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Rohde and Schwarz has launched options that enable manufacturers and operators of aeronautical radio navigation systems to test distance-measurement equipment with flexibility and precision.

The Rohde and Schwarz (RandS) SMA100A analogue signal generator makes it possible to generate and analyse distance-measurement equipment (DME) signals in both the laboratory and in mobile applications.

It also allows users to check the receive and transmit unit of a DME ground station as well as the DME unit aboard an aircraft.

The RandS EVS300 ILS/VOR analyser has been enhanced to include the ability to analyse DME signals, which makes it ideal for mobile maintenance of DME ground stations.

Options for measurements on ILS and VOR services are already available for both instruments.

As a result, users always have the right solution for checking the key functions of their systems in accordance with the specifications of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

An aircraft uses DME to measure its slant distance to a ground station.

To make this measurement, the aircraft’s onboard radio unit (interrogator) transmits shaped RF double pulses to the ground station, which returns them after a defined delay (reply delay).

Up to now, most of the parameters could be checked only with integrated test equipment.

However, any fault in the equipment could lead to incorrect measurement results or even malfunctioning of the system.

The use of external measuring equipment therefore increases air traffic safety.

The RandS EVS300 level and modulation analyser is already being used by air traffic control (ATC) authorities for mobile maintenance of ILS/VOR ground stations.

The RandS EVS-K5 option allows users to also perform power measurements on DME as well as ILS/VOR ground stations.

The only user action required is to connect the power sensors of the RandS NRP or RandS NRT family to the analyser.

Using the RandS EVS-K6 option, the RandS EVS300 can also check the envelope and timing of the double pulse transmitted to DME ground stations.

The combination of the RandS NRP-Z81 broadband power sensor and the new option enables users to view the rise time, fall time and pulse spacing of the DME signal directly on the analyser’s display.

Thanks to this compact solution, service technicians no longer have to carry a notebook or measuring instruments around with them.

For ATC authorities and for manufacturers of DME systems, Rohde and Schwarz provides a solution that can perform even more detailed measurements.

When equipped with the RandS SMA-K26 option, the SMA100A generates DME aircraft interrogator signals.

It can also simulate a DME ground station including the squitter and identification pulses.

Using a connected RandS NRP-Z81 broadband power sensor, the parameters specified by the ICAO can be analysed directly on site at a ground station.

An additional signal analyser is no longer required.

The DME test parameters include, for example, reply delay, reply efficiency (ratio of reply pulses to interrogation pulses), pulse repetition rate of the ground station, pulse power of the transmit pulse as well as pulse shape.

For test purposes, the parameters can be set so that they deviate from the ICAO specification.

The DME options (RandS EVS-K6 for the RandS EVS300 and RandS SMA-K26 for the RandS SMA100A) are now available from Rohde and Schwarz.

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