This article describes the realization of a novel approach to short pulse (∼1 ns) reflectometry (SPR) recently implemented in the tokamak configuration variable tokamak. Taking advantage of a fast arbitrary waveform generator and vector-network-analyzer extension modules, the design offers flexibility regarding pulse output frequency, duration, and repetition rate. Such flexibility allows the instrument to overcome traditional SPR spatial sampling limitations while reducing hardware complexity. In order to measure the group-delay of nanosecond-scale pulses, both traditional analog and novel digital sampling techniques have been explored. A group-delay range resolution of 17 ps (2.6 mm) in average over the V-band has been achieved with both timing techniques against a waveguide mirror featuring 10 dB power fluctuations. Direct pulse sampling during L-mode plasmas shows that reflected pulse widths increase only by 4% in average. However, pulse width dispersion does occur in L-mode plasmas and leads to an increase in the group-delay uncertainty up to 40 ps (6 mm). Raw histograms of group-delay data show interesting qualitative changes from the L mode to the H-mode. Frequency spectra of group-delay data allow the identification of macroscopic density fluctuations as well as edge quasicoherent modes during edge-localized mode-free H-modes. Finally, fast changes to the density profile have been measured with microsecond time resolution and subcentimeter spatial resolution in both O and X-mode polarizations.