Vendor Content.

A New Era In RF Analysis

These days, it’s quite challenging to come across an article without any mention of cloud computing, IP-based transport, or the seismic shift away from traditional broadcast models.

Yet, amidst the digital buzz, the critical role of RF technology in underpinning data and video transmissions across distances often gets overlooked. From cell phones to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 5G, digital radio, GPS, and even cable internet, various forms of modulation are employed to transfer audio, video, and data to our smart devices. In this grand symphony, the global industry employs over 20 unique modulation schemes, each hitting the high notes of efficiency and robustness, just for delivering AV and data to an array of platforms.

For professionals involved in RF research, field testing, monitoring or equipment development, performing in-depth RF signal analysis is critical to delivering high-quality services or crafting effective solutions. Our offering, the DekTec DTU-331, a compact and portable RF probe, effectively addresses this need. Designed for use with a laptop over a single USB-3 connection (no need for a power supply), it is ideal for fieldwork.

SDR Technology For Advanced Measurements

Offering users advanced, portable RF analysis capabilities, including support for emerging standards, the DTU-331 assists in validating new equipment, troubleshooting, recording live signals, and also fosters innovation and learning in broadcasting, research, and education.

Equipped with two tuners (wide-band for satellite and small-band for cable/terrestrial) and a frequency mixer, the DTU-331 captures signals across a broad frequency range from 42 to 3220 MHz. Its utilization of Software-Defined Radio (SDR) technology is its stand out feature, offering flexibility and capabilities beyond traditional hardware-based demodulators.

The power of SDR lies in its software-centric approach to demodulation. As all I/Q samples are available to the analyzing software, our probe offers precise and unique RF measurements not available in any chip-based demodulator solution.

This flexibility allows the DTU-331 to incorporate not just standard measurements such as Modulation Error Ratio (MER), spectrum analysis, and constellation diagrams, but also advanced measurements like impulse response and transfer functions. Users gain a comprehensive understanding of RF signals and system performance.

The SDR architecture allows the RF probe to adapt to changes in existing standards and to accommodate emerging ones, ensuring the device maintains its future relevance and efficacy.

Applications In Broadcast

For complex modulation schemes such as ATSC 3.0 or DVB-T2, this super compact receiver can analyze both physical layer and upper layers, up to the audio and video. This allows users to get a complete picture of all aspects of the signal.

Atsc3Xpert in-depth RF Analyzer for ATSC 3.0.

Broadcasters can employ the DTU-331 along with the Atsc3XpertTM and StreamXpertTM Windows software to validate signals during the deployment of new equipment or transmission systems. Thanks to its portability, signal reception conditions can be checked in various locations with just a laptop, a DTU-331, and an antenna.

The device’s ability to record raw I/Q signals lets engineers capture live signals and recreate complex RF scenarios in the lab. These signals can be replayed using the DTU-315 companion portable modulator, bringing the live signal to a lab anywhere in the world.

The DTU-331 can also analyze satellite signals. A demodulator is also available for the DVB-CID spread-spectrum modulation scheme used in satellite communications to provide a unique identification code for each carrier. This way, operators can trace the origin of satellite carriers, mitigate interference, and coordinate spectrum resources to ensure the quality of satellite services.

Applications Beyond Broadcasting

The DTU-331also offers considerable utility in non-broadcast settings thanks to its general-purpose design. It facilitates in-field recording of RF signals as I/Q samples and supports custom analysis via specialized software tools such as MatLab, or via your own custom analysis software. As long as the RF signal is located in the 42-3220 MHz band and less than 60MHz wide, our unit can capture it!

The DTU-331 is fully supported in our standard SDK, allowing 3rd party organisations to develop their own application for internal use or for resale.

This flexibility positions the DTU-331 as an adaptable tool for a broad range of applications. It aids in the development and fine-tuning of new modulation schemes, reception algorithms, error correction techniques, and transmission protocols, thereby extending its utility beyond traditional broadcasting environments.