In the last decade, new digital land mobile radio (LMR) communications systems have been developed to meet the growing communications needs of public safety. These systems were developed in part to ease the migration of LMRs to the narrower channel plans mandated by the FCC and NTIA, but they also offer a host of advanced new features, such as encryption. Operation on narrow channel plans requires higher performance transceivers, in order to ensure the integrity of mission critical communications. In an effort to satisfy public safety users' expectations, LMR manufacturers involved in Project 251 are establishing a "Compliance Assessment Program" that will evaluate P25 equipment for compliance with respect to performance, interoperability and conformance standards.
The performance tests defined for P25 LMRs require high quality test equipment to measure increasingly stringent operational parameters and to ensure that only compliant products reach the market. Once this equipment is deployed in the field, though, well implemented frequency plans are essential to circumvent interference between neighboring systems. Both up-front equipment testing and continued performance monitoring of deployed systems require flexible testing solutions. Tektronix has added key support capability to its award-winning RSA3300 series and RSA3408A Real-time Spectrum Analyzers to assist with the many aspects of testing these new digital standards and monitoring these networks.