Spectrum Compact for research & education | University of Bologna

202018 June


University of Bologna (UNIBO) is the second highest ranked university in Italy* and is often considered to be one of the most prestigious universities as an alma mater. Today with a community of more than 85,000 students, the university has established itself as one of the leading research institutions in Italy. UNIBO is responsible for many research activities in various fields of expertise, including technical studies supporting the progress of telecommunications and electrical engineering. The project that the university is currently working on is focused on millimeter-wave radio channel investigation and will help mobile telecommunication operators and manufacturing companies on their work of implementing 5G networks and mobile wireless systems. Needless to say that UNIBO has a long history of important innovation in the telecommunications industry. One of the UNIBO offices is located in Villa Griffone in Pontecchio Sasso Marconi (pictured below) - the house of the scientist Guglielmo Marconi, in which he carried out his first experiment on wireless telegraphy.

Guglielmo Marconi - the father of long-distance radio transmission
The plaque says: “At this place on the spring of 1905, Marconi launched the first radio signal.”


With the anticipated arrival of 5G, many industry-leading companies are eager to acquire research papers from high ranking universities, such as UNIBO. In order for the research to be carried out smoothly, it is crucial that the test equipment can fit the needs of the experimental investigation to the highest degree. In order to achieve technical insight at affordable costs, UNIBO had to find the device that would match all three of these parameters – low cost, ease of use and applicability.

“Our goal was to find a suitable product for our research purposes, that would fit our allocated budget and would be easy to set up and use.”

- Marina Barbiroli, PhD, Research Associate at the Dept. Of Electrical, Electronic and Information Engineering “G. Marconi” at UNIBO


In order to carry out the research succesfully and comply with the allocated budget, the research group on electromagnetic waves and wireless systems at UNIBO chose Spectrum Compact for an on-going research project aiming at the characterization of multipath propagation in urban environment at millimeter wave. The ease of use, quick set-up and the intuitive interface were important factors that have been considered. Unlike other bulky lab equipment really not portable and therefore quite unsuited to urban outdoor and indoor radio channel characterization, Spectrum Compact is a flexible tool that can be conveniently used for many applications in different scenarios.

For research and development:
• Highlighting frequency dependence of wireless
signal propagation properties
• Investigating the directional properties of the
wireless channel at millimeter wave
• Characterizing the outdoor-to-indoor signal losses
at millimeter wave

During teaching process:
• Demonstrating operation of spectrum analyzers
• Studying radio wave propagation
• Performing practical laboratory work tutorials

“We were pleasantly surprised by the cost of Spectrum Compact and by its potential suitability to measurement campaign in real propagation conditions, that is not limited to a restricted and static environment as a research lab.“

– Franco Fuschini, PhD, Research Associate at the Dept. Of Electrical, Electronic and Information Engineering “G. Marconi” at UNIBO

UNIBO’s research project required for the analyzer to comply with high-data rate and real-time wireless communications. The study that the university will carry out aims at enhancing the quality of service for the end users as well as extending the coverage area of mobile cellular networks. The research project is planned to be started in 2018 and carried out throughout the launch and evolution of 5G.

* Based on the annual publication of university rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds.

Learn more about Spectrum Compact: https://saftehnika.com/en/spectrumanalyzer

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