Application Note

Signal Monitoring, Surveillance, And Real-Time Spectrum Analysis

Source: Tektronix
By Tektronix

RF signal monitoring and surveillance applications have special equipment requirements that often go well beyond the typical radio receiver or spectrum analyzer. The Real-Time Spectrum Analyzer (RTSA) has many superior capabilities for signal monitoring and surveillance. In this application note, we review the basic challenges of intercepting and analyzing signals. Starting with overt compliance monitoring and advancing to the intercept of low probability of detection covert signals, RTSA technology for triggering, capturing and analyzing SIGnal INTelligence (SIGINT) is explained.

In recent years, the explosive growth of wireless devices and RF communications has created a significant challenge for the regulatory and intelligence communities. In this application note, we see how the RTSA technology can be used to gather key decision making information from today's challenging spectral environment.

To see how the RTSA can effectively capture the information needed, we begin with an overview of the technology followed by a brief look at its application to signal monitoring.

Next, the technical challenges of signal surveillance and key instrument performance traits are examined. This includes exploring the unique value of the RTSA's real-time frequency mask trigger technology for difficult to detect signals.

Finally, mining intelligence from captured waveforms with multi-domain demodulation measurements as well as some special features for working in a secure environment is presented.

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Application Note: Signal Monitoring, Surveillance And Real-Time Spectrum Analysis