How Expensive is a VNA?September 12, 2023
Vector Network Analyzer Price
The cost of a VNA will vary greatly depending on several factors. The number of ports on the instrument and the broadband frequency range of the VNA are two of the most important factors in vector network analyzer price. Another important factor in the price of a network analyzer is the software capabilities. Many software features such as time domain and gating conversion, frequency offset mode, and fixture simulation (embedding/de-embedding) require additional software licensing which can dramatically increase the cost of the system. These features, and many other standard software features, are included at no additional cost when purchasing a CMT VNA.
Vector Network Analyzer Working Principle
A USB vector network analyzer produces an RF stimulus signal which ranges from 9 kHz to 330 GHz with Copper Mountain Technologies VNAs. The signal is then applied to a Device Under Test (DUT) and the output of the DUT can be applied to a second port for analysis. Reflections from the input of the device under test which are sent back to the source port can also be analyzed. The ability to separate signals traveling in opposite directions on a transmission line and produce a measurement is one of the main differences between a VNA and other electronic test devices such as spectrum analyzers or signal analyzers.
What does a Vector Network Analyzer Do?
A USB vector network analyzer produces an RF stimulus signal which can be in the range of 9 kHz to 330 GHz with Copper Mountain Technologies VNAs. That signal can be applied to a Device Under Test (DUT) and the output of the DUT can be applied to a second port for analysis. In addition, any reflections from the input of the DUT which travel back to the source port can be analyzed as well. This is what differentiates the device from other test equipment – it is capable of separating signals traveling in two different directions on a transmission line and measuring them. VNAs are useful for a growing number of applications across countless industries. The primary function is to evaluate or characterize the performance of components used in an RF system such as amplifiers, antennas, filters, cables, etc.
CMT’s Portable VNA Solutions
Copper Mountain Technologies exclusively provides USB VNAs, which are used with an external PC and do not have a built-in computer like traditional VNA instrumentation. The result is a low cost VNA solution that offers an unparalleled combination of price, performance, and portability. CMT’s portable vnas are designed for ease of customization to deliver high performing custom solutions and because of their portability, many customers have implemented CMT VNAs directly into their test system and seamlessly integrated VNA measurements into their test environment. CMT VNAs have been used by engineers in many different industries, including defense, automotive, materials measurement, medical, broadcasting, and telecommunications.
For users who have minimal VNA experience and would like to gain a better understanding of their functionality, CMT offers a couple of methods to simulate VNA use and gain hands-on experience without purchasing an instrument. One of the easiest ways to familiarize yourself with CMT VNAs is the ‘Demo Mode’ feature included in CMT’s free VNA software. Anyone can download the VNA software for free During installation, just tick the box for Enable Demo Mode:
CMT also has a library of interactive videos which allow users to simulate VNA operation for free. Our provide a guided walkthrough demonstrating how to perform calibration and use various software features.
The VNA software’s demo mode feature and CMT’s interactive videos are a great way to explore the software functionality. However, for assessing VNA measurement performance, we recognize there’s no substitute for a hands-on evaluation. We encourage you to request a or for a comprehensive evaluation.