LocusUSA Exploring RF Drift White Paper

Exploring Radio Frequency Drift and Its Impact on Homeland Security and Disaster Response Operations

1024 683 Eileen Cole

This white paper focuses on the hazards and consequences of radio frequency error or RF drift in homeland security and disaster operations, as well as the benefits and advantages of deploying radio analyzers to recognize issues of radio frequency interference.

Radio frequency error or RF drift is a common issue that occurs when a two-way radio falls out of alignment and off-channel. When this happens, affected subscribers lose the ability to transmit and receive vital information. Equipment users and operations staff may be unaware that signal interference is occurring until after a critical transmission is missed or the communication link is terminated. Because frequency drift often replicates network coverage issues, it is easily misdiagnosed or brushed off as a one-time event.

Today more agencies are choosing to invest in diagnostic instruments to help proactively identify and correct instances of radio frequency drift. Technology such as over-the-air (OTA) radio analyzers can measure the accuracy and health of both networks and subscriber radios while also acting as an ever-present maintenance indication tool. Taking this concept further, new portable models can be effortlessly stored and immediately implemented for grab-and-go use during critical, time-sensitive missions.

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