Dinosaur Bones and Wireless Signals

The American Museum of Natural History is known for its iconic Tyrannosaurus Rex, the centerpiece of the museum’s Hall of Dinosaurs. As visitors stare up at this magnificent skeleton, they see this 4-foot-long jaw studded with its 6-inch teeth and could imagine this creature chasing its prey across the plains of Texas millions of years ago.  (Don’t worry, we’ll get to wireless signals soon.)

Could we imagine the size while holding a tooth from the gift shop? We don’t get quite the same effect from the individual bones labeled and displayed throughout the exhibit. The magnitude and movement of these creatures is only truly seen in the complex bone system as a whole.

What Can We Learn from Paleontologists?

Imagine the paleontologists digging and brushing away at the earth to reveal those ancient bones, painstakingly measuring, documenting, and preserving each fossil. For these scientists, it’s impossible to rely on a few dimensional measurements of one bone. That’s only the beginning. In order to gain true insight, the bones are reassembled to gain insight into the habits of these creatures and their relationship to the world as we know it. 

As engineers, what can we learn from this field? We’re typically good at measuring and documenting, but what about preserving? Have we gotten into the habit of discarding our “dinosaur bones”?

Limitations of the Traditional Field Test Campaign

Like a single dinosaur bone, a single test site represents only one aspect of a complete data set when capturing wireless signals. During a field test campaign, we may measure and document individual sites, but true insight only emerges from understanding device behavior across multiple test sites. 

As we progress through a field test campaign and add more measurements to the data set, the questions that arise may change. At an early test site, we may observe a curious but seemingly inconsequential interference effect. If the same interference effect reoccurs at later sites, it may suddenly become something of acute interest. Unfortunately, without recordings, we lose the opportunity to go back to the old conditions with new questions.

Maximize Insight with RF Recording

Traditional instruments assume that you know what you don’t know. With a preset list of measurements, they have a finite capacity and are not conducive to freeform exploration and discovery. 

A recording device provides access to the original source. It allows for comprehensive exploration of wireless signals. This access facilitates endless opportunity to gain deeper insight into the fundamental nature of the signal. 

Preserve every specimen. An RF recorder provides the tools to preserve every signal and interference scenario throughout a field test campaign. 

Discover emergent properties. Probe the preserved data over and over, asking new questions every time. 

Let’s be like the paleontologists, recording and preserving our specimens every step along the way. Don’t throw away the dinosaur bone—we’re going to have more questions later.