Red Pitaya, the company that is pioneering the move to low cost, open-source, reconfigurable instrumentation with its credit-card-sized STEMlab platform, has launched a VNA new bridge module and application that enables STEMLab to function an affordable vector network analyser (VNA), a precision measuring tool that tests the electrical performance of high frequency components in the radio frequency.
STEMlab is a test and measurement environment that includes a board, an application marketplace and a source code library. It is designed as a low-cost alternative to many expensive measurement and control instruments. STEMlab can function as an oscilloscope, logic analyser, signal generator, spectrum analyser and more, also performing other tasks, now including vector network analysis.
To run the VNA application users need a STEMlab plus an additional VNA bridge module – both available from Red Pitaya’s web store. VNA is a contributed application that runs on Windows and Linux. It covers a frequency range of 500kHz to 62MHz, has a directivity of 42dB (typ), a dynamic range of 74dB and a noise floor of 88dBm. Software features include: plot formats (Smith chart, impedance, SWR, reference coefficient, return loss); open, short and load calibration modes; measurement export and marker readouts. Included in the VNA module box are an RF SWR bridge module in an aluminium enclosure, calibration accessories (50 ohm, open and short load) and cables.
CEO Rok Mesar comments: “Our vector network analyser running on STEMlab is great solution that enables engineers to test and optimise the performance of antennas, RF filters, RF switches, couplers and cables. It is the perfect tool for professionals seeking affordable, highly functional test and measurement equipment, educators, students, makers, hobbyists and HAMRADIO amateurs.”