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Radio Tests

Radio Test

Our wide selection of Communications Test Equipment supports critical communications worldwide for Public Safety, Public Transportation, Hospitals, Utilities, Railroads, Private Security, Homeland Security, Government, and Military

Digital land mobile radio (LMR) technologies and software defined radio (SDR) have significantly improved security, range, and spectral efficiency. Radio test solutions have followed suit, incorporating advanced automation, signal mapping, and spectrum analysis features for the lab and field. VIAVI has continued the collaboration with radio manufacturers and unparalleled radio test expertise established by the original radio test set developers. This 60-year commitment to quality and innovation has resulted in a versatile portfolio of digital and analog radio test sets for all major LMR technologies. The industry’s largest library of OEM-approved Auto-Test applications support public safety, military, airborne, and private radio operators worldwide.

What is Radio Test? 

Radio has provided a reliable and secure communication mode over land, sea, and air for more than a century. Radio test tools and processes are used to verify the range, signal power, distortion, frequency, and receiver sensitivity for two-way radio communications.  As radio infrastructure has evolved, test tools and methods have also been developed to verify the performance of antennas, repeaters, and cabling.

 Mission critical radio networks  for military, law enforcement, and emergency responders utilize over-the-air testing to verify coverage and security. Digital radio technologies such as P25 require alignment to ensure modulation fidelity and minimize bit error rate (BER). Software defined radio (SDR) is enabling more adaptable spectrum and protocol usage. This requires a new set of radio test solutions for embedded software development and testing.

Who Uses Radio Tests Sets from VIAVI?

VIAVI communications test equipment supports a broad variety of public and private sector mobile radio users. Versatile radio test sets and training packages are tailored to meet the needs of radio manufacturers, service depots, and end users.

Emergency responders, hospitals, and police rely on land mobile radio (LMR) coverage and reliability under critical, time-sensitive conditions. Mobile radios in vehicles must work seamlessly with handheld radios and base stations to maintain an uninterrupted communication network. A public agency with a high volume of users will often deploy a trunked land mobile radio system to improve spectral efficiency.

The railroad industry utilizes digital radio technology to control and monitor train positions and ensure safety. VIAVI communications test equipment, including the versatile 8800SX digital and analog radio test set, provide Positive Train Control (PTC) testing to meet stringent railroad requirements in the lab or field.

The military has relied on mobile radios for over 100 years and continues to drive new technology and security advancements. VIAVI supports military radio testing with a full line of tactical radio communication test sets and programmable depot-level radio maintenance equipment.

Private companies and small public entities like schools and fire departments often rely on independent contractors or two-way radio dealers for maintenance and calibration. This extended support network benefits from the automated radio test and alignment features of highly integrated VIAVI Communications Service Monitors (CSMs).

Types of Radio Test Sets

Communications Service Monitors

A communications service monitor (CSM) is an integrated radio test solution that combines the features of a spectrum analyzer, signal generator, oscilloscope, channel analyzer, and power meter in one advanced radio test set. The versatility of a CSM can be applied to both analog and digital radio applications. A CSM can be used to automate land mobile radio testing and alignment for technologies including P25, TETRA, Digital Mobile Radio (DMR), and Next Generation Digital Narrowband (NXDN). A radio frequency analyzer, SINAD and distortion meters, along with modulation sources and channel markers enable equally effective analog radio test coverage.

Land Mobile Radio Test

Land mobile radio (LMR) refers to person-to-person communication over two-way radio. Despite the older and simpler format, LMR has differentiated itself from cellular technology as an extremely reliable mode for voice communication. This characteristic trait has led to the widespread adoption of land mobile radio for emergency response and law enforcement teams. With a growing number of government and commercial applications, land mobile radio has incorporated digital technology to improve range and reliability. VIAVI radio test sets incorporate automatic test and alignment features for an exhaustive list of digital LMR products from leading radio manufacturers.

Military Radio Test

The range, simplicity, and reliability of land mobile radio systems has made them a logical fit for military and tactical communications. With often unpredictable field conditions and security threats, tactical radios must remain adaptable while maintaining high performance standards for transmit power, error rate, and sensitivity. Over-the-air military radio testing prevents the disruption of deployment activities or test-induced equipment failures.

Software Defined Radio

Software-defined radio (SDR) replaces traditional physical layer components, such as amplifiers and filters, with software defined elements. This allows multiple radio technologies to share a common platform while enabling remote programming and reconfiguration. The VIAVI Raptor is an ideal software communications architecture (SCA) test environment. SDR applications can be developed, and a simulated radio frequency interference test can be performed. Additional software tools can be used to generate synthetic waveforms or create new SDR models from pre-defined software elements.

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Evaluation of exposure to pulsed magnetic fields by examining the variations in the spectrum and over time with ELT-400

The ELT is the only device on the market that can output the field strength signal as well as a signal that is weighted according to a particular standard from its analog output. This opens up some interesting possibilities for analysis, which are discussed in this Application Note. The methods described here can be applied to the evaluation of operating production line welding equipment and for optimizing magnetic field exposure levels during the development of electric vehicles.

EMF measurement

Standards-compliant EMF measurement solutions from 0HZ to 90 Ghz - planning security for the 5G reserves.

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Practical RF interference tracing

This guide makes no claim to be complete; rather, it is oriented towards practical measurements of interference. Some of the explanations of basic relationships also include measurement tips, indicated by blue triangles. These are mainly based on the features of the Interference and Direction Analyzer IDA from Narda Safety Test Solutions, which is also used for the practical measurement examples. This information applies in a similar way to most measuring receivers and spectrum analyzers.

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Testing Digital Mobile Radios

Digital radio systems operate differently than legacy analog systems. Although digital modulation alignments are similar to alignments used in analog radio systems, digital radios require more precise alignment to achieve optimum performance and must be verified for digital modulation performance. Proper alignment can improve systems performance in range and power consumption to maximize and deliver the high performance that it was designed to provide.

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