Practical Spectrum Analysis

Course Length: 2 Days

Prerequisites:  A fundamental understanding of telecommunications transmission principles will be useful for students taking this course.

Course Objectives:  This course is designed to help students understand the spectrally busy radio environment. The

class will cover various spectrum analyzers, how they operate and what they test. Student exercises will develop skills

aimed at correct instrument setup and interpretation of test results. Effective Receiver Sensitivity (ERS) and the

problems associated with radio interference will be covered. This course is typically customized to meet specific

customer equipment and testing requirements.

Download Course Outline : Practical Spectrum Analysis

Spectrum Analyzers – How they work

  • Subject Introduction
  • Spectrum Analyzer – Types
  • Spectrum Analyzer Measurements
  • Storage and External Interfaces
  • The RF Spectrum
  • Wavelength

Why Measure Spectrum

  • Introduction to Results Interpretation
  • Occupied Bandwidth
  • Noise and Noise Floors


  • Adjacent and Co-channel Interference
  • Intermodulation
  • Harmonic Distortion
  • Transmitter Sideband Noise
  • Multipath Interference

Spectrum Analyzer Setup

  • Physical Connections
  • Max Power – Pads
  • Initial Settings – RF Safety
  • Frequency-Amplitude
  • Span – RBW
  • Markers
  • Filters – Masks – Limits

Measuring the 802.11 Standard

  • Channel Bandwidth
  • Channel Occupancy
  • Testing 802.11 channels

Receiver Sensitivity

  • Sensitivity & Selectivity
  • Desense Defined
  • Conducting ERS Tests
  • Results Interpretation
  • Overcoming Desense
  • Spectrum Reporting