R&S®SMF100A Microwave Signal Generator

Signal generation redefined

Excellent signal quality
  • Exceptionally low single sideband phase noise: typ. –120 dBc
    (at 10 GHz; 10 kHz carrier offset; 1 Hz measurement bandwidth)
  • Improved close in phase noise performance with option R&S®SMF-B22 (f= 10 GHz; offset 10  Hz; measurement bandwidth 1 Hz; -65 dBc (wo R&S®SMF-B22; -57 dBc))
  • Very low wideband noise: typ. <-148 dBc at 10 GHz
    (>10 MHz carrier offset; 1 Hz measurement bandwidth; at +10 dBm)
  • Very low harmonics: typ. <-55 dBc at 10 GHz (at +10 dBm)
  • High suppression of nonharmonics: typ. <-62 dBc at 10 GHz
    (>3 kHz carrier offset; at +10 dBm)
All-purpose applications
  • Frequency range 100 kHz to 43.5 GHz
  • Frequency, level, and LF sweeps
  • AM, broadband FM, φM, pulse modulation
  • Two multifunction generators up to 10 MHz
  • Usable for scalar network analysis with R&S®NRP-Zx power sensor connected
  • The pulse generator can generate pulse trains for radar testing (R&S®SMF-K27 option), i.e. a combination of pulses with different widths and spacings between the pulses
Ideal for use in production
  • Very short level and frequency setting times across entire level and frequency range:
    <4 ms (frequency), <3 ms (level), typ. <750 µs (List mode; frequency and level)
  • Very high output power of up to typ. +25 dBm
  • Outstanding absolute level accuracy and level repeatability
  • Connector for R&S®NRP-Zx power sensors for precise power measurement
  • Selection of interfaces for remote control
  • Low space requirement in rack: only three height units
Aerospace & defense applications
  • Optional pulse modulator with excellent data:
    >80 dB on/off ratio
    <10 ns rise/fall time
    <20 ns pulse width
  • Optional pulse generator
  • Optional removable compact flash disk to meet high security requirements
Up to 170 GHz with R&S®SMZ frequency multiplier

The R&S®SMF100A (22 or 43.5 GHz model) in combination with one of the below frequeny multipliers R&S®SMZ covers the frequency range from 50 GHz up to 170 GHz

Model overview        
Frequency multiplier R&S®SMZ75 R&S®SMZ90 R&S®SMZ110 R&S®SMZ170
Frequency range 50 GHz to 75 GHz 60 GHz to 90 GHz 75 GHz to 110 GHz 110 GHz to 170 GHz
With mechanically
controlled attenuator1)
o o o -
With electronically
controlled attenuator1)
o o o -

1) Only one of the following options can be installed: the mechanically or the electronically controlled attenuator

Flexible pulse trains

For generating more complex pulse scenarios, the R&S®SMF100A offers a new feature – based on its pulse modulator and pulse generator concept – using the R&S®SMF-K27 pulse train option. In contrast to single or double pulses, "pulse trains" are a combination of different pulses, which can be a periodical or non-periodical set of pulses. The built-in optional pulse generator makes it now possible to generate these "pulse trains", which are commonly used for radar applications. Pulse width as well as pulse pause can be set independently and separately for each pulse. This makes it possible to generate staggered pulses or to apply jitter to pulse width as well as pulse pause.

In contrast to ARB solutions, the greatest advantage is the much better performance of the pulse modulator with respect to ON/OFF ratio, rise and fall time, etc.

Single pulses
Single pulses
Double pulses
Double pulses
Pulse train (with the R&S®SMF-K27 pulse train option)
Pulse train (with the R&S®SMF-K27 pulse train option)
Power analysis (power versus frequency; e.g. scalar network analysis)

In the absence of spectrum or network analyzers scalar network analysis can be performed by means of the R&S®SMF100A microwave signal generator with the R&S®SMF-K28 power analysis option plus an R&S®NRP-Zx power sensor. One example is to measure the passband characteristic of a bandpass filter.

The input of this filter is connected to the RF output whereas the output is connected to an R&S®NRP-Zx power sensor. The power sensor itself is plugged to the sensor input of the R&S®SMF100A. Based on the entered frequency range the R&S®SMF100A performs the measurement and displays the passband of this bandpass filter. The filter can now be manually tuned and the adjustments can be directly controlled on the R&S®SMF100A display.

Passband measurement of a bandpass filter (3.25 GHz … 5.25 GHz)

Measurement setup:

  • Microwave signal generator R&S®SMF100A
  • R&S®SMF-B122 (frequency option 1 to 22 GHz)
  • R&S®SMF-K28 (power analysis option)
  • Power sensor R&S®NRP-Z81 (other R&S®NRP-Zxx power sensors can be used alternatively)
“Power versus frequency” menu of the power analysis option R&S®SMF-K28 (including settings of the bandpass measurement)

For enabling the power analysis the option R&S®SMF-K28 is needed.

Manual Download: R&S®SMA-K28, SMF-K28 Demo Guide and Extended Operating Guide

Power analysis (power versus power; e.g. compression point measurements)


Compression point analysis with an R&S®NRP-Zxx power sensor.

The R&S®SMF100A microwave signal generator plus a power sensor R&S®NRP-Zxx enables pulse data analysis in measurement mode “power”. In the following graphs 1 dB- and 3 dB-compression point measurements of an external amplifier are shown:

1dB compression point measurement of an external amplifier

Measurement setup:

  • Microwave signal generator R&S®SMF100A
  • R&S®SMF-B122 (frequency option 1 to 22 GHz)
  • R&S®SMF-K28 (power analysis option)
  • Power sensor R&S®NRP-Z81 (other R&S®NRP-Zxx power sensors can be used alternatively)
3dB compression point measurement of an external amplifier

Measurement setup:

  • Microwave signal generator R&S®SMF100A
  • R&S®SMF-B122 (frequency option 1 to 22 GHz)
  • R&S®SMF-K28 (power analysis option)
  • Power sensor R&S®NRP-Z81 (other R&S®NRP-Zxx power sensors can be used alternatively)
“Power versus power” menu of the power analysis option R&S®SMF-K28 (including settings of the external amplifier measurement)

For enabling the power analysis the option R&S®SMF-K28 is needed.

Manual Download: R&S®SMA-K28, SMF-K28 Demo Guide and Extended Operating Guide

Power analysis (power versus time; e.g. flexible pulse analysis)


Pulse analysis with an R&S®NRP-Zxx power sensor.

The R&S®SMF100A microwave signal generator in combination with a power sensor R&S®NRP-Z81 enables pulse data analysis in measurement mode “time”. All important pulse parameters are measured after setting the threshold levels. The following graph shows most of these parameters:

“Power versus time” menu of the power analysis option R&S®SMF-K28 (including settings of a single pulse measurement)
Pulse analysis of a single pulse scenario

Measurement setup:

  • Microwave signal generator R&S®SMF100A
  • R&S®SMF-B122 (frequency option 1  to 22 GHz)
  • R&S®SMF-K28 (power analysis option)
  • Power sensor R&S®NRP-Z81

For enabling the power analysis the option R&S®SMF-K28 is needed.

Manual Download: R&S®SMA-K28, SMF-K28 Demo Guide and Extended Operating Guide

User-defined correction of external frequency responses

DUTs such as power amplifiers always have frequency responses. In these cases, the signal generator needs to compensate for the frequency response. The R&S®SMF100A offers the User Correction function for precisely this purpose. For a known frequency response that needs to be corrected, you can enter the level correction values as a function of the frequency. Automatic interpolation of the correction values is performed between these frequency points.

To simplify this, the R&S®SMF100A can also automatically include the level correction values at the press of a button by using external Rohde & Schwarz power sensors.

Output level of the R&S®SMF100A microwave signal generator with (red) and without (yellow) frequency response correction
User correction table with frequency and level correction entries in Hz and dB, respectively
Closed loop power control

One important performance requirement in many applications is the generation of a highly accurate and stable power for testing DUTs (e.g. power amplifiers). This is not a trivial task since the real power directly applied to the DUT is affected by the level accuracy of the signal generator, the losses due to cables, the losses due to modules or components or the gain of an amplifier and last but not least by mismatching (as illustrated below).

The solution to overcome the above problem is “closed loop power control” in real time which is a standard feature of the R&S®SMF100A or R&S®SMB100A. In the below setups it ensures a highly accurate and very stable input power to the DUT irrespective of unwanted power drifts or changes in your setup.

In between the RF output of the R&S®SMF100A or R&S®SMB100A and a directional coupler (or the R&S®NRP-Z28) different components, modules, amplifiers or cables might be used, which lead to a unknown input power to the DUT. By using the R&S®NRP-Zxx power sensor connected to the directional coupler or the R&S®NRP-Z28 instead, one can measure the input power to the DUT. The measurement result of the R&S®NRP-Zxx or the R&S®NRP-Z28 is fed back to the R&S®SMF100A or R&S®SMB100A which compares the measured level with the wanted level. It immediately adapts its output power in order to overcome the discrepancy between wanted and measured level.

Pict 1: Closed loop power control with directional coupler
Pict 2: Closed loop power control with R&S®NRP-Z28 (level control sensor)
Intuitive operating concept
  • Intuitive operating interface with graphical representation of the signal flow (block diagram)
  • Operation with rotary knob on instrument or with USB mouse
  • VGA color display with 640 pixels × 480  pixels
Selection of interfaces
  • Remote control via GPIB, Ethernet or USB
  • USB ports for keyboard, mouse, and memory stick
  • Connector for R&S®NRP-Zx power sensors for precise power measurement
  • Control via remote operation tool (e.g. VNC)
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