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RF sensors to sense signals of interest (SOIs)


Intelligent RF Sensors

Real-Time Spectrum Operations

Take Control of Your RF Spectrum

The ability to sense important signals of interest (SOIs) in a crowded spectrum has become more and more difficult for military and government personnel. As spectrum density grows, understanding what is in your environment at any given time has become increasingly complex. Background characterization and spectrum monitoring requirements have driven the need for complete and precise coverage of the spectrum in the missionspace, and accomplishing this with traditional RF acquisition systems has become prohibitively expensive and inefficient.

Monitor your environment for spectrum violations

Spectrum interference continues to grow as many authorized users must share bandwidth between systems employing dynamic spectrum accessibility, as well as other non-authorized users’ encroachment within the operational system frequency. Proactive management and the control of the occupied spectrum in military domain has a significant and direct impact on mission readiness and successful operations, presenting a unique challenge for engineers on the range to validate system performance during developmental or operational testing. This real-time situational awareness provides a level of test accountability and is de-signed to ‘Detect, ID, and Record’ important events in time.

The congested spectrum requires a new level of management to quickly identify and monitor violations, such as unauthorized transmissions, low probability of intercept (LPI) threats, or electromagnetic radiation hazards (RADHAZ). Today’s engineers and operators need to see every event detail, need to know every “time of event” and have “direction finding” capabilities to see what is relevant and ignore what is not.

The RSA500 Real-Time Spectrum Analyzer Series allows you to know your time of event and leverage direction finding capability. They provide best-in-class real-time performance using our 6th Generation DPX technology with SignalVu-PC, powerful triggering engine, and integrated data streaming capabilities to quickly and accurately discover, capture, and analyze signals that were previously difficult or impossible to find.


A network of small high-performance RF sensors operating synchronously, coupled with powerful software, help you constantly monitor your RF spectrum. Each RF sensor node utilizes a small Tektronix real-time spectrum analyzer and embedded computer pro-grammed to constantly look for RF signals of interest and report spectral incidents to a Central Command Center. All spectral incidents are continuously logged in an SQL Data-base for analysis and report generation. It is both powerful and simple to operate without the need for an engineer.

Search within the spectrum for important SOIs

When deployed on the battlefield, RF sensors and analyzers must provide the technical capabilities required by the environment and mission parameters. Adaptability, survivability, and ease of integration is also critical. Tektronix offers a wide array of solutions that provide the backbone for real-time spectrum awareness. The compact, portable, and rugged RSA306 spectrum analyzer can be utilized as a software-defined radio sensor and deployed everywhere - from remote regions of the battlefield to urban areas of development - to search, monitor, track, and record the RF spectrum.

In addition to our ruggedized hardware, Tektronix guarantees test and measurement-class calibration to ensure the highest signal fidelity, and we maintain a robust interface for all our equipment to reduce system integration time and enable remotely deployed solutions.

Tactical deployments of distributed RF sensors create a dense spectrum monitoring network.

Search wide, analyze narrow

Systems that employ dynamic spectrum access, can operate over octaves of RF bandwidth. Wider instantaneous bandwidth coverage often requires a second look to properly identify and characterize signals of interest, while ignoring the rest. The solution to the “searching wide and analyzing narrow” paradigm is to automate this process by using a network of sensors and user-defined logic and processes

Having the enhanced resources to “search wide and analyze narrow” utilizes the dual RSA7100/DataVu-PC configuration and solves many of the challenges regarding live recording and monitoring for test accountability during range operations or outdoor evaluations of a military system. DataVu-PC allows you to configure dual RSA7100/RSA500s to quickly detect, identify, record, and analyze important SOIs.


DataVu-PC makes short work of recording and searching through large datasets for signals of interest. You can measure, control, and record with two USB instruments simultaneously, then search for and measure pulses and other signals, minimizing time spent in post-capture analysis. Top Frame: evaluate 9kHz—1 GHz for signals of interest. Bottom Frame: record selected area for later evaluation, up to 40MHz bandwidth.

Compatibility and interoperability of systems and sensors in a congested system

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) can degrade system performance during operational deployments. Oftentimes, the operator-in-the-loop is not aware of the interference until it is too late. With a plethora of dynamic spectrum-accessible emitters congesting the spectrum, intentional (electronic attack) or unintentional fratricide can occur, often creating a unique challenge for the warfighter. Due to the spectrum changing so rapidly over time, having operators-in-the-loop is no longer effective. By the time they become aware of any performance degradation, the interference has moved to a different band and often goes undetected; yielding a false sense of security.

Performance in this new dynamic environment requires a level of autonomous awareness and spectrum optimization via Artificial Intelligence at machine speeds. Ensuring your systems and sensors meet mission performance within their operational environment requires smart sensing. Smart sensors provide real-time awareness which enables intelligent maneuverability within the spectrum.



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