MI-788 Family of Networked Acquisition Controllers


MI-788 trans web

  • Synchronizes measurements with multiple axes of high-speed position data
  • Up to 16 channels of multiplexer control
  • downloadpdfMaximizes acquisition throughput with VNAs
  • Up to 1024 beam steering states in a single acquisition sequence
  • Buffers acquisition data


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



Supported Frequencies


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



Switching Overhead

< 2 msec per beam state with no instrument data buffering
< 10 usec per beam state with instrument data buffering

Supported States



Position Data Interface


Trigger Ports


External Channel Output

2 MI-3320 Multiplexer connectors

Source Trigger / Lock I/O

2 MI-1797-TL Standard

Auxiliary Trigger

2 BNC TTL programmable (in/out)

Workstation Interface



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


20 lbs (9 kg)

Power Requirement

110/240 VAC 2A Autosensing



System Block Diagram Using the MI-788
Networked Acquisition Controller


For legacy MI-2097 Automated Microwave Measurement Systems or systems based on an MI-1797 receiver, the NAC can interface with the receiver’s high-speed parallel interface (HSPI) data port.


MI-788 diagram web