Networked Acquisition Controller


MI-788 Networked Acquisition Controller (NAC)

MI-788 Networked-Acquisition-Controller

The MI-788 Networked Acquisition Controller (NAC), part of the MI-350 Advanced Antenna Measurement System, has three primary purposes:

  • Extend the basic measurement functionality to support beam steering operation with active electronically steered array (AESA) antennas in a MI-350 AMMS
  • Improve acquisition speed in systems with a Vector Network Analyzer
  • Provide interfaces to legacy equipment in hybrid systems that have a mix of new and old equipment 

The MI-788 Networked Acquisition Controller (NAC) is a valuable component that optimizes overall system throughput and test capacity. The overhead of networking, handshaking, sequencing, coordination, triggering, data flow, etc. between many types of devices is often the most significant limiting factor in total system performance. The MI-788 was specifically designed to optimize these interactions, achieving significant performance advantages.


The MI-788 NAC manages the position trigger from the position controller, the external trigger to the receiver and the ‘measurement done’ signal from the receiver.

This optimizes the triggering cycle among these different instruments for high throughput timing and data collection. External sources and LO units in a measurement range can be triggered by the MI-788 to coordinate with receiver operation, allowing efficient multiple frequency measurements across many instruments. The NAC can also manage MI-3320 multiplexers to provide an additional 16 channels of data.

For active antenna testing, a 16 bit beam steering port is provided, with handshake lines, so that a beam steering computer or additional switched data channels can be added seamlessly to the acquisition.

Two high-speed binary coded decimal (HSBCD) ports are provided for position data from position control systems such as the MI-4190 Position Controller, third-party controllers or the legacy MI-1885 Position Display Unit. The NAC collects this position data so that it can be referenced to the position trigger points for the receiver or on each frequency when external sources are used.

The MI-788 NAC buffers vector network analyzer or microwave receiver test data for transmission to the control PC. The NAC then coordinates the transmission of the buffered data to the control PC where it is captured for data analysis purposes. This removes the control PC from real-time responsibilities during the acquisition allowing higher system throughput.


  Channel Switching
  Multiplexer Compatibility   MI-3320 Family of Multiplexers
  Channels   16
  Supported Frequencies   1024
  Switching Overhead   < 2 msec per channel with no instrument data buffering
  < 10 usec per channel with instrument data buffering
  Beam Steering
  Port Switching   16 bit
  Output   RS-422
  Switching Overhead   < 2 msec per beam state with no instrument data buffering
  < 10 usec per beam state with instrument data buffering
  Supported States   1024
  Position Data Interface   2 HSBCD
  Trigger Ports   9 BNC TTL
  External Channel Output   2 MI-3320 Series Multiplexer Connectors
  Source Trigger / Lock I/O   2 MI-1797-TL Standard
  Auxiliary Trigger   2 BNC TTL programmable (in/out)
  Workstation Interface   Ethernet
  Size   3U Rack mount
  5.75 in H x 19 in W x 20 in L
  15 cm H x 48 cm W x 50 cm L
  Weight   20 lbs. (9 kg)
  Power Requirement   110/240 VAC 2A Autosensing