Introduction to Radio Spectrum Monitoring and Measuring

Course Description

Course participants will receive an introduction to spectrum monitoring and related measurement techniques at a field facility of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Initially, an overview of the role of the Enforcement Bureau and Field Operations will be presented in a classroom setting prior to transportation of the class to the FCC Columbia Operations Center facility in Columbia, MD. Following introduction of FCC course instructors, a tour will be conducted of these facilities. At the FCC facility, the class will be separated into small rotating work stations: Fixed and Mobile direction finding; Spectrum Measurement Software; and Satellite Monitoring from an equipped satellite console using a large Cassegrain feed parabolic antenna.

On the final day of the training, the course co-sponsor, National Instruments, will discuss methods for spectrum monitoring, including record and playback of spectrum for time continuous spectrum analysis. In addition, a hardware and software demonstration will be shown to highlight some common PC-based tools for spectrum monitoring applications. National Instruments is the industry leader in PC-based measurement and automation tools used worldwide in applications like communications, automotive, aerospace and semi-conductor.

Learning Objective

To obtain a working understanding of:
  1. spectrum management techniques related to enforcement of national and international radio regulations, and their practical application using spectrum monitoring and measurement tools;
  2. signal recognition, and how the signals are received, through correlation between available databases and other publications and observed/measured signal characteristics;
  3. how received signals are processed through receivers, monitors, oscilloscopes and spectrum analyzers to establish transmission parameters;
  4. how special engineering measurement equipment is applied against various types of communication signals (including broadcast and satellite signals) to understand the basis for their complex monitoring results;
  5. the fundamentals of basic monitoring, measuring, and direction finding theory; and
  6. the latest RF survey and measurement systems available today.


Federal Communications Commission and Comsearch


Columbia, MD


May 6-10, 2019