Receivers: RFeye Nodes

The RFeye Node is the benchmark for high performance, real-time 24/7 monitoring of the radio spectrum.

RFeye Nodes are extremely sensitive radio receivers. They form the backbone of all CRFS hardware, from the RFeye Arrays to the SenS Portable. What makes Nodes unique is a combination of superior RF performance and innovative design.

Broad bandwidth and frequency range

There is a range of different Nodes to suit every application with a frequency range of 9 kHz to 8, 18 or 40 GHz. This ensures that a signal of interest is never missed. Nodes come with either a 50 MHz or 100 MHz instantaneous bandwidth (IBW). The IBW is the frequency range a receiver can acquire without having to retune. A wide IBW allows RFeye Nodes to quickly sweep through the frequency range with less time to retune. This translates to faster sweep speeds and a higher probability of intercept.

Inbuilt processing for low backhaul

All RFeye Nodes have their own inbuilt processor. This enables the Node to process the RF data in situ to perform geolocation and monitoring tasks. The results of these tasks can then be sent securely over VPN in realtime to a centralized location without the need for high data rate backhaul. Data can also be stored locally to USB drive/ optional internal SSD or transmitted via an external cellular modem.

Easy to deploy as fixed, portable or mobile units

RFeye Nodes are physically small and housed in a rugged, compact and lightweight enclosure. With the optional environmental cover, IP67 protection can be provided, meaning they are able to be deployed outdoors in the harshest of conditions. They can also be discreetly deployed in-building, or in various man-portable or mobile configurations. Power consumption is low, and the unit can be powered from multiple sources enabling rapid re-deployment.

Flexible multi-user multi-mission capability

The Node’s unique architecture is capable of supporting multiple, simultaneous tasks and missions, as well as queries from multiple users. So, if you needed to perform multiple TDOA geolocations at the same time as a colleague makes spectrum occupancy measurements, you can. Remote programming allows tasks to be assigned relative priorities and the Node is able to seamlessly execute the required tasks in the most efficient manner.

Node architecture

RFeye Nodes have been designed using the latest microwave components to give the radio hardware exceptional RF performance in the following areas:

  • Low system noise figure
  • Excellent front end linearity under high signal conditions
  • Multi-stage pre-selection filtering
  • Class-leading phase noise
  • Low local oscillator (LO) re-radiation from all antenna ports
  • High dynamic range with extremely low internally generated spurious components
  • Manual and intelligent automatic gain control (iAGC) on a capture by capture basis

Only after the radio hardware section has completed its processing in the analogue RF domain, is the signal digitized and sent to the radio FPGA. This is a key differentiation between the RFeye Node and lower cost software defined radios. Without such close attention to managing the RF signals, RF performance will always be inferior.

The digitized RF data is then transferred to the baseband FPGA where it is formatted for IQ streaming or FFT processing. The IQ data and/or FFT spectral data are then made available to the embedded Linux system for further processing or routing to the network ports and/or onboard data storage using USB mounted flash drives. RFeye Nodes are complemented with an API which allows fine-grain control and bespoke applications to be written to control the node, using a controlled schema. Expansion ports are available to connect external references or output internal references and control external peripheral devices such as RFeye switches, UPS and/or SyncLinc in-building synchronization systems.

RFeye Outdoor kit

Fully weatherproof Node

RFeye Node range

RFeye 50-8 RFeye 100-8 RFeye 100-18 RFeye 100-40
Frequency range 9 kHz – 8 GHz 9 kHz – 8 GHz 9 kHz- 18 GHz 9 kHz- 40 GHz
Instantaneous bandwidth (IBW) 50 MHz 100 MHz 100 MHz 100 MHz
Noise Figure 5.5dB – 9dB 5.5dB – 9dB 8.5dB – 13dB 8.5dB – 16dB
Sweep Rate 100 GHz/s 280 GHz/s 390 GHz/s 390GHz/s

Node 50-8

8GHz Receiver with 50MHz IBW

Node 100-8

8GHz Receiver with 100MHz IBW

Node 100-18

18GHz Receiver with 100MHz IBW

Node 100-40

40GHz Receiver with 100MHz IBW