The OSP platform with new hardware and software is optimized for more modules and shorter switching times

By Gina Roos, editor-in-chief

Rohde &
Schwarz has upgraded its R&S OSP open switch and control platform
with new hardware and software, optimizing the platform for new modules and
shorter switching times. The platform allows users to combine a variety of
switch and control modules to form a customized control center for their test
setup. The new platform adds the new R&S
OSP220/230/320 units and R&S OSP-B200S2 satellite box while still
supporting existing modules.

Rohde &
Schwarz completely revised its platform to accommodate test setups for new
technologies, such as 5G and state-of-the-art radar technology, that require
switch and control technology with large frequency ranges and short switching
times. The new-generation platform adds features such as the
optional R&S OSP-K100 trigger function and provides an additional
digital address input on its rear panel for direct triggering of pre-defined
paths.

“Hardware-based
switching of predefined paths is possible using the external trigger inputs and
outputs,” said the company. “This allows users to reduce switching times even
further compared to a LAN-based trigger. Short switching times are necessary,
for example, to trigger the high-speed solid-state relays in antenna arrays and
radar modules.”

In addition, the
platform is accessed through a new web interface, eliminating the need for
separate software to configure an R&S OSP. The
display automatically adjusts to the size of the screen and, if the controlling
PC has a large monitor, several switch modules are displayed at the same time
to provide a clearer overview of complicated interconnections, said the
company. Users can combine the relay switches of one or more R&S
OSPs to define paths, which can be pre-configured in virtual mode without
having all devices and modules available.

The first members
of the R&S OSP product family are the three R&S
OSP220/230/320 units. These units offer five, six, or 10 module slots on
the front and rear panel. However, the slots can be combined to form larger
application-specific modules. The range of R&S OSP modules (existing and
new) include RF relays, electromechanical coaxial relays up to 67 GHz,
solid-state relays, and digital I/O and multiplexer modules.

The new switch
and control unit can be used as a desktop model for lab measurements or as a
control center for complex rack-based test systems, or several R&S OSPs can
be combined in a master/slave configuration to create a switch network of 20,
50, or more relays over a LAN.

The R&S
OSP-B200S2 satellite box moves switch and control tasks closer to the DUT
or the antennas, which reduces the number of long RF cables, improves the RF
performance of the setup, and saves money, according to the company.

The R&S
OSP switch and control platform is showcased at electronica 2018 in Hall A3, Booth 307.