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There are teams within the FAA responsible for monitoring the RF spectrum to ensure all FAA frequencies used for communication, navigation (VHF), radar – and others – are safeguarded from interfering signals. Inference can originate from many sources and create potentially dangerous situations for pilots and passengers alike. Spurious signals can interfere with tower communications, aircraft instruments, and other crucial communications systems.

Small-footprint test equipment, perfect for avionics technicians

For instance, FAA technicians may need to test for aircraft instrument interference. In this case they put test equipment on one of their FAA test aircraft to measure signal levels at different airports. Signal Hound spectrum analyzers such as the BB60D have a very small footprint, ideal for this type of specific measurement. The small size of the analyzers means that the equipment does not need to be rack-mounted ahead of time or accounted for before takeoff with weight/balance. The technicians can simply stroll onto the jet with a laptop and a Signal Hound analyzer, and they are ready for takeoff.

portable spectrum analyzer for avionics technicians
The BB60D – fast, accurate 6 GHz real-time spectrum analyzer, and fits in your hand… perfect for working on and around aircraft

Consider an antenna array located close to an airport. Any incidences of signal jamming with the potential to disrupt tower communications would need to be identified and reported immediately to avoid catastrophic consequences. Signal Hound offers several spectrum analyzers such as the SM435C or SM200C perfectly suited for remote spectrum monitoring. These products are designed to run unhindered for long stretches at a time with fast sweep times and wide frequency bands.

Don’t overpay for features you don’t need

These extremely specific measurements do not require overly complex test equipment to get the job done. Signal Hound analyzers, intentionally, are not built to compete spec-for-spec with the large, expensive big-name RF test equipment but they can indeed perform most of the tasks for which the big boxes are designed. Imagine getting the same reliability and performance of a $100,000 spectrum analyzer at a fraction of the cost – about $15,500 for the SM200B – with unmatched engineer to engineer customer support.

mmWave rf analyzer for avionics technicians
The small footprint and 43.5 GHz tuning range of the SM435B enable the RF analyzer as a go-anywhere, easy-to-handle device for mmWave signal analysis

Moreover, Signal Hound offers Spike™ software, compatible with the entire line of Signal Hound spectrum analyzers and tracking generators. Spike allows users to collect spectrum data for analysis, correlating with GPS info for location-based measurements. Spike’s included interference hunting mode allows you to visualize interfering signals for analysis and troubleshooting purposes.

For unrivaled value in field spectrum analysis or interference hunting needs, we have you covered. Please reach out to our sales team with questions – we’re ready to help with your specific application.

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