary Waveform Generators

When testing complex electronic warfare and wireless communications systems, engineers and researchers need the flexibility to accurately recreate real-world signals. Unfortunately, the real world is messy, and its RF landscape can change rapidly from moment to moment. Thus, engineers often need to cycle through fast-changing signals quickly. With this need in mind, we’ve introduced new Streaming Waveform ID functionality to our family of high-performance arbitrary waveform generators (AWGs).

The new capabilities that are now found with the AWG70000B deliver significant advantages for replicating real-world chaos during simulation exercises and the evaluation of modulated signal formats. Managing a dynamic reproduction of an RF environment can sometimes mean keeping track of thousands of individual waveforms. New Streaming Waveform ID utilizes a dedicated ethernet port to the rear panel of the instrument. This port allows for direct access to the sequencer hardware via UDP-formatted packets, enabling immediate access to sequence steps stored in memory. Over 16,000 sequences can be recalled in any order and queued with either a timer or a trigger, as shown in Figure 1.

Diagram of Data packets sent to the Streaming Waveform ID port of an arbitrary waveform generator

Figure 1. Data packets sent to the Streaming Waveform ID port enter a First-In-First-Out stack. Each data packet can call on any of 16,383 waveforms in the sequence to be output.

This level of performance allows for the direct generation of the fully-modulated RF/μW signals required by modern radar. Most of these requirements are impossible to meet with lower-performance AWGs or traditional vector signal generators (VSG) that struggle to quickly move between multiple wide-bandwidth signals. The high signal fidelity, long waveform memory, and ultra-wide instantaneous bandwidth of the AWG70000B Series influence the ability to support different radar technologies, compensate for internal/external device imperfections, and emulate real-world environments and conditions.


This video demonstrates the Streaming Waveform ID functionality within the AWG70000B. If you're doing simulated system testing of electronic warfare or other complex signaling environments, and need to change stimulus seamlessly and quickly, the Tektronix AWG70000 arbitrary waveform generator gives you the ability to create and quickly simulate complex sequences.