Legacy Pro


Instrument emulation – breathing new life into existing test systems

Since its introduction in the 1990s, the Standard Commands for Programmable Instruments (SCPI) standard has revolutionized remote control and interchangeability of modern test instruments. However, test systems developed prior to the arrival of SCPI support legacy equipment that uses instrument-specific command sets that are incompatible with the modern standard.

R&S®LegacyPro from Rohde & Schwarz addresses the issue of code compatibility that arises when replacing an obsolete instrument with an up-to-date successor. Instruments supporting R&S®LegacyPro have a list of specific legacy test equipment that can be emulated.

If you have any questions please contact us.

Dealing with obsolence?

Test systems with an expected service life of more than 20 years are commonplace in aerospace and defense applications. Managing the maintenance and obsolescence of aging equipment in these test systems becomes increasingly critical and costly. Due to the dedicated applications of these test systems, complete replacement with a suite of latest version instruments is not always an option:

  • Certified test program set (TPS): The TPS controlling the test system instruments is often certified and any changes to the TPS for supporting new instruments can have major consequences, introducing high costs, operational risk and re-certification.
  • Old TPS: Even if there is a desire to change the TPS, this may be prevented through lack of support or tools, e.g. compilers.

Bring your test system into the modern age

Replacing obsolete test system equipment with the equivalent latest instruments should be straightforward, requiring minimum hardware and software changes. In reality, replacing obsolete instruments requires careful consideration of several important aspects to ensure complete backward compatibility:

  • Full emulation of legacy instrument: Modern instruments running emulation must correctly interpret and react to all of the existing TPS commands. Compatibility also necessitates a legacy hardware interface, e.g. GPIB.
  • Functional/behavioral compatibility: Most present-day instruments are digitally based and operate differently compared to their analog predecessors. These behavioral differences need to be accounted for in the emulation. For example, instrument preset settings need to match the legacy instrument.

R&S®LegacyPro benefits

New instruments installed to replace and emulate old equipment in an existing test system offer further advantages:

  • Reduced cost of ownership: Improved reliability; faster testing, leading to higher throughput and better yield; and lower maintenance and service charges.
  • Mitigating risk: Improved overall system availability; minimum downtime for service and calibration; and plug-in replacement with no software changes.
  • Form-factor: New instruments are generally more compact than their predecessors and, for some applications, can combine the functionality of multiple legacy instruments into a singlebox solution, saving space.

R&S®LegacyPro in a brief

R&S®LegacyPro is the culmination of extensive knowledge gained from emulating complex instruments and a history of working directly with users to successfully replace legacy instrumentation. In addition, all Rohde & Schwarz instruments use standard commands for programmable instruments (SCPI) in conformance with the international standard for syntax and style. This ensures interoperability with existing systems.

Legacy Pro matrixes

Compatibility matrixes

R&S®LegacyPro instruments include network analyzers, spectrum analyzers, signal generators, oscilloscopes, power meters and audio analyzers. Moreover, they support a comprehensive set of legacy test equipment vendors.

Instruments supporting R&S®LegacyPro have a list of specific legacy test equipment that can be emulated. Selection is simple and once chosen, the tailored instrument emulation mode provides the following:

  • An interpreting parser for the instrument to understand the legacy syntax and commands sent by the test system
  • Responses to the test system from the instrument that are fully understood and mimic the legacy instrument, e.g. measurement results and query feedback

Drop-down menu list on the R&S®FSV, showing emulated HP analyzers

R&S®LegacyPro FAQs

What is the LegacyPro Program?

With our LegacyPro Program, Rohde & Schwarz enables customers to exchange legacy instruments (from Rohde & Schwarz or competition) by current Rohde & Schwarz products to allow technology refresh. Rohde & Schwarz instruments can emulate legacy instruments without change of customer specific software code by a built-in emulation capability to understand third party or legacy remote commands.

What is a software emulation?

Emulation refers to the ability of a software program to imitate another program or device. A software emulation typically enables the host system to run software or use peripheral devices such as test and measurement instruments.

Why is obsolescence management so important for test systems in the A&D domain?

Test systems are an key asset to continuously test, maintain and up-grade existing platforms and systems. In case of an aircraft for instance, these test systems need to provide seamless support throughout the entire life-cycle for many years or even decades. During the life-span of such a test system, individual instruments in the test stands need to undergo a constant refit and up-grad effort in order to stay compliant with changing requirements, norms and standards on one hand, and with technological progress on the other. The fast paced evolution of state of the art test and measurement instrument is a great example for this. Hence, aerospace and defense engineers are constantly balancing the need for ongoing support of their primary system with the need to handle obsolescence threats and performance issues.

Which Rohde & Schwarz instruments are supported?

R&S®LegacyPro supports a great range of our current instrument portfolio. You have the choice among many signal sources, spectrum analyzer or Vector network analyzers and scopes. For detailed information refer to the download brochure, reach out to a given point of contact or contact your known Rohde & Schwarz sales representative.

Which third party instruments are supported?

R&S®LegacyPro supports many instruments from all major test and measurement instrument providers.

Who can I contact for more information?

You can issue your requirements directly through the customer contact format at the bottom of this page, through points of contact provided in the download brochure or directly to your known Rohde & Schwarz sales representative.

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