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The dynamic range tester: a multipurpose “real-world” signal simulator for correlator testing and other applications

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1 Author(s)
A. M. P. Marinelli ; US Army Res. Lab., Adelphi, MD, USA

The dynamic range tester (DRT) is a patented prototype system that functions as a dual-channel, precision signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) generator. It was designed for testing high-speed acousto-optic correlators, and can be used for many applications requiring “real-world” test signals. The DRT is a convenient tool for generating two highly isolated, noisy test signals from a single signal source, to simulate two antennas receiving the same signals. By splitting a user-supplied signal into two copies and adding wideband, random noise to each portion, the DRT generates two noisy test signals, one in each channel. The noise generated in one channel of the DRT is uncorrelated and isolated from the noise generated in the other channel by approximately 90 dB. The correlated (signal) and uncorrelated (noise) parts of the test signals are each variable over a wide dynamic range. The DRT is useful for a variety of testing and demonstration purposes: generally, for evaluating a system's tolerance to noisy inputs and specifically, for making measurements of dynamic range, processing gain, and frequency resolution of a correlator, spectrum analyzer, or other signal processing system. The DRT can also use two signal sources, one in each noisy channel, to simulate two antennas receiving different signals. This configuration of the DRT may be useful for performing interference and bandwidth testing of signal processing hardware. The patented design is extendible to all frequency ranges, perhaps for producing useful instrumentation in such fields as telecommunications, telemetry, biomedical engineering, etc

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 1 )