Product of the Week: Tektronix’s IsoVu Isolated Probes

June 19, 2023

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Product of the Week: Tektronix’s IsoVu Isolated Probes

Isolated probes are used in various high-voltage, high-bandwidth, and high-common-mode voltage applications to collect data accurately and efficiently from a measured system with little to no interference, contamination, or disruption.

The IsoVu Isolated Probes from Tektronix are isolated measurement probes designed to provide the aforementioned features with the support of galvanic (optical) or RF isolation between measured circuits and measured instruments, helping power designers weave through distinctive high bandwidth, high voltage signals among various large common mode voltages.

The probes can be utilized for power FET design and/or analysis in wide-bandgap devices with high slew-rate switching circuit characteristics, such as SiC and GaN-based systems, as well as switched mode power supply design, inverter design, motor drive design, BCI or ESD measurements, and current shunt measurements.

Tektronix’s IsoVu Isolated Probes in Action

A key feature of Tektronix's Isolated Probes is the IsoVu technology. The measurement system enables total galvanic isolation between the system and the Device Under Test (DUT) by using power-over-fiber technology for power supply, and an optical analog signal path for transmitting signals. This certifies that no direct electrical connection between the measurement system and the DUT is present, therefore improving safety, providing low noise, and lessening common mode interference and electrical issues.

The probes offer high bandwidth at up to 1 GHz, and high common mode rejection ratio of 120 dB at 100 MHz, which is suitable for collecting measurements on signals performing high common mode voltages. The IsoVu Gen 2 probes also offer a range of bandwidths from 200 MHz to 500 MHz to 1 GHz depending on specific project needs and budgets.

In addition to the previously mentioned bandwidth range, the IsoVu probes are also capable of achieving a differential voltage range of ±2500V with the help of the shielded coaxial cable and isolation.

Capable of improving gate drive behavior and overall measurement accuracy, the IsoVu probes work well in conjunction with the Tektronix 4, 5, or 6 Series MSO oscilloscopes, which provide even more performance with the available application software. The Tektronix application software packages are designed to ease system setup and calculation performance for power converter analysis calculations on signals such as multiple phases, voltages and currents, inputs, and outputs.

The IsoVu probes also provide power measurements such as true and reactive power, crest factor and harmonics, switching loss measurements and ripple analysis, unique in-circuit B-H curves, and loss analysis for inductors and transformers. Small and compact MMCX (Micro Miniature Coaxial) connectors are also provided and enable connection reliability for high-frequency signals, as well as providing a manageable connection and disconnection of devices during testing and calibration processes.

Getting Started with Tektronix’s IsoVu Isolated Probes

In addition to the aforementioned software, the Tektronix Double Pulse Test (with optional WBG-DPT) software application is available on the 4, 5, or 6 Series MSO oscilloscopes, and is capable of automating double pulse testing on SiC and GaN devices. The optional WBG-DPT adheres to the JEDEC and IEC standards for automated measurements, and the unique deskew capability lessens the time to align voltage and current probes to just minutes. 

Additional software features include controls for the automation of the AFG31000 Series arbitrary/function generator connected to the oscilloscope for gate drive signals. Tektronix also provides an inverter, motor, and drive analysis (with optional IMDA) application for debugging and validating 3-phase power converters in industrial motor drives and EV traction systems. 

Below is a video demo of the  IsoVu™ Generation 2 Isolated Probes

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