LMT is taking part in the recently announced collaborative project by SAF Tehnika and the Electronic Communications Office of Latvia (ECO) on developing a complete radio frequency (RF) test and measurement solution mounted on drones.

SAF Tehnika, ECO of Latvia, and LMT’s collaborative project aims to develop a UAV-based Spectrum Compact solution with the capability to position a spectrum analyzer for efficient aerial measurements. Compared to alternative solutions, the Spectrum Compact-powered drone system will ensure shorter flight times, improved calculations, and greater automation of the drone flight plan, as well as more accurate real-time measurements. 

The RF test and measurement drone solution will include SAF Tehnika’s Spectrum Compact lightweight spectrum analyzer and dedicated software for easy data collection, storage, and analysis. It will help ensure RF spectrum control and ease monitoring its compliance with regulations. 

Additional software developed by LMT will use artificial intelligence (AI) to identify data transmission antennas and ensure that UAVs are positioned optimally to collect measurements. 

Both the weight and size of the spectrum analyzer are common drawbacks for accurate measurements of high-frequency bands as those signals cannot be effectively evaluated from the ground level. Therefore, measuring must be conducted close to the transmitter, which requires special training and equipment to obtain accurate results. 

As said by the CEO of the Electronic Communications Office of Latvia Jānis Bārda, integrating the Spectrum Compact handheld analyzers with drone technology is a logical next step as ECO has been using Spectrum Compact handheld analyzers successfully for years. The new UAV solution will save time equal to thousands of manual labor hours in RF measurements performed each year. The solution will also allow access to radio frequencies that could not be previously measured. 

Given the current 5G rollout strategies of many countries, the RF spectrum is becoming saturated. The result is an increased demand for an accurate, safe, cost-effective, and easy-to-use test solution. We see tremendous potential in this application because it saves clients considerable time and money,

said Jānis Bergs, VP of Global Sales & Marketing and President of SAF North America

Additionally, the new solution will improve the safety and efficiency of field engineers, and it will also be available for other communications regulators worldwide.