PILOT has developed a state-of-the-art AM and FM radio test bed that is available for hire. This facility is located in Manassas, VA at the offices of Cavell, Mertz & Associates, who constructed the test bed for PILOT and operate it on our behalf.

Mike Rhodes (left) and Harvey Chalmers (right) work on the PILOT Radio Test Bed

Originally built in 2014 for AM band testing and upgraded for FM band testing in 2016, the PILOT Radio Test Bed is particularly well-suited for conducting adjacent-channel interference testing. For each band, the test bed includes three RF exciters allowing for tests involving simultaneous upper- and lower-adjacent channel interferers. Additionally, the test bed is capable of HD Radio transmissions in both bands, and includes an HD Radio Importer and three HD Radio Exporters.

All of the test bed hardware is contained within three equipment racks, described here:

  • The Transmitter rack contains the RF generation equipment including three AM exciters, three FM Transmitters & HD Exciters, Exporters, RF attenuators, RF patch panel, RF noise generator, and a 6 port RF combiner. This rack is powered by a dedicated UPS also mounted in this rack.
  • The Audio rack contains the audio router, audio patch bay for analog and AES digital signals, audio test and measurement equipment, automation and control computers, three audio processors, audio noise generator, and an RDS encoder.
  • The Receiver rack contains an 8 port RF splitter fed from the Transmitter rack combiner, five test receivers and associated 12VDC power supply, modulation monitor, RF spectrum analyzer, keyboard and monitor for all computers in the test bed, and the UPS that powers both the Receiver Rack and the Audio Rack.

If you are interested in hiring the PILOT Radio Test Bed, please contact Mike Rhodes at Cavell, Mertz & Associates.