What is an Adaptive Beamformer?

by | Sep 16, 2014 | System software

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When the problem that you’re dealing with is weak or diluted signal strength, spatial filtering, also known as beamforming, is often the answer.

In layman’s terms, beamforming is exactly what you might guess it is: the manipulation of beams, in this case radio signals, in a preferred direction. Like beams of light, beams of radio signals can be pointed in ideal directions to maximize performance.

An adaptive beamformer is a device that performs the “heavy lifting” of beam direction by managing the direction of the beam. On top of that, an adaptive beamformer isolates desired beams from undesired beams when the two exist on the same frequency, but not within the same spatial arena.

There are three different ways in which beamforming can be conducted, including physically, with the actual relocation of a transducer; mathematically, with the processing of digital signals; and electrically, via the utilization of analog delay. Whatever method is employed, however, the purpose of beamforming remains the same.
Ideally suited to the task at hand, the adaptive beamformer automatically maximizes array patterns with the use of a specially designed algorithm.

Why the Adaptive Beamformer is a Great Tool for Maximizing Performance

The need for signal processing with the use of an adaptive beamformer arises in instances where interference and disruptive noise are present.  If you’re trying to accommodate a lot of traffic, disruptive noise is likely a constant threat.

Oftentimes, the adaptive beamformer is used in fields such as communications, seismology, and medicine, as well as in any systems that involve the transmission of sonar and radar.

Initially developed by the military for its sonar and radar applications, beamforming has become more inclusive of other fields as technology continues to grow and adapt to evolving needs.

Specifically, continuously growing demand for top-notch high-speed data and voice services has increased need for the adaptive beamformer. Operators who seek reasonably priced solutions that serve a maximum number of users turn to beamforming as a means of optimizing existing services.

When the available broadcast range is limited, it’s pretty much impossible to augment user traffic within a finite bandwidth without simply creating additional interference and damaging the quality if the signal. With the deployment of an adaptive beamformer, however, the transmission and reception of two-way signals are no longer a source of interference.

Beamforming technology and the adaptive beamformer cut down costs and simultaneously increase service levels by mitigating or eliminating interference while improving overall system capacity.

The challenges of an increasingly digital world can be met with devices and technologies designed to maximize the tools that we already have. Beamforming is ultimately the practice of exercising control over signal beams to offer greater quality, effectiveness and service.

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