Systems & Design

Understanding Noise And Sensitivity In Spectrum Analyzers

Understand your analyzer’s sensitivity capability to determine if it will adequately measure your low-level signals.


Using a spectrum analyzer to measure noise signals requires several additional factors, such as sensitivity or how well the instrument can measure small signals. The analyzer’s noise floor specifies the average noise level (DANL) in dB, which is the amount of internally generated noise. Analyzers apply noise floor extension using an algorithm applied to subtract the analyzer’s noise contribution from spectrum and power measurements. The degradation of the signal-to-noise ratio as a signal passes through a device or noise figure provides the information you need to make adjustments that ensure accurate measurement results.

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