Rigol extends real-time spectrum analyser series with new VNA extension

4 mins read

RIGOL Technologies is expanding its real-time spectrum analysers series RSA5000 and RSA3000 with a VNA option (Vector Network Analyser).

The devices are based on UltraReal technology developed by Rigol and this new platform allows real-time measurements to take place. The RSA5000N and RSA3000N series now have the integrated VNA function as standard and can be operated via touchscreen for more diverse applications. The instruments are available in different bandwidths from 9 kHz to 1.5 GHz or even up to 6.5 GHz.

Available models (VNA mode: from 100 kHz) include:

  • RSA5032N: 9 kHz to 3.2 GHz
  • RSA5065N: 9 kHz to 6.5 GHz
  • RSA3015N: 9 kHz to 1.5 GHz
  • RSA3030N: 9 kHz to 3 GHz
  • RSA3045N: 9 kHz to 4.5 GHz

The RSA5000N and RSA3000N series have a modular structure and, in addition to the new VNA function, also include the four well-known function modules RTSA (real-time spectrum analyser up to a maximum bandwidth of 40 MHz), GPSA (sweep-based spectrum analyser), EMI (pre-compliance tests according to CISPR specifications) and VSA (vector signal analysis for different digital demodulation and bit error measurement, only RSA5000N).

Real-time spectrum analysers are used in test laboratories and have often been associated with high costs. The extended basic performance series RSA5000N or RSA3000N is, however, a cost-effective alternative for users with demanding analysis tasks and at the same time limited budgets. This fully equipped instrument features fully digital IF technology (Intermediate Frequency) for accurate and high-resolution measurements across the entire frequency range from 9 kHz to 6.5 GHz.

The instruments have a capacitive 10.1”multi-touch display with 1024x600 pixel resolution and receive their input signals via a 50 Ω type N socket. Connections to a PC are possible via Ethernet LAN and USB. The tracking generator of the two series can be set and used in GPSA and VNA modes from -40 to 0 dBm output power. The devices can also be operated via web control.

The RSA5000N / RSA3000N series have a modular structure and now include five functions, which makes these devices extremely divers..

  • VNA (New) - Vector network analyser from 100 kHz to 6.5 GHz bandwidth and high dynamics (standard integrated).
  • RTSA - real-time spectrum analyser up to a maximum real-time bandwidth of 40 MHz
  • GPSA - spectrum analyser with outstanding performance
  • EMI - pre-conformance tests according to CISPR guidelines
  • VSA - Digital Demodulation (RSA5000N only)

With a frequency range from 100 KHz to 6.5 GHz, the new VNA module fulfills all standard tasks for network analysis, such as measurement of the vectorial reflection (S11) and transmission factor (S21), as well as the implementation in the time range for distance error measurement [DTF], for example on cables. The dynamic range of the S21 measurement is <80 dB (nom.), while the directional attenuation of the internal coupler is <40 dB (nom.).

The measurement bandwidth can be set in 1-3-10 steps between 1 kHz to 10 MHz. Different windowing can be used for the DTF measurement. For a very precise determination of the distance of reflections, different parameters of the measurement object such as the shortening factor [Velocity Factor], cable attenuation and cable length can be entered. With up to 10,000 data points and up to eight markers, complex measuring tasks can be solved comfortably. RIGOL offers two different calibration kits: the high-precision CK106A and the low-cost calibration kit CK106E.


  • S21: Linear and logarithmic transmission loss phase and group delay and more.
  • S11: Smith and polar diagram, phase and group delay, reflection factor and SWR, and much more.
  • DTF: linear and logarithmic through loss and SWR.

The real-time bandwidth for the RSA5000N is 25 MHz as standard (10 MHz for the RSA3000N as standard) and can optionally be expanded to 40 MHz for both series. Due to the very fast FFT calculation, the device can achieve a 100% probability of detection with correct amplitude ([POI] - Probability of Intercept) of up to 9.3 µsec (FullScale). This allows to record signals that can no longer be measured with a normal spectrum analyser.

Due to the resulting high information content, different measurements such as a tightness display over frequency, spectrogram or performance over time can be displayed. All representations can also be displayed at the same time. The versatile frequency mask trigger (FMT) can be used to acquire signals that are difficult to determine. Using different filter types and six different RBW widths, the device can be optimally adjusted to the respective application.

A spectrum analyser is used to display signal amplitudes as a function of frequency and offers the user a choice of IF filters to reduce the displayed bandwidth and isolate a dedicated signal from the surrounding noise. Thanks to the digital IF technology of the spectrum analyser RSA5000, the deviations in amplitude over time and frequency can be significantly reduced compared to analogue filters. The effective measuring speed is more than twice that of the DSA800 series. Amplitude values can be measured with the integrated attenuation (adjustable from 0 to 50 dB) with up to +30 dBm. The typical phase noise power of the RSA5000 is -108 dBc/Hz @ 1GHz at a distance of 10 kHz from the carrier signal and is unique in this price range.

The RSA5000N and RSA3000N series have filters with 3 dB bandwidth resolution (RBW) and video bandwidth filters (VBW) that can be set from 1 Hz to 10 MHz in 1-3-10 steps. The user can set frequency ranges from "zero span" to the full bandwidth (9 kHz to 6.5 GHz) of the instrument.

With the integrated additional EMI option, which includes all EMI filters and additional detectors (Quasi Peak/CISPR Average), expandable measurement functions for pre-compliance tests of assemblies, devices and components can be performed with the RSA3000N and RSA5000N series. The customer can execute very inexpensive pre-tests in-house before the products are given to external, certified and cost-intensive test laboratories. This ensures, that the EU standards for EMC can be met during product development.

The following opportunities are integrated in this option and ensure quick evaluation:

CISPR-16-1-1 detectors, CISPR-16-1-1 bandwidths, logarithmic and linear representation, signal result tables, flexible scan tables, simultaneous detectors on measuring meters, use of automatic limits with delta consideration, measurements on markers, test report generation and correction of external components can be handled directly on the device.

The multiple functions of the VSA module in the RSA5000N series include I/Q RF envelope analysis and flexible digital modulation analysis. The FMT trigger is based on Ultra Real technology for acquisition and modulation analysis. This enables the measurement and analysis of wireless communication and connection standards as well as BER tests for known signal sequences. The modulation formats are FSK2, FSK4, FSK8, MSK, BPSK, QPSK, OQPSK, DQPSK, 8PSK, π/4-DQPSK, π/8-D8PSK, D8PSK, QAM16, QAM32, QAM64, ASK2 and ASK4.

The analysis results can be displayed as signal amplitude in the time domain, spectrum, eye diagram, constellation and vector diagram, error vector size, quadrature error, amplitude error and phase error.

The RSA3000N series offers a simplified form of the VSA module for ASK/FSK demodulation and BER tests.