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Power Converter Engineering Characterization Test System

The Engineering Characterization Test System model 5710 from NH Research is designed to yield comprehensive test data on a wide range of ac-dc and dc-dc power supplies with a minimum of programming effort. Such characterization testing is typically done in an engineering design-verification laboratory where the user’s own designs or vendor prototypes are evaluated.

This type of extensive testing is also often required for high-reliability power supplies used in medical, telecommunication, space and avionic applications.

The Model 5710 embeds a mixed-signal Tektronix MDO-Series oscilloscope as the system digitizer with three channels each of which can sample up to a 2.5 GSPS rate.

The digitizing function is further extended by paring two of the channels with a 16-channel multiplexer thus allowing automated selection and measurement of different measurement points. When more than 17 inputs are required, multiple 15-input extension chassis may be added to the system further increasing the multiplexing capability.

With a full 100 MHz of bandwidth, the primary multiplexing channel as well as the third fixed input channel precisely captures and digitizes fast moving signals. The second multiplexing channel supports 10 MHz bandwidth making it suited for measuring dc and other slower moving signals. In mixed signal applications, a 16-input digital input captures digital signals along with analog measurements.

All of the above measurements are synchronously captured, which provides complex analog-analog or analog-digital timing analysis. Finally, a 10 Mega-sample memory depth easily captures non-repetitive transients as well as digital states even when they occur with a relatively long separation from the trigger event.

Design Verification Test Routines

To complement the powerful digital measurement system, a special suite of test routines are provided to determine power supply performance characteristics far beyond that available on a basic production tester. For instance, more than 20 different measurements can be extracted from each waveform capture and channel-to-channel measurements are all straight forward to execute.

One example of this capability is sweep tests where one parameter, such as efficiency, is plotted across the full range of another parameter like output voltage or power. This test can now be programmed and executed in minutes rather than the hours and days required by previous generation test systems.