Understanding and Applying Probability of Intercept in Real-time Spectrum Analysis

As today’s wireless signals become more complex, the process of analyzing and understanding those signals becomes more difficult. Examples include signals that have some combination of highly agile carrier frequencies, digital modulation, time-division multiplexing and burst shapes. In addition, more devices and systems are using the same frequency bands. As a result, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to identify and characterize interference and signal errors, especially when they come from transient signals.

When chasing an elusive signal, several attributes are important: when it occurs, how long it lasts, where it occurs within the spectrum, and how large or small it is. Determining these attributes requires a signal analyzer capable of performing real-time spectrum analysis (RTSA), real-time data capture, or both. Real-time spectrum analysis is crucial for detecting, observing and identifying transient signals. Real-time data capture enables detailed post-processing analysis, including demodulation.