Integrated spectrum monitoring systems

Integrated spectrum monitoring systems

One obvious trend in wireless communications is the dramatic increase of active transmitters. Many of them utilize ever-higher frequency bands. Wi-Fi, for example, which until recently was mostly in the 2.4 GHz range, is now very present in the 5 GHz bands. A large number of short-range (low output power) transmitters fill the air and need to be monitored.

The classic approach of having one major monitoring site for an entire city will no longer work. The changing signal scenario requires appropriate responses. The number of monitoring stations and their equipment’s capabilities must keep pace with the increasing number and capabilities of the transmitters. The consequence is a larger number of monitoring stations for specific, important areas. Obviously, these stations should not be isolated, but rather cooperate and share tasks and resources. Thus, they form an integrated high-density monitoring network.

The main advantages of this approach are:

High spatial resolution provides detailed information e.g. for:

  • Coverage
  • Occupancy, for a small area instead of occupancy for an entire city, i.e. the possibility to issue new licenses
  • Trends, e.g. increase of background noise in certain areas

Ability to locate interferers without using a direction finder

  • One receiver can only reveal the presence of a transmitter somewhere within its coverage area. Comparing the level values of multiple receivers indicates the location of the transmitters, i.e. close to the receiver that shows the highest level

Ability to monitor weak and short range signals

  • Increasing the number of receivers makes it more likely that one device is close enough to detect such a transmitter (a.k.a. proximity gain)

Ability to monitor signals in the SHF and EHF range

  • Signals in these frequency bands typically show strong directivity. More monitoring sites dramatically increase the probability that a point-to-point connection hits an antenna. Thus, you detect signals that otherwise would go unnoticed

Ideal for long-term and continuous monitoring

No blank spots

Match your solution to your problem

The broad product portfolio of Rohde & Schwarz enables the user to select the type, capability and number of devices to perfectly match the characteristics of the area of interest. In city centers and hotspots like airports or railway stations, a higher density of monitoring sites is preferable. Given the typical signal environment in these areas, high-end devices covering also the SHF range are often mandatory. Here, the R&S®ESMD is an excellent choice. In suburban areas with fewer and less critical wireless communications networks, the capability and density of monitoring stations can be reduced. Here, the R&S®EB500 is an excellent choice. In rural areas, a rather low number of sites is often fully sufficient. Here, the R&S®EM100 is an excellent choice.

While each device solves the issues in its own coverage area, their full strengths comes into play when they are combined into one powerful, integrated network.

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