RF Spectral Capture and Emulation

Complete end to end testing of complex signal processing systems as well as field testing of simple receivers are significantly benefitted by the ability to capture and playback or emulate real world environments. RF receiver testing requires complex hardware and software with the ability to generate signals at the limits of the receiver’s capabilities. At ADS we have developed a family of record and playback units for the range of the spectrum from below 20Hz to above 28Ghz. Our product offerings, under the umbrella of the Spectrum Defender Logo, range from single channel record or playback units to eight (8) multi-channel phase synchronized units extendable to 3, 64 channels and beyond to emulate complex environments for large signal processing systems. We combine National Instruments Hardware with a comprehensive Software Suite and RF Playback/Record Tool kit to create a COTS out of the box experience

Moving from the theoretical realm of mathematically-modeled and generated signals to hardware testing is an important step in the test process. Our solutions allows for these modeled and generated signals to be played on physical hardware at certain signal specifications to the RF receivers under test. This allows for a comparison between the modeled response and the actual response to ensure receiver fidelity.

ADS RF Record Playback and Spectral Emulation eliminate significant cost and time associated with field testing and systems integration


  • Record incoming RF signals to hard disk (continuous, gap-free recording)
  • Adjustable parameters
    • Center Frequency
    • Record Bandwidth
    • Amplitude Reference Level
    • Record Duration
  • Maximum Record Bandwidth: 20MHz
  • Record Start Trigger
    • Software (user button press)
    • External (digital edge trigger)
  • Pre-Trigger Mode
    • Record (save) signal data prior to trigger event
    • User specified pre-trigger period
    • User specified post-trigger period
  • Signal recording format: Time series of IQ baseband data
  • File format: 16-bit, interleaved I and Q samples (file format specification document provided; directly compatible with MatLab and all PC-based programming languages)
  • Metadata: Text file with recording metadata for each signal recording event (includes date/time and instrument settings at recording start time)