RF Survey Assures Wireless Connectivity

MET Labs recently completed a novel RF survey for a large federal government agency laboratory, to determine whether refrigerators and freezers on multiple floors in multiple buildings are receiving a sufficient-strength wireless signal with minimal noise.

Here are some of the project details, as well as surveyed information:

  • Operating frequencies: 2.4 GHz ISM Band; 5 GHz UNII Bands; 5.8 GHz ISM Band
  • Acceptable signal strength: -85dBm to -35dBm
  • Minimum Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 20dB
  • Access Point/Channels in Use Information
  • Maximum Data Rate
  • Retry Rate Distribution
  • Loss Rate Distribution
  • Operating Mode Information (Legacy/HT/Mixed HT)
  • 20/40MHz Channel Information
  • Tx/Rx MCS Index Information

MET used this test method:

  1. The calibrated 802.11a/b/g/n client radio was connected to a laptop running RF monitoring software.
  2. A passive and active survey was taken using the software and the radio was moved throughout the test site.
  3. In each lab and corridor within labs, measurements were taken of the strength of the received WLAN carriers.
  4. All the measurements were mapped to floor plans of the test site. Signal Strength, SNR, and other wireless signal properties were noted throughout and compared to the test requirements.

In situ RF surveys are a good way to ensure wireless-enabled equipment receives an uninterrupted signal that is free of excessive noise.  For more information about conducting RF surveys, contact MET.

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