This article was published on 1 April 2020:
In order to further promote the adoption of DAB in Germany and to support the efforts of the ARD broadcasters, IRT has developed a system that enables everyone to find white spots in the DAB network coverage.
In cooperation with dog owners and in close collaboration with the open-source community, a lightweight, yet stable and runtime-optimized system has been developed that can effectively be attached and carried even by smaller animals.
A commercially available RaspberryPI computer together with a USB DAB+ receiver can easily be attached to a dog with the help of Velcro tape (cats are not suitable, as the project manager at IRT emphasizes). A software developed by IRT controls the receiver and permanently records signal quality and bit error rates of the DAB services to be monitored.
First test results show that the animals enjoy wearing the measuring equipment very much. In the field tests carried out so far, even small gaps in the DAB+ transmitter network could be identified and localised. Future work will clarify whether an even smaller and lighter measuring system can be developed to monitor the in-house coverage on a permanent basis. In addition, work is underway on modified systems for WiFi and 5G measurements.