Measuring broadcast anntennas has been our very first application with our RF measurement drone system.
The radiation of large antenna systems with multiple antenna panels, sometimes different powering and tilt, do often differ from the theoretical or initial patterns. This can be the result of installation issues (e.g. wrong cable, different lenghts or positioning of the cable on the mast, etc...), aging, weather damages on components like splitter, or simply because the theoretical simulation could not take into consideration all the real parameters of the towers direct environment.
After having performed more than 1000 antenna measurements worldwide, we also learnt that smaller antennas are likewise of interest, as there is often no other possibilities besides measuring with a drone.
Taking into consideration that in average, at least 20% of the current transmitting antennas are not radiating as they are supposed to, the drone-based antenna measurement becomes crucial for both operators and regulators.
A further add-on, specific to broadcast, is to analyze how antennas perform after refarming due to the second digital dividend.
Detect antenna installation errors
Determine radiation characteristics not visible by simulation (e.g. effect of mast)
Analyse possible changes after refarming
Verify the conformity to the granted license
Our capabilities include
- Horizontal and vertical radiation pattern measurements
- Key data on tilt, null fills and Effective Radiated Power (ERP)
- Cost effective and high accuracy compared to conventional helicopters
- Extremely high reproduceability of the measurements based on precise flight positioning and orientation
- Export of the true antenna diagram in electronic format
- Possibility to perform new coverage simulation using CHIRplus_BC
- Flexible deployment enabling to measure high, medium or low power transmission sites in various types of environment
- Measurements follow the guidelines of ITU (ITU Report ITU-R SM.2056)
- Optional photographic inspection of masts and mounted equipment
- Mast inventory and regulatory compliance audits