RF Spectrum monitoring is not always viable using a fixed-position system, there are many factors that can contribute to this including terrain, time and threat. Is the topography unsuitable for permanent structures? Is the area too dangerous? Perhaps the duration of deployment is only for short term signal collection.
As the utilization of the RF spectrum grows, it is essential to maintain effective monitoring capabilities, whatever the environment. A system that allows you to deploy, capture intelligence, recover and analyze delivers an effective covert intelligence capability. If that same system can also be attached to a live, low bandwidth network, you also get live situational awareness of what’s happing, and where. Here we look at some of the the applications for such a system.
In hostile environments , such as along contested borders, a temporary RF spectrum monitoring solution, with swift deployment, is essential. Permanent structures are not always feasible as they could become a target . In these situations, the importance is the ability to remain elusive yet productive, whether that be using a short-term base or a ‘drop and go’ RF recording solution.
Some regions with hostile landscapes, such as cliffs, forests, swamps or dunes, would provide an unfeasible base for a permanent structure – such as a tower or mast – and therefore would benefit from users being able to operate a temporary RF monitoring system.
Short term or rapid deployments
Occasionally, there will be a need for deployment of RF recording equipment at short notice due to emergencies or interference.
Should an commercial entity complain about jamming or conflicting signals, it is imperative to find and solve the problem as quickly as possible, the faster this is done the less money and business they will lose.
Drones are becoming a wider problem, as they gain more traction as a ‘must-have’ gadget. There are many examples of drones being used for illegal and dangerous activities. Flying too close to passenger aircraft, smuggling drugs and weapons into prisons or across borders, privacy concerns, and weaponized drones. Here, a rapid deployment system to identify operators and their aircraft is essential.
Portable spectrum monitoring
The RFeye Stormcase solves these challenges within a man-portable ruggedized integrated system, designed for easy mobile RF spectrum monitoring, signal collection and interference hunting. The RFeye Stormcase is suitable for a wide range of field deployable applications, where rugged form factor, portability and high signal fidelity are essential.
Built into a tough enclosure, the system incorporates an RFeye Node 100-8 or 100-18, internal and external antenna ports, high performance standard military rechargeable battery and integrated SSD memory for high volume data collection during mobile field operations.
Utilizing the RFeye Stormcases, it is possible to track and locate specific signals, over a long time period. RF Experts can pre-program the Stormcase to search for particular signals and record I/Q snippets when that particular signal hits. The operator on the ground doesn’t need to be RF trained, they simply have to turn the RFeye Stormcase on and it starts monitoring and recording. The benefit to this is that the existence, or otherwise, of a signal can be determined and captured over an extended period of time.
When using three or more Stormcases, the captured I/Q snippets can be post- processed back at base and used to geolocate the signal via TDOA. This is useful for determining and locating intermittent signals such as the use of push to talk (PTT) radios or other interference.
The RFeye Stormcases, just like other Nodes, can be fully networked together, enabling live monitoring capability to operators, remotely. The operators can work on multiple missions at the same time without being constrained to one location. This also ensures greater safety, with less personnel on the ground in hostile environments. This networked approach delivers live spectrum intelligence, alongside ground and airborne signal geolocation using TDOA or 3DTDOA (depending upon how many units are deployed). These capabilities enhance applications such as Border Monitoring, Air Defense (AD)and counter Drone/UAS (c-UAS).
The RFeye Stormcase is an extremely versatile piece of kit and can be used anywhere where permanent structures are not necessary or viable; they provide a flexible solution to meet many deployable applications, and have proven to be reliable and robust.