New from Link Microtek is the recently introduced remote-controlled version of Narda Safety Test Solutions’ SignalShark real-time spectrum analyser, which provides a powerful and versatile means of carrying out radio monitoring for organisations such as regulatory authorities, mobile phone network operators, police and security services, intelligence agencies and the armed forces.
Covering the frequency range 8kHz to 8GHz, the SignalShark 3320 Remote Unit is capable of detecting, analysing and classifying a wide range of signals, as well as locating the source of transmissions using either automatic direction finding or TDOA (time difference of arrival) techniques.
The instrument uses advanced FFT computations to achieve a 40MHz real-time instantaneous bandwidth with a 100% probability of intercept (POI) for signals longer than 3.125µs, which means that there are no gaps in the frequency span and every signal event can be detected reliably, even if it is extremely brief and transient. The unit is also able to capture the spectrum over the full frequency span of 8kHz to 8GHz in a single measurement at the impressively fast scan rate of 50GHz/s.
Featuring an integrated computer running Windows 10, the 3320 provides a very flexible GUI with four task modes to support a wide variety of measurement applications, namely scan mode, real-time spectrum mode, auto DF mode and real-time streaming mode. Measurements are visualised by means of different views. For example, the user can choose to display the frequency domain and channel level at the same time by selecting a spectrum view and a level meter view.
One particularly useful feature is the persistence view in real-time spectrum mode, which makes it very easy to spot interfering signals even if they are only transmitted sporadically. The source of the interference can then be tracked down using dedicated SignalShark direction finding antennas.
The 3320 unit is equipped with an excellent RF front-end delivering outstanding sensitivity and dynamic range. It also provides four switchable RF inputs, which allow several different antennas – covering different frequency bands, for example – to be connected at the same time without the need for a complex switch that conventional single-input analysers require for this purpose.
Available in either stand-alone or 19in. rack-mount versions, the SignalShark 3320 is accessed with remote desktop software via a network and can also be operated locally by means of an external monitor, keyboard and mouse. Utilising the SCPI remote control protocol and VITA 49 compliant I/Q streaming, the unit will integrate easily into almost any software environment.