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Virtual feature brings real-world into wireless test lab

Posted: 06 Apr 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:drive testing  field testing  wireless channel emulator 


Spirent Communications plc, a wireless infrastructure, devices and application testing company, has announced the Virtual Drive Test and Fading Lab functionality on Spirent's SR5500 wireless channel emulator. Virtual Drive Test allows rapid re-creation of RF conditions to bring real-world field testing of mobile devices into the lab. Fading Lab enables the creation or replay of highly-detailed, advanced radio environments from a wide range of data sources.

Wireless operators and manufacturers traditionally rely on fleets of drivers to perform mobile field testing, also referred to as drive testing, to verify the operational and performance capabilities of mobile devices and services. This approach is neither repeatable nor cost-efficient.

Virtual Drive Test uses a proprietary Dynamic Environment Emulation (DEE) feature to provide a more rigorous and sustainable alternative, according to Spirent. The test generates a set of controlled dynamic RF channels based on channel parameter data. Complex radio mobility scenarios can be created without deploying scores of vans, and the RF environment remains consistent between test iterations.

Spirent's new Fading Lab supplements the SR5500's existing real-time engine with a new "Fading Data Playback" engine. The Fading Lab engine converts data into a sample-accurate wireless RF environment. The Fading Lab's universal interface accepts data from a wide range of sources including channel-sounding tools and software packages. Virtually any mathematical or ray-tracing software package can be used to synthesize the input data, as can custom software packages or scripts. The text-based template allows the user to create any customized fading model imaginable.

The Fading Lab includes Fading Studio, a software package that creates advanced channel scenarios for testing MIMO and other multiple-antenna systems. These already include Spatial Channel Models (SCMs/SCMEs), with models defined by the European Wireless World Initiative New Radio (WINNER) consortium to follow shortly.

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