Phase-Coherent MIMO Acquisition and Generation System

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"The NI hardware and software configuration allowed us to create a phase-coherent 8 x 8 MIMO acquisition and generation system."

- Hrant Khondkaryan, Insol

The Challenge:
Developing a front panel for phase coherent MIMO systems that can be configured for two or more channels of phase-coherent signal acquisition and generation.

The Solution:
Combining the benefits of LabVIEW software, a vector signal analyzer, and a vector signal generator to create a phase-Coherent 8 x 8 MIMO acquisition and generation system.

Author(s):
Hrant Khondkaryan - Insol
Artur Galstyan - Insol

Since the first radio waves were transmitted, engineers have sought new ways to use electromagnetic microwave signals. Although RF signals have been incorporated in a wide variety of applications, two specific applications that use one common technology are wireless communications and Radio Detection and Ranging (RADAR). In essence, both applications are unique in that they use the spatial dimension of electromagnetic waves. Today, many wireless communications systems incorporate multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) antenna schemes to take advantage of the multipath signal propagation. In addition, many of today’s modern RADAR systems use electromagnetic beam steering as replacement for the traditional mechanically steered transmit signal. These applications and others are some of the primary drivers behind the demand for multichannel phase-coherent RF systems.

Phase-Coherent MIMO Acquisition and Generation Front Panel (PCAG Front Panel) is software designed for phase-coherent RF systems. An RF system containing an RF vector signal generator can be configured for two or more channels of phase-coherent signal generation. An RF system containing an RF vector signal analyzer can be configured for two or more channels of phase-coherent signal acquisition.

PCAG Front Panel features:

  1. Multichannel phase-coherent acquisition
  2. Multichannel phase-coherent generation
  3. Calibration of amplitude and phase differences between the generation channels
  4. Compensation of phase difference between acquisition channels
  5. Automated trigger routing between the PXI trigger buses in single- and multi-chassis systems
  6. Typical phase mismatch between the channels less than 0.1° (at 1 MHz bandwidth) after the calibration process
  7. Visualization of measured results
  8. Front panel made like standard NI drivers such NI-RFSA and NI-RFSG
  9. Front panel consists of PCAG VSA Front Panel and PCAG VSG Front Panel

PCAG VSA Front Panel performs coherent acquisition and analysis of RF signals and:

  1. Displays the signals on various graphs (I/Q versus Time, I versus Q, Power versus Time, Phase versus Time, Phase Delta versus Time, Power Spectra)
  2. Displays the phase difference
  3. Saves the file after calibration of channels
  4. Records and saves the file after data acquisition
  5. Self-calibrates the phase and amplitude differences
  6. Operates the PCAG VSA Front Panel and downconverter jointly

PCAG VSG Front Panel performs coherent generation of RF signals for:

− Continuous waveform signal generation

− Arbitrary waveform generation

− Generation of signal with parameters read from the recorded file

− Joint operation of PCAG VSG Front Panel and upconverter

Insol is a professional engineering company that specializes in areas such as RF, optics, and RF/optics. Insol also provides a wide range of engineering services like creating advanced systems, software development consulting, R&D, and related services. We implement designs, prototypes, and deployments using NI graphical system design technologies. Our experienced team has an exclusive practical and theoretical knowledge in RF. We have developed solutions that have already been successfully implemented and used at different companies in Russia and the United States and we are also an NI Alliance Partner.

The PCAG system performs 8 x 8 phase-coherent signal generation and acquisition. We based the front panel on the RF vector signal generator and the RF vector signal analyzer. With LabVIEW system design software it was easier and faster to produce a code with nice graphical user interfaces. We used the following NI software and hardware in our system:

NI software:

LabVIEW

NI-RFSA

NI-RFSG

NI-Sync

LabVIEW Modulation Toolkit

NI hardware:

NI PXIe-1085 chassis

NI PXIe-8135 controller

• RF vector signal analyzers:

o NI PXIe-5663

o NI PXIe-5663E

o NI PXIe-5665 (3.6 GHz)

o NI PXIe-5665 (14 GHz)

o NI PXIe-5667

• RF vector signal generators

o NI PXIe-5673

o NI PXIe-5673E

Additionally, we took LabVIEW Core 1, Core 2, Core 3, and FPGA training to help with writing the code for this project. 

By using NI software and hardware for this system, we benefited from:

o Multichannel phase-coherent acquisition

o Multichannel phase-coherent generation

o Calibration of amplitude and phase differences between the generation channels

o Compensation of phase difference between acquisition channels

o Automated trigger routing between the PXI trigger buses in single- and multi-chassis systems

o PCAG VSA front panel and PCAG VSG front panel

The NI hardware and software configuration allowed us to create a phase-coherent 8 x 8 MIMO acquisition and generation system. We used the phase-coherent MIMO acquisition and generation front panel to create a system with two or more channels of phase-coherent MIMO generation/acquisition.

Author Information:
Hrant Khondkaryan
Insol
Hovsep Emin 123
Yerevan
Armenia
Tel: (+374 94) 51-57-55
info@insol.am

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