Interference Testing with Handheld Spectrum Analyzers Manual

Interference Testing with Handheld Spectrum Analyzers Manual
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Summary of Contents

Interference Testing with Handheld Spectrum Analyzers Manual

  • 3Wireless communications systems co-exist across the RF and microwave frequency spectrum and are designed to operate with a limited amount of inter-ference. As wireless systems often share or reuse frequency spectrum, interfer-ence from other users can quickly become an issue. When the amplitude of an interfering signal becomes relatively large as compared to the signal of interest then the interference can reduce system performance in a variety of ways. Commercial and government agencies working in industries such as cellular, broadcast radio and television, radar, and satellite are often required to continu-ally monitor the frequency spectrum for interference from known and unknown signals, to ensure proper system performance and regulatory compliance. For example, interference issues commonly occur when a transmitter is improp-erly radiating energy into the same or adjacent frequency channels. In some cases, the wireless signal may be interference to sensitive equipment such as the case when cellular transmissions in close proximity to electroencephalo-gram (EEG) monitors may obstruct the operation of the equipment. Since all wireless systems are subject to the effects of interference, it is important to be able to quickly and accurately measure the frequency spectrum in and around the wireless system. This application note introduces the processes and techniques for measuring and locating wireless interference using a portable handheld spectrum analyzer (HSA). As interference testing may include carrier-specific measurements, wide bandwidth spectrum searching, data logging, and finding the location of the offending transmitter, the HSA requires several important characteristics. The test instrument needs to provide: • a broad range of frequency coverage• fast measurement sweeps• high dynamic range• data storage• ruggedness• portabilityWhile there is a variety of test equipment available for accurately measuring the amplitude and frequency content of wireless signals, the Agilent N934xC Series and N9340B handheld spectrum analyzers (HSAs) are ideally suited when speed, accuracy, and portability are essential for field operations. Introduction