June 27, 2011

System in a Single Box – New Features for The R&S®BBA100 Broadband Amplifier


Rohde & Schwarz has added important new features to enhance the R&S®BBA100 product line. With its new options, the R&S®BBA100 is now more than a mere amplifier, it is an all-in-one system.

The integrated system controller is now able to offer extensive switching options for input, output and sample signals without using external switching matrices. Furthermore, up to two amplifiers from other manufacturers can be integrated into an R&S®BBA100 to obtain amplifier systems from 9 kHz up to 6 GHz. Last but not least, USB remote control has been implemented.

RF output switch
The RF output switches allow flexible switching of frequency bands to different loads, e.g. clamps and antennas. RF output switches are available in 2:1 (2 inputs, 1 output) or 1:2 (1 input, 2 outputs) versions and can be cascaded as required by a specific application.
Currently the RF output switches are able to switch RF power of up to 500 W and frequencies of up to 8 GHz. A higher-power version for switching up to 2000 W will be available by the end of July.

RF sample port switch
The standard sample port option provides a pair of outputs for forward and reflected RF power for each frequency band. The new sample port switch option uses internal solid-state switches to route the sample signals from up to four frequency bands to two common sample ports. The common outputs of the RF sample port switch can be mounted at the front or rear panel. The RF sample port option is a prerequisite for using the RF sample port switch option.

External amplifier integration
Up to two existing amplifiers from other manufacturers can be optionally integrated into an R&S®BBA100 system while maintaining consistent overall system operation. To integrate other amplifiers, their signal paths are implemented as RF paths that are controlled in the same way as for the other frequency ranges. To provide a clear view of frequency bands and output power, the user can determine how the paths should be displayed on the graphical user interface.

USB remote control
The new USB interface, which is available on all laptops and PCs, now can also be used for remote control (additionally to GPIB, Ethernet and optical Ethernet). USB is very useful for quick and easy remote control without having to spend time for configuration. The remote control commands naturally are the same as the commands for the other interfaces and are in line with SCPI.