R&S®ARGUS 6.1 Spectrum Monitoring Software

For monitoring solutions in line with ITU recommendations

The modular structure
Modular structure of R&S®ARGUS to flexibly and economically configure systems perfectly matching individual requirements

One of the advantages of the R&S®ARGUS software is its modular structure. The enormous wealth of features and functionality is organized in several software options. Each option is separately licensed. With this customer-friendly concept users individually configure a system that perfectly matches their own requirements.

The right instrument for every task

ITU-compliant spectrum monitoring involves a number of highly diverse measurement tasks. A wide range of specialized instruments is required to perform these measurements in line with ITU recommendations.

Receivers and direction finders are the classical workhorses for providing fundamental technical data and the true location of the transmitters. Spectrum analyzers and TV test receivers for analog and digital TV and broadcast transmissions analyze these important types of emissions. Special decoders analyze the data in depth and classify and identify the signals. System devices such as antenna switches, controllers for positioning directional antennas, compasses and GPS equipment supplement the other setup to create a fully automatic system. This list of instruments is rounded out by individually selectable filters, amplifiers and attenuators.

To find unwanted emissions in buildings and areas not accessible with vehicles, portable devices are mandatory to successfully accomplish the mission. Devices of different performance classes for different signal scenarios are needed for economical solutions.

These dedicated devices are fully integrated into the R&S®ARGUS control software. The standardized user interface maximizes ease of operation for the user and minimizes the training effort required for system expansions involving new instruments.

The direct device control for maximum flexibility

The direct device control directly controls the measurement equipment via virtual front panels. This mode enables the operator to monitor, measure, locate and identify emissions fast.

The system visualizer in R&S®ARGUS produces the schematic of a selected radiomonitoring station: Antennas, receivers, analyzers, decoders and recording equipment with all their connections are shown in a graphical representation. The required connections between antennas and receivers can be selected and switched with a single mouse click.

A mouse click on a device icon opens the interface from which the user controls the device and performs the measurements. This interface includes all the functions and the settings of the device.

Depending on the device, it contains several tabs. Each tab corresponds to a measurement type that the device in question can perform. Depending on the measurement type, the measurement results are shown using different types of graphics, tables or a numeric display. The measurement results can be saved for further analysis or for printing out.

Structured measurement sequences for successful monitoring

Spectrum monitoring involves many activities, including searching for interference sources, detection and identification of new, unknown transmitters, localization of emitters and long-term monitoring of emissions to verify compliance with the applicable license. Each of these activities has its own characteristic workflow. To keep operation as simple as possible and make work efficient and error-free, the individual workflows are implemented using software modules known as measurement modes.

The guided measurement modes are a unique feature. Depending on the task selected by the operator, R&S®ARGUS suggests appropriate devices and even device settings. The suggestions are based on fundamental physics, ITU recommendations and customer-specific definitions. This way even less experienced operators can efficiently perform ambitious monitoring tasks in line with national and international regulations.

The following measurement modes are available:

  • Interactive measurement mode (IMM)
  • Location measurement mode (LMM)
  • Automatic measurement mode (AMM)
  • Guided measurement mode (GMM)
  • Digital measurement mode (DM)
  • Coverage measurement mode (CMM)
  • Classification measurement mode (CLMM)
Open interfaces – the key to integrated spectrum monitoring and management

For various monitoring tasks monitoring data with supplemented information from other sources are mandatory. R&S®ARGUS has several open interfaces to flexibly and efficiently integrate R&S®ARGUS into the customer’s existing infrastructure. When other applications have to be replaced or added, these open interfaces ensure seamless collaboration.

To optimally utilize the frequency spectrum as a limited resource, it is important to allow spectrum monitoring and spectrum management systems to exchange data with each other. R&S®ARGUS has an open interface that allows integration of any spectrum management system.

The main activities involved in spectrum management include planning new transmitters and issuing licenses. Planning is based primarily on different theoretical models that compute signal propagation, spatial coverage and potential interference to or by other transmitters. These computed values are verified using on-site measurements.

When a license is granted, the transmitters are assigned limits for technical parameters that may not be violated during transmission, e.g. maximum level, frequency offset, modulation depth and bandwidth. Using regular longterm measurements, spectrum monitoring verifies that the license requirements are fulfilled and that interference to other radio users is avoided.

In both cases, the spectrum monitoring and spectrum management systems must be capable of exchanging information with one another. Accordingly, R&S®ARGUS provides two open interfaces.

SMDI
With the spectrum management database interface (SMDI) option, the user searches for relevant information in license databases. In the R&S®ARGUS dialog window, the user defines the parameters for the database query. The created XML file is read in by the spectrum management system and processed. The results are sent back to R&S®ARGUS, where they are available for further measurements and analysis.

ORM
With the order report module (ORM) option, spectrum management applications define orders for R&S®ARGUS. The desired measurements are performed interactively or fully automatically by R&S®ARGUS. The results are then forwarded to the spectrum management system for further processing and analysis. All data can be transferred as an XML file or a realtime data stream.

Depending on the customer-specific organizational procedures, evaluation is handled by spectrum management or spectrum monitoring. R&S®ARGUS sets the standard with its flexibility and adaptability to project-specific requirements.

Successful reference projects have been underway for many years with the leading spectrum management companies LStelcom and ATDI. The ITU SMS4DC application is also fully integrated. R&S®ARGUS was the first spectrum monitoring software capable of exchanging data with the SMS4DC application. Due to the open architecture of R&S®ARGUS, integration of additional customer-specific database applications is straightforward, regardless of the operating system or database.

From comprehensive analysis to informative reports

Concise, informative reports are generated in four steps:

  • Filtering of raw data
  • Analysis and evaluations in line with ITU guidelines and recommendations
  • Data fusion, combination of different information from multiple sources to obtain a complete and correct result
  • Compilation of concise, informative reports
Map-based display and operation

R&S®ARGUS displays all data as numerical values (e.g. table) and in different types of graphics. For easier comprehension, sometimes the display on geographical maps is preferred. Lines of bearing or, for TDOA, hyperbolas and heatmaps show the origin of a signal much more clearly than the numerical values of latitude and longitude. The simultaneous display of known transmitters reveals immediately whether the signal coincides with a licensed station.

Another application is to plot the results from propagation calculations and superimpose measured coverage data to verify the expected coverage area.

Map-based result display provides support when a lot of data has to be displayed. With respect to the upcoming Internet of Things, regulators all over the world are increasing the density of monitoring sites in important and critical areas. Displaying the results from many stations on a map reveals problems much faster than checking endless tables.

Overview of status, location and capability of all monitoring sites
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