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Super Eagle CDMA Pilot Scanner

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Super Eagle CDMA Pilot Scanner

The Super Eagle is a mobile, high speed field measurement device that surveys Cellular or PCS CDMA Pilot channel signals and reports their power profiles. Measuring Ec/Io, total power (dBm) in the CDMA channel as well as absolute power (dBm) profiles from each CDMA base station, the Super Eagle generates these correlations using internal, high speed parallel architecture in realtime. These profiles indicate the distribution of interference and multipath components as a function of relative power and delay.

Download Super Eagle data sheet

Download SuperEagle manual from Technical Support section

Download SuperEagle software updates

Download SuperEagle related articles

The system employs an eight channel internal differential GPS and gen-lock system to synchronize the unit's clock time and track the CDMA signals. The Super Eagle can be configured to survey all or just specific base stations including power and signal thresholds to reduce the overall data collection. This allows the user to generate specific criteria for propagation analysis. With 1/2 chip resolution, (upgradeable to 1/4 chip) the Super Eagle can scan all 512 base stations and the associated multipaths from each base station. The user may also upload a list of base stations to be measured as well as a search window for base stations which is defined as the number of chips around each base station.

The Super Eagle excels in conducting accurate CDMA coverage studies, base station transmitter testing and setting hand-off thresholds. The heavily parallel, expandable and high speed time multiplexed architecture and DSP downloadable PN phases allow capture of real-time co-channel interference, multipath analysis Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI).

Not All PN Scanners are the Same

As you know this year, a competing hardware manufacturer has raised the bar with a new list price for the their PN Scanner system by $10,000 more. This is good news for Berkeley Varitronics. More importantly, since the competition's costs more, it forces customers to address the real functional, operation and technical advantages of the Berkeley Super Eagle over other PN Scanners; not just the 30% gap in price. The rational that the competition used to raise their price is that their customer's demanded they include the ability for multiple receivers to be used with PN Scanner in order to measure comparative frequencies (different RF channels) of CDMA signals simultaneously.

The BVS Eagle and Super Eagle scanners can scan very fast (in under 27 milliseconds for all PN half-chip positions) and measure multiple RF channels, without the need for added receivers. Dual RF channel measurements are reported and displayed at a rate greater than twice per second (four times faster than the competition with only a single channel measurement). The extraordinary speed of measurement and BVS' agile receiver, account for this stellar feature.

Our scanner is between four (the worst case) and seventy-five (the best case) times faster than the competition's, so multiple frequency measurements are possible and still faster than the competition's PN Scanner; without additional hardware. We have some customers that appreciate this feature when comparing their own local coverage vis-a-vis several RF channels. It provides faster, more accurate measurements for handoff criterion than single RF channel measurements drive studies.

BVS believes a fast PN Scanner is essential to capture and record fast CDMA fades of correlated (the signal of choice without interference and noise) CDMA energy. The competition can report all 512 PN points of energy in under 2 seconds. The Super Eagle can report this energy in as little as 27 milliseconds. In other words, the Super Eagle "takes a snap-shot" of all base stations" rather than sequential measurements smeared over several hundred feet of drive analysis. Also, Super Eagle's reports are not just a single path within a 64 chip window, but include all multipaths. This makes Super Eagle a precision Engineering Tool; not just a "Technician's realtime signal checker. RF engineers want the best instrument available for precise measurements, not telephone handset quality data.

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related wireless products
  • Quad RF measurements with only one receiver
  • Complete RSSI analysis
  • Measures pilot power at all 32,768 PN offsets with 1/2 chip resolution in 27 ms
  • Extended Ec/Io sensitivity (up to 9 dB over standard Eagle)
  • Extended operating temperature range (0 to 50 degrees C)
  • Super low front noise (LNA N.F.=1.6 dB)
  • 8 times the correlation hardware over standard Eagle (2048 parallel correlators)
  • Enhanced GPS Genlock frequency stability (±25 parts per billion)
  • Performs correlation of 2048 chips in a single chip time (814 ns)
  • Accuracy of ±1.5 dB on Ec/Io absolute power measurements
  • Channel modeling and analysis of multipath fading
  • Identifies received base stations relative to GPS time synchronization
  • Provides realtime display of active base stations or multipath components
  • Output data imports to all popular post-processing applications
  • Collect data on up to 4 separate carriers at the same time
  • Improved initial communication connection
  • Log up to 8 separate data files simultaneously
  • Two-dimensional bars for greater visibility
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Frequency Range:
1930-1990 MHz PCS (bands A through F)
868-897 MHz EAMPs (Forward cellular)
Frequency Accuracy: +25 ppb (0° C - 50° C)
IF Bandwidth: 1.25 MHz
Aging of TXCO: +1.0 ppm/year
±1.0 dB (20° - 30° C)
±2.0 dB (0° - 50° C)
LNA Noise Figure < 1.5 dB
Receiver Noise Figure < 7.5 dB
1 dB Compression Point -10 dBm
Adjacent Channel Desensitization -20 dBm
Antenna input sensitivity: > -90 dBm
Maximum safe input: +10 dBm
PN generation IS-95 I and Q sequences
Minimum Ec/Io -20 dB
Correlation length 1024 chips for I and Q PN
Minimum pilot power detectable -20 dB (Ec/Io) 
Primary base station measurement updates 6 measurements per second
Single base station update (64 chips) rate 37.5 measurements per second
Simultaneous normal and single update rate 6 measurements per second
Absolute measurement timing accuracy Locked to GPS time
Base station identification Absolute (not relative)
PN resolution in single mode 1 chip (820 ns)
Dimensions 18" x 15 1/2" x 7"
Computer RS-232 (DB 9) Male (9.6 kB to 115 kB)
GPS SMA female
Power 12V DC @ 4 Amps 4 pin female
RF input  50 ohms, Type-N, female
Operating Temperature Range 0° C - 50 ° C
Storage Temperature Range -40° C - 70° C
Dimensions 18" x 15 1/2" x 7" 
Weight 22 lbs.
Power 11 to 24 V DC (1 amp, 10 watts maximum)
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  • PCS
  • Korean PCS
  • Cellular
  • ISM bands
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Super Eagle Data Logger Super Eagle Data Logger
Super Eagle Data Logger Super Eagle Data Logger

The output of raw binary data from the Super Eagle may be converted to ASCII and coupled with any standard propagation and multipath fading analysis software for post-processing. The unit is configured to comply with ANSI-95/ANSI-97 and PCS JED008 standards. Since parameters are DSP downloadable, the Super Eagle can be customized to meet other custom CDMA standards . Standard RS-232 and parallel port interfaces allow connection to most any portable PC for data monitoring and collection. With the Super Eagle, the attributes of increased network capacity, transmission quality and security of a CDMA system are finally achieved.

Here are some salient differences between PN Scanner and the Eagle and Super Eagle regarding specifications and features.


Competing PN Scanner 

BVS Eagle/Super Eagle 
Bands covered Cellular and PCS   Cellular and PCS 
RF Tuning Fow and Rev bands  Forward only  
RF channels  One channel only   Two channels  
Measured bands  Forward only  Forward only 
RF accuracy + 1.0 ppm   + 0.5 ppm  
GPS clocking  + 0.05 ppm   + 0.001 ppm 
Base station lock  relative phase  absolute phase 
IF bandwidth  1.25 MHz  1.25 MHz 
Amplitude accuracy  + 1.5 dB  + 1.0 dB 
RSSI accuracy  + 1.5 dB  + 1.5 dB 
Noise figure  8.0 dB  < 7.0 dB 
RF sensitivity  unspecified1  - 105 dBm 
Channel switching time  unspecified2 < 20 ms 
Sampling rate   1 X/chip  2 X / chip 
Ec/lo sensitivity  undisclosed3 -18 Ec/lo dB 
PN accuracy  > ± 1 chip  < ± 0.5 chip 
Measurement speed  < 2 seconds  27 ms 
Display updates  2 seconds  2 to 13 per sec. 
Multichannel RF scan rate  One in 2 seconds  Two per second 
Display environment  Windows '95  Windows '98
PN synch  Relative phased  absolute per GPS 
Dead reckoning  supported4 Optional 455 Placer 
Power  +12 volts DC  +12 volts ±10% DC 
1 Not disclosed in either 1998 or 1999 competitions' manuals.
2 Synthesizer switching time not specified
3 No value on data sheets. Measured at max sensitivity from signal generator at -18 dB.
4 Believed to be a Placer model 455 by Trimble
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What are the primary difference between the Eagle and Super Eagle PN scanners?
The Super Eagle is a high-end, complete PN scanning receiver system that containes not only faster processing hardware but more sensitivity than the Eagle. The Super Eagle is up to 9dB more sensitive and contains 8 times more correlation hardware than the standard Eagle. In addition, the Super Eagle is packaged with a high-end laptop PC for users who can't afford to make compromises in the field.
What is the minimum Ec/Io that can be measured?
The minimum Ec/Io specified in the table above is based on processing gain. The weakest to strongest values were produced by computer simulation.
Can a user calibrate the Super Eagle without assistance from Berkeley?
It is not advisable for an Eagle user to attempt calibration by themselves. This is because the HP 8924C is really a base station simulator and has a rather inaccurate power control, limited to -30 dBm because it was not intended to accurately measure or control power, just to simulate a high-level radiated signal. More importantly, it would be an "apples to oranges" calibration, since the HP and even the Tektronix / Rodie base station simulators include all CDMA channels, and not just Pilot, as in the Super Eagle. The Rodie / Tektronix CDMA unit is much more accurate and extends 18 dB further, but still not advisable.
The calibration process of a Super Eagle is rather tedious and extensive. We are automating it here but it still is too complex to detail to customers. It requires some hardware fixtures and can be treacherous because the calibration tables must be exact or the unit will be way off. The process itself uses a calibrated CDMA source (right now an HP-4000A signal generator externally modulated or a Duet PN) and fed into a series of automated step attenuators.
BVS provides free calibration to all of our Super Eagle customers that are within the warrantee period of 180 days. The process takes one day and serves as a quick "RF sanity check" for the Super Eagle when compared to a good spectrum analyzer such as an HP 8563 or equivalent.
What is the Super Eagle's RF sensitivity?
The receiver has an RF sensitivity down to approximately -95 dBm. This is the point at which the AGC stops responding to decreases in RF level.
What is the processing gain and how does BVS compute it?
The pilot correlation length is 256 chips. The gain of the signal is through this process is 20 log(256)=48 dB. However, the gain through the correlator for Gaussian noise would be 10 log(256)=24 dB. Therefore, the processing gain above Gaussian noise is 24 dB.
It should be noted that this cannot be used to determine the maximum difference between strongest and weakest base stations that can be measured simultaneously. The real limitation is the correlation noise floor. Correlating across the IS-95 PN code with a correlation length of 256 chips, the maximum non-aligned correlation is -15 dB down from the aligned value. Base stations 15 dB below the strongest base station will be hidden in the correlation noise of the stronger PN. It is important to realize that this property of short correlations on very long PN codes. All IS-95 phones and test equipment suffer the same limitation.
How is the output format of Super Eagle compatible to various post-processing packages?
This is handled most simply by Berkeley's Chameleon data translation software package. This application can run on any PC and supports the following output formats:
Comarco Workbench
EDX SignalPro
Expert Wireless MaXPlan
Generic ASCII
Grayson IQ Analyzer
MapInfo (w/dB Planner)
Microsoft Excel
MLJ PathPro
MSI Planet
SafCo OPAS32
TEC Cellular Wizard
Teleworx PlotworX
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