Software-defined radios (SDRs) are driving the integration of digital signal processing (DSP) and radio frequency (RF) capabilities. This integration allows software to dynamically control communications parameters such as the frequency band used, filtering, modulation type, data rates and frequency hopping schemes. SDR technology can be seen in wireless devices used for military and civil government applications to commercial network deployments.
Compared to traditional RF transceiver technologies, SDR is advantageous because it offers increased flexibility. SDR provides the ability to reconfigure key system performance and functions on the fly.
Software Radios, however, introduce a host of new problems not present in traditional wireless designs. This application note expands on the basic principles described in the Tektronix Application Note, Software Defined Radio: An Integrated Test Method for Designing Software Communications Architecture (SCA) Compliant Radios. Specific examples of common transmitter design issues and how to easily identify and diagnose them using a Real-Time Spectrum Analyzer (RTSA) will be examined.
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Application Note: Software-Defined Radio Testing Using Real-Time Signal Analysis