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Localised signals on Narda’s Interference and Direction Analyzer IDA-3106

The IDA-3106 now offers a special Max Hold algorithm for localising unknown sources with a horizontal scan.

Narda Safety Test Solutions has reportedly equipped the Interference and Direction Analyzer IDA-3106 with additional functions that allow even faster and more reliable localisation of interference and unknown signal sources.

It is reportedly possible to localise pulsed or sporadic signals using a horizontal scan for direction finding – a feature that, the company claims, is a world first in a hand-held device. The spectrogram display shows the variation of the spectrum with time. Deviations from a reference trace can reportedly be seen at a glance using the delta spectrum display.

The IDA-3106 now offers a special Max Hold algorithm for localising unknown sources with a horizontal scan. This allows the instrument to also produce a polar diagram from pulsed and cyclic or sporadic signals and to determine the direction of signals that have hitherto been difficult to localise, such as radar installations or intermittently used walkie-talkies.

The IDA-3106 records up to 400 compressed individual spectra for the spectrogram display and shows the signal strength in colour. This visualises the variations in the spectrum with time, which can give information about the type of signal, so that industrial control equipment with cyclical signals, mobile communications services using frequency hopping, stationary transmitters, and sporadic emitters can all be distinguished from each other.

A new feature is the ability to save spectra as reference traces and display the current spectrum as a difference or delta spectrum. In this way, deviations from the normal status, such as new sources in the communications band or an unusual state in an industrial plant, can be seen immediately.

The instrument display is designed for outdoor use and can now be switched for optimum visibility in daylight, normal lighting, or darkness.

Facts about the IDA-3106

The Interference and Direction Analyzer IDA-3106 was developed for identifying and localising electromagnetic signal sources. Its applications include the areas of communications and security. In communications, the task is to find and eliminate spurious interference from whatever source.

For security, the device can reportedly be used to locate unknown sources and identify potential dangers. The IDA can, the company claims, automatically determine the direction of the source based on a horizontal scan, and display the bearing angle on a polar diagram. The IDA then, according to an official release, automatically calculates and displays the position of the interfering source from several bearing results. Freely available electronic maps can be recorded optionally, so that the source can be precisely pinpointed on a street plan, just like a navigation system. Determination of the position of an interference source is based on a GPS receiver in the measuring instrument and the electronic compass in the antenna handle for determining the direction, elevation, and polarisation.

Optimised antennas which can be inserted vertically or horizontally in the ergonomically formed handgrip, according to a company spokesman and are available for different frequency ranges.

As a hand-held device for on-site use, the IDA-3106 basic unit weighs less than three  kgs including battery. The antenna and handle draw their power supply from the basic unit and reportedly weigh less than 1 kg. The rechargeable battery can be hot-swapped without interrupting operation.