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Agilent Technologies’ New Geolocation Software Maps Emitter Location Using RF Sensor Networks


SANTA CLARA, Calif., Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today introduced an integrated real-time radio frequency (RF) emitter geolocation technique using a network of Agilent N6841A RF Sensors. The Agilent N6854A Geolocation server software estimates position of a non-cooperative intermittent or short-duration RF signal using measurements from the sensor network and calculations with time-difference-of-arrival (TDOA) techniques.

“Traditional direction-finding systems are ideal for obtaining the line of bearing on higher power and narrowband signals. However, modern signals with complex modulations, wider bandwidths and short durations are driving a need for complementary geolocation techniques such as TDOA,” said Tom Burrell, vice president and general manager of Agilent’s Signal Networks Division. “Tightly synchronized receivers provide the foundation for transmitter geolocation techniques in commercial, radio regulatory, security and defense applications.”

The geolocation system can be operated manually by the user or “tipped” automatically from a signal search/monitoring system. Then, three to five sensors at separate locations provide precisely time-stamped spectrum data to the server software. The software’s visual displays show two-dimensional signal correlation and propagation characteristics in addition to the estimated position. Raster maps in most standard formats, e.g., jpg, gif, tiff and geotiff, can be imported and combined with the estimated position from the geolocation software.

The Agilent N6854A depends on low-cost receivers, such as the Agilent N6841A, for accurate and timely geolocation of emitters. The small low-profile form factor receiver - about the size of a laptop PC - offers many discreet deployment and mounting options including pole-top or wall-mount. Co-locating the sensor with the antenna reduces antenna size and complexity plus helps to minimize signal loss due to coaxial cable attenuation. Announced on April 1, the N6841A RF Sensor monitors signals over a frequency range of 20 MHz to 6 GHz using a 14-bit ADC to accurately digitize signals with a 20 MHz information bandwidth. The network interface allows the sensors to be distributed within a building, throughout a city or across the world.

Additional Information

More information about the Agilent N6841A RF Sensor is available at

More information about the Agilent N6854A Geolocation server software is available at

High-resolution photos of sensor and software screen captures are available at

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The Agilent N6854A Geolocation server software is available now with deliveries in June. Pricing for a complete geolocation system, including sensors and required software, starts at less than $150,000.

The Agilent N6841A RF Sensor is available now with deliveries in June. Pricing starts at $13,351.
About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world’s premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company’s 19,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $5.8 billion in fiscal 2008. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at


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