After years of local development and the delivery of successful drone based RF measurements across several continents, LS of South Africa’s prides itself in its offering of in-flight RF antenna radiation pattern characterization, RF scanning services and site auditing.
LS of SA’s unique RF measuring capability using adapted Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), have repeatedly done service in Africa, Europe, Scandinavia, South America and Asia.
LS of SA’s innovative use of drone technology for RF transmission system characterization is clearly raising the level of RF radiation measurement integrity across the industry.
Where LS of SA further supports its spatial RF services with airborne site inspections/modelling, a powerful information base is established for regulatory, planning and operational purposes in the telecommunications industry.
LS of SA is licensed by the South African Civil Aviation Authority as a commercial RPAS services provider. The SACAA accreditation and RPAS Operating Certificate is recognized internationally.


1.  RF Radiation characterization

Ground level RF measurements and/or drive-by assessment of Radio Access Networks is tedious and often inconclusive and very dependent on the ardency of the persons actually doing the work.
LS of SA’s in-flight RF characterization of operational telecommunication sites facilitates the efficient correlation with drive tests performance outcomes for radio access networks. Iterative site- and antenna hardware corrective actions become simple and efficient where the characteristics of the respective network antenna components are quantified before and after, and in absolute terms.
LS of SA’s drones are specifically developed for RF measurement in Broadcasting and Radio Access Networks and are capable of operating in high RF fields typically encountered at such sites.
The geo-mapping of the RF measurements are done with high accuracy using the latest on-board RTK navigational technology. Vertical accuracy of lobe definition is typically well within 0.2 degrees.
The LS of SA drone based RF measurement system thus yields unprecedented accuracy for radiation performance of any RF transmission installation and quantifies the outcomes in three dimensions (X, Y, and Z).
Typical measurement results would include:

  • antenna mounting height and position,
  • azimuth orientation,
  • electrical and mechanical tilt – indicated separately,
  • effective isotropic radiated power,
  • primary and secondary lobe formation.

The results are presented graphically and tabulated in a preferred customer format and also in a standard pattern file format.
The aerial measurement process is completely non-intrusive with no human radiation safety risk or service interruptions.


2. RF spectrum scans

LS of SA offers a very useful RF scan service in conjunction with its antenna radiation measurements whereby the actual on-site spectrum utilization is determined. This feature might be deployed in ground level or on LS’s drone platform. Relative transmission levels, azimuth direction and elevation relative to the mast will typically be the outcome of the spectral scan procedure. Bands of interest are focused on.
The aerial scan provides the actual vector determination of spectrum use on site and this information could then inform planning and operational activities.


3. Site modelling/structural inspections

LS of SA offers a transmission site modelling service whereby the site infrastructure and mast is rendered and 3D modelled by photogrammetry processes. High resolution photographs of all site and mast elements are available for any portion of the 3 D model of the site and this allows the customer to “virtually” scrutinize the 3D rendered model in the comfort of his office. This service is particularly suited for the determination of installation quality, operational integrity and rental capacity on the mast structures and site.
The service is offered in synergy with LS of SA’s spectral measurement airborne services.

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