Automatic direction-finding antenna pinpoints rogue transmissions quickly and accurately

March 01, 2019 //By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Automatic direction-finding antenna pinpoints rogue transmissions quickly and accurately
Link Microtek has introduced an automatic direction-finding (DF) antenna that allows the source of unauthorised or interfering transmissions to be located rapidly and accurately, even in urban areas where signal reflections can make this a challenging task.

Recent drone activity at Gatwick and Heathrow airports has served to highlight the disruption that can be caused when illicit transmissions continue unchecked, and the new ADFA 1 antenna could be used as part of a solution to help security and communications professionals deal with such situations as quickly as possible. The device is also ideal for telecommunication or defence applications.

Manufactured by Narda Safety Test Solutions, the ADFA 1 antenna covers the frequency range 200 MHz to 2.7 GHz and is designed for use with the company’s SignalShark portable real-time spectrum analyser. There is no need for a laptop computer. By means of a strong magnetic mount, the antenna can be attached to the roof of any normal vehicle to enable a series of random bearings to be taken in the suspected area.

Each bearing cycle achieves a typical accuracy of 1 degree and takes just 1.2 milliseconds, thereby ensuring reliable measurements even for pulsed signals or transmissions of very short duration. The results can be displayed by SignalShark numerically or with live visualisation of the transmitter location in the form of a heat map. In addition, the ADFA 1 determines the elevation angle of the signal bearing, allowing the location of the source to be narrowed down to an individual floor level.

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