Datasheet: AirMagnet Spectrum XT | NETSCOUT

AirMagnet Spectrum XT

AirMagnet Spectrum XT is the industry’s first professional spectrum analyzer solution that combines in-depth RF analysis with real-time WLAN information for quicker and more accurate troubleshooting of performance problems.

This combined view of “impact analysis of RF interference” on the network’s overall performance helps pin-point the root cause of those problems. AirMagnet Spectrum XT is the ideal solution for network engineers and installers/integrators for troubleshooting and deployment of WLAN networks, and is available in the universal and convenient USB form factor, allowing it to be used on any notebook, netbook or tablet PC.

Powered with the industry’s largest RF interferer classification database for mobile spectrum analyzers, AirMagnet Spectrum XT detects, identifies and helps locate individual sources of RF interference, including non-WLAN devices such as Bluetooth, cordless phones, ZigBee, microwave ovens, wireless game controllers, and many more. AirMagnet Spectrum XT users are also empowered with the unique capability of automatically detecting repeat RF patterns and creating customized signature for any RF interference source detected in the environment.

Real-Time FFT

AirMagnet Spectrum XT’s FFT graph provides a real-time view into the RF energy in the environment with current, max, max-hold and average RF signal levels. Users can also overlay the channel duty-cycle on the real-time FFT graph to streamline their efforts in detecting and focusing on RF interference sources that have the maximum impact on the performance of the network.

Spectrum Density

The Spectrum Density graph provides a longer term view into the network by displaying live information on the signals that are common during the current capture session. This is helpful to identify infrequent transmitters.


The Spectrogram graph provides a scrolling history of the RF environment and allows a visual understanding of the spectrum over time to see intermittent spikes or bursts of RF energy that may be causing WLAN network problems.

Interference Power

The Interference Power graph displays the average power readings of interfering devices on the selected channel or channels.

Figure 1-A: RF spectrum graphs

Duty Cycle

The Duty Cycle graph displays how often an interfering signal is present. A high duty cycle means an interferer is constantly transmitting and will most certainly cause problems on the affected channel.

Event Spectrogram

The Event Spectrogram graph provides a visual presentation of real-time information on interfering devices that are detected in the last 5 minutes. It includes information on power level and channels/frequencies affected by the device.

Channel Power

The Channel Power graph shows the maximum and average power levels across all the channels in the selected radio band.

Channel Duty Cycle & Interference Power vs. Time Trending

These trending graphs show the average power in the channels that is above the noise floor and the maximum average power readings of interfering devices operating on the selected channel over a specific period of time.

Figure 1-B: RF spectrum graphs

Unique RF Interference and Wi-Fi Impact Analysis

To optimize and ensure top WLAN performance, AirMagnet Spectrum XT introduces a revolutionary approach to wireless troubleshooting that combines the power of RF spectrum analysis with WLAN traffic and device analysis. Users can plug in any supported wireless adapter and instantly see a combined or co-related single screen view showing the impact of RF interference or interference sources on the overall true performance of the WLAN.

AirMagnet Spectrum XT also provides a complete inventory of all Wi-Fi devices operating in the environment and their configured settings. Users are entitled to a number of Wi-Fi charts to solve problems faster and more efficiently including:

  • AP Signal Strength
  • Channels by Speed/Address/Media
  • Top 10 APs by CRCs/Retry
  • Channel SNR; Errors/Retry
  • Channel Utilization
  • Channel Occupancy

Figure 2: RF Interference and Wi-Fi impact analysis

Automatic Identification and Location of Interference Sources

AirMagnet Spectrum XT offers real-time detection and identification of a number of non-WLAN sources that interfere and lower the performance of WLAN networks. The extensive device or source list includes Bluetooth devices, digital and analog cordless phones, conventional and inverter microwave ovens, wireless game controllers, digital video converter, FHSS devices, baby monitors, RF Jammers, radars, motion detectors, ZigBee devices and many more.

Users are also powered with detailed information for the interference source, including peak and average power, first and last seen time, center frequency, impacted channels, number of times the source was detected, and many more. With an additional Bluetooth adapter plugged into the same PC, AirMagnet Spectrum XT provides Bluetooth information such as ID, name, services, etc. for enhanced Bluetooth interferer analysis.

With AirMagnet Spectrum XT’s built-in “device locator tool”, users can physically locate any Wi-Fi or non-Wi-Fi interference sources operating in the RF environment. The device locator tool operates as a Geiger counter and beeps louder as users get closer to the location of the device.

Figure 3: Automated detection of any RF interference source

Unique Identification for any RF Interference Source

Users who own RF spectrum analyzers usually have to depend on the vendor to create default signatures or classifications for the detection and identification of RF interference sources. Timely response to these sources is critical to environments or enterprise networks to ensure the optimum performance for their WLAN users. Spectrum analyzer vendors themselves, struggle to keep up with the creation and inclusion of every unique RF interference sources within their native classification database that can cause havoc to the WLAN network.

To overcome this hurdle and provide users with a “zero-day” response to any RF interference source, AirMagnet Spectrum XT introduces the industry’s first automated spectrum analysis capability that monitors the RF environment looking for unique and repeating RF patterns from these “unknown RF interference sources”. Once the pattern of interest is detected and classified, users have the option of creating a customized signature for the pattern for future alerting. With this capability, users not only gain independence from the vendor’s periodic classification updates, but also have a faster response to troubleshooting performance problems in their network.

Figure 4: Detect and classify interfering sources

Integration with other AirMagnet Tools

AirMagnet WiFi Analyzer PRO

AirMagnet Spectrum XT users running AirMagnet WiFi Analyzer PRO on the same PC can view non-WLAN interference for every channel in the RF spectrum. Simple color indicators point to the level of impact of these RF interference sources on the performance of the WLAN network. This information helps users plan the channel settings for the current and planned WLAN infrastructure.

AirMagnet Survey PRO

It is recommended that before any WLAN deployment, installers perform an RF spectrum sweep to ensure that there are no interference sources operating in the environment. AirMagnet Survey PRO users running AirMagnet Spectrum XT on the same machine can perform RF spectrum surveys or sweeps at the same time, as a passive or active survey, reducing the walk-around time. Users also get the list of interference sources detected by AirMagnet Spectrum XT within AirMagnet Survey.

With this integration, users are entitled to unique heat maps within AirMagnet Survey, for example:

  • Channel power heat map that provides a color-coded display of the power levels detected on each channel in the wireless spectrum
  • Interferer power/location heat map that displays non-WLAN interference sources or devices that are detected during the site survey

Figure 5: Integration with AirMagnet WiFi Analyzer

Figure 6: Integration with AirMagnet Survey

Record and Playback

AirMagnet Spectrum XT users can save their RF spectrum scans, retain them as hard evidence and play them back at a later time for post-capture investigation and analysis. The handy "jump-to" feature allows the user to quickly navigate within a capture file to the start time of any interferers captured during the scan. This is very helpful as critical forensic information while investigating any Layer 1 Denial of Service attacks against the WLAN network. The saved trace files can also be shared between users for collaborative analysis and troubleshooting.

AirMagnet Spectrum XT’s Instant Replay feature allows users to review the most recent spectrum information and play it back, as if it were being viewed live for the first time.

Integrated Reporting

AirMagnet Spectrum XT’s integrated reporter makes it easy to turn RF spectrum analysis sessions into professional reports. AirMagnet Spectrum XT can generate customizable reports leveraging information from all RF spectrum graphs, Wi-Fi charts and the list of RF interference sources for the current environment. Reports can be exported in the Word, RTF, and PDF formats.

Figure 7: Record and playback features

Figure 8: Intergrated reporting

Product Facts

Part Number Description
AM/B4070 AirMagnet Spectrum XT (USB Based)
AM/A4040 AirMagnet Directional Antenna

Technical Specifications

Frequency range 2402 to 2494 MHz
5160 to 5330 MHz
5490 to 5710 MHz
5735 to 5835 MHz
4910 to 4990 MHz
USB Specs Unit width 38.1mm
Unit length 108.2mm
Unit height 8 mm
Unit weight 31.2 grams
Unit operating temp: 0 to 70 C (32F to 158F)
DC power Voltage supply 5 volts
Active Power: 2 Watts
Capture Limit Dependent on Hard disk space
Amplitude accuracy +/- 2 dB
Resolution Bandwidth 156.3 KHz
Max Input 0 dbm
Sweep time 64msec per 20 MHz or 64msec per channel

Minimum System Requirements

Description Requirements
Adapters AirMagnet Spectrum USB adapter (Required for viewing RF spectrum data and classifying non Wi-Fi sources of interference)
Laptop/Tablet PC

Operating Systems:

  • Microsoft® Windows 7 Enterprise/Professional/Ultimate 64-bit
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro/Enterprise 64-bit
  • Microsoft® Windows 10 Pro/Enterprise 64-bit
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo 2.00 GHz (Intel® Core™ i5 or higher recommended)
2 GB RAM required (4 GB recommended)
250 MB free hard disk space
Microsoft .NET framework 2.0
Apple® MacBook® Pro

Operating Systems:

  • MAC OS X v10.9 (or higher) running a supported Windows OS (as noted under Laptop/Notebook PC/Tablet PC section) using Boot Camp®
Intel®-based 2.2 GHz Core 2 Duo or higher
2 GB RAM required (4 GB recommended)
250 MB free hard disk space
Microsoft .NET framework 2.0
NetScout OptiView® XG Network Analysis Tablet

NETSCOUT OptiView XG Network Analysis Tablets running one of the following:

  • Microsoft® Windows® 7 Professional SP1 64-bit operating system or
  • Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 64-bit operating system

Visit the AirMagnet Spectrum XT product page for a complete list of supported adapters