What is a Spectrum Analyzer?
The terms spectrum analyzer and signal analyzer are often used interchangeably, however there are some differences in function and capability. Signal analyzer is a more accurate term for modern day analyzers that provide more comprehensive signal analysis, not only in frequency-domain, but also time and modulation domains.
Spectrum Analyzer Basics Application Note (AN 150)
This application note offers an explanation of the fundamentals of swept-tuned superheterodyne spectrum analyzer basics and also covers the latest advances in spectrum analyzer capabilities.
Agilent’s Signal Analyzer and Spectrum Analyzer Demonstration Videos on YouTube
Watch demonstrations on how to use Agilent's spectrum analyzers, signal analyzers, and measurement applications.
Spectrum Analyzer and Signal Analyzer Products
View Agilent’s broad range of spectrum analyzer and signal analyzer products, select and compare compare to identify the right instrument to meet your measurement needs.
RF Back to Basics: Signal Analysis Webcast
Learn why spectrum or signal analysis is important for a variety of applications and how to measure system and device performance using a signal analyzer.
What is Real-Time Analysis?
Read the RF Test Blog written by Ben Zarlingo, an applications specialist for Agilent Technologies.
Spectrum Analyzer FAQs
Are there different types of spectrum analyzers?
There are two types of spectrum analyzers and the type is dictated by the method used to obtain the spectrum of a signal. A swept-tuned spectrum analyzer uses a superheterodyne receiver to down-convert a portion of the input signal spectrum (using a voltage-controlled oscillator and a mixer) to the center frequency of a band-pass filter. With a superheterodyne architecture, the voltage-controlled oscillator is swept through a range of frequencies, enabling the consideration of the full frequency range of the instrument. A fast Fourier transformation (FFT) analyzer computes the discrete Fourier transform (DFT), a mathematical process that transforms a waveform into the components of its frequency spectrum, of the input signal.
When would I use a benchtop rather than a handheld spectrum analyzer?
Benchtop spectrum and signal analyzers offer superior specifications and measurement applications, while handheld spectrum analyzers are favored by those who spend more of their time in the field.
Can a spectrum analyzer produce real-time results?
Yes, a real-time spectrum analyzer uses a hybrid technique where the incoming signal is first down-converted to a lower frequency using superheterodyne techniques and then it is analyzed using FFT techniques. Agilent offers a real-time option for the PXA signal analyzer.
Can I demodulate signals with a spectrum analyzer?
By using a spectrum or signal analyzer with Agilent’s 89600 VSA flexible modulation analysis software or measurement applications, you can demodulate a broad range of standard-based and general-purpose digital signals and formats.
What types of spectrum analyzers does Agilent offer?
Agilent offers a broad range of signal analyzer products, including swept-tuned and FFT spectrum analyzers, spectrum analyzer software and spectrum analyzer measurement applications.
What frequency range does Agilent’s spectrum analyzer offering cover?
Agilent offers an extensive selection of spectrum and signal analyzer products from DC to 50 GHz and extendable to 325 GHz with external mixers.
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