The spectrum monitoring: A new technology for communication signals surveillance and tracking

March 16, 2021.

The spectrum monitoring allows us to survey the quality of our RF communication signals from anywhere in the world and detect disturbances in them, interferences and unexpected signal level drops, check for an efficient use of the spectrum and discover  infringements and irregularities based on RF spectrum masks taken by a network of always-on (24/7) monitoring equipment.

The high demand for spectrum bandwidth comes along with the need for a real time monitoring of the public domain RF spectrum to ensure an efficient use by their right holders. There is an increasing trend for fully automated spectrum monitoring systems and regulatory authorities are demanding distributed monitoring platforms controlled from one central location.

What is the spectrum monitoring of radio frequency spectrum?

The spectrum monitoring captures, stores and processes raw samples of the spectrum in a frequency band looking for patterns that would indicate a problem, understanding the signal band as a whole over time (instead of analyzing isolated data from one or several channels).

This is a complete new way to monitor the RF spectrum: Until now, spectrum monitoring techniques did not understand signal analysis as a whole, but as the analysis of certain channels for quality drops, occurrences of new channels (which could be considered pirate or irregular) and unusual drops of legitimate channels (due to network drops or unauthorized interfering broadcasts).

The spectrum monitoring captures, stores and processes raw samples of the spectrum
The spectrum monitoring captures, stores and processes raw samples of the spectrum


MAX/MIN spectrum monitoring

This monitoring method will raise an alarm if the signal band received via RF surpasses any of the user-defined thresholds (maximum or minimum), allowing the signal to surpass those thresholds a specified number of times before the alarm is triggered.

Memory capacity: Up to eleven months of spectrum samples with no need for external storage

PROWATCH Neo systems allow storing up to eleven months of raw spectrum samples by themselves. This way, when a problem shows up, it is possible to navigate across the RF spectrum evolution before and after the moment the alarm is triggered, thus helping to analyze and document the causes of the event that generated the alarm and the consequences it led to.

Mask deviation spectrum monitoring

Like the MAX/MIN monitoring mode, an alarm is triggered whenever the received RF signal surpasses any of the defined thresholds. This time, instead, the thresholds are not absolute but relative to a spectrum trace acquired as a reference (mask) so we are defining a safety margin in which we allow the RF signal to vary.

Monitoring eight simultaneous RF inputs

Governments and radio electric spectrum control authorities can take profit of the PROWATCH Neo solution from PROMAX, an integral monitoring solution that can be fed with up to sixteen RF input signals. In the following tutorial we are monitoring eight inputs simultaneously:

The cost-effective, versatile alternative to PROWATCH Neo systems are the RANGER Neo TV & Spectrum analyzers. They not only embed the same monitoring functions (for a single RF input) and can operate as on-location stations with video/data streaming, but they also are battery operated portable analyzers that allow to perform in situ verifications.



In addition, since PROWATCH Neo monitoring systems and RANGER Neo analyzers share the very same technology developed in PROMAX R+D labs, the measurements and quality analysis have the same reliability both in fixed rack stations and in the portable analyzers.

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PROMAX is a leading manufacturer of test and measurement systems, broadcast and TV signal distribution equipment. Our product lines include measuring instruments for cable TV, satellite TV, broadcast, wireless and fibre optics networks, FTTH and GPON analyzers. DVB-T modulators, IP streamers or IP converters (ASI, DVB-T) are among the company’s latest developments.