A software controllable modular RF signal generator with multichannel transmission capabilities

Z. Shaw, W. Feilner, B. Esser, J. C. Dickens, A. A. Neuber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A software controllable system which generates and transmits user defined RF signals is discussed. The system is implemented with multiple, modular transmitting channels that allow the user to easily replace parts such as amplifiers or antennas. Each channel is comprised of a data pattern generator (DPG), a digital to analog converter (DAC), a power amplifier, and a transmitting antenna. All channels are controlled through a host PC and synchronized through a master clock signal provided to each DAC by an external clock source. Signals to be transmitted are generated through the DPG control software on the PC or can be created by the user in a numerical computing environment. Three experiments are discussed using a two- and four-channel antenna array incorporating Chebyshev tapered TEM horn antennas. Transmitting distinct sets of nonperiodic bipolar impulses through each of the antennas in the array enabled synthesizing a sinusoidal signal of specific frequency in free space. Opposite to the standard phased array approach, each antenna radiates a distinctly different signal rather than the same signal simply phase shifted. The presented approach may be employed as a physical layer of encryption dependent on the position of the receiving antenna.

Original languageEnglish
Article number094706
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


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