Zurich Instruments launches fastest commercially available boxcar averager

11.06.2013 10:58

Zurich Instruments launches a new product – the “UHF-BOX Boxcar Averager” - the latest option for the company’s UHFLI lock-in amplifier. Users can measure 1000 times faster than with previously available devices. In addition digital technology enables measurements that have been until now only possible with multiple devices, or with complex test setups.

Already the technology leader for lock-in amplifiers, with the UHFLI being the fastest commercial lock-in amplifier of all time, with the UHF-BOX Boxcar Averager Zurich Instruments now extends its signal processing know-how to boxcar techniques and offers customers the fastest commercially available boxcar averager.

Until now, scientists using pulsed laser sources to make time-resolved measurements have been limited by the performance of conventional analog boxcar averagers or have been forced into compromises using modulation techniques, lock-in amplifiers or expensive application specific instrumentation.

UHF-BOX provides a fully digital boxcar averager with unprecedented bandwidth and dead time specifications. Users can now measure at repetition rates up to 450 MHz directly, over 1000x greater than the previously available measurement rate, with a 600 MHz input bandwidth and all without the need for additional modulation devices and the compromises they require. There’s now no need to miss a single pulse of information.

Available as an option for the 600 MHz UHFLI lock-in amplifier, with UHF-BOX two boxcar units are provided as well as two peak form analyzers (PFA), enabling instantaneous signal pulse shape visualisation. The UHFLI is already equipped with an integrated tool-set for time and frequency domain signal analysis - an oscilloscope, a frequency response analyzer and an FFT spectrum analyser – so once again Zurich Instruments is addressing its core product philosophy of reducing laboratory setup complexity.

According to Flavio Heer, CTO of Zurich Instruments: "The introduction of the UHF-BOX Boxcar Averager option for our 600 MHz UHFLI lock-in amplifier means that, thanks to the <2ns dead time,  laser scientists will be able to make measurements up to a thousand times faster than previously because no pulse will be missed. They’ll benefit from an improved signal to noise ratio, compared to using a lock-in alone, as all signal harmonics will be captured. And we’ve learnt from our customers that having a convenient way of determining the boxcar parameters would be a great help with getting results quickly, and that’s what we’ve provided with the PFA. The UHFLI with UHF-BOX option is a fully digital instrument with unprecedented performance, along with a wide range of instrument types and tools all within a single device."

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Fascinating technology