Spectrum Compact for Drone Solutions
Commercial drones are changing the way cell tower companies and regulatory authorities audit and inspect wireless infrastructure. They enable rapid, repeatable, and safe collection of high-resolution images and video of tower structures and equipment as well as real-time spectrum scans and measurements.
For commercial entities:
SAF Spectrum Compact is integration ready platform with application programming interface (API), which in partnership with industrial drone manufacturers and drone solution integrators, can bring to market an aerial RF inspection solution. Leveraging the best drone airframe and proprietary control protocol, users can produce full frequency RF density heat maps using the GPS data from the drone.
Using drones for tower inspection:
- dramatically increases the safety of climbers;
- reduces or eliminates the need for re-climbs;
- provides a pre-climb visual so the climber brings just what’s needed up the tower.
For regulatory authorities:
E-band frequencies are becoming more widespread for public services all around the world, and national frequency regulators are faced with new challenges posed by E-band links. Within the 60-87GHz range, point-to-point radio antennas have very narrow beam widths of 1 degree or even less, thus requiring a new and innovative solutions for radio parameter measurements.
SAF Tehnika teamed up with one of the EU’s national regulatory authorities to develop a solution for precise E-band link measurement and reporting using Spectrum Compact and a drone.
Frequency regulators have to verify that E-band radio is working according to license. Antenna is high up on tower and signal from sidelobe is being attenuated so significantly, that typical approach of doing measurements from ground level can’t be used. Regulator is not allowed to climb the tower to do measurements in close proximity of antenna. For this case, measurement tool has to be delivered precisely in the main lobe of antenna.
The solution consists of a Spectrum Compact 70-87GHz unit, mini PC with Windows OS, 4G modem, Spectrum Manager PC software and an unmanned aerial vehicle – drone.
Spectrum Compact device is attached to a drone and connected to a mini PC with pre-installed Spectrum Manager software. It is also connected to a smartphone for data transmission over 4G network as shown in the schematics.
Utilizing connection to the mini PC on the drone via remote desktop application to access Spectrum Manager, engineer can view measurement data in real-time mode and save scans for later analysis and reporting. This way it is possible to immediately detect if radio is operating according to license and save data for data processing and reporting.
Same approach can be taken with any of Spectrum Compact 0.3-87 GHz frequency range devices.