The fieldPal is a precision Wi-Fi test instrument that enables Wi-Fi testing and OFDMA wireless packet capture in the field.
To test performance of the new wireless technologies and applications, engineers use controlled laboratory testbeds like the octoBox in combination with field testing. New types of test tools are needed that allow testing in the field as well as replication of usage scenarios in a laboratory testbed. Built on the same technology as octoScope’s lab test instrument, STApal, and running the same software, the fieldPal can perform many of the same tests in the field as in the octoBox testbed.
As a sniffer, fieldPal captures legacy 802.11abgnac packets as well as 802.11ax OFDMA (orthogonal frequency domain multiple access) packets in PCAP format to Wireshark in real-time. The fieldPal supports octoScope’s multiPerf traffic tool and can be used as a traffic end point in field test scenarios. It also allows for insightful visualization of OFDMA performance.
“Wi-Fi 6 introduces a need for OFDMA capabilities not currently available in common field analyzers. Furthermore, complex wireless mesh networks being deployed for better coverage require system level testing, both in the lab and in the field. The fieldPal helps bridge the gap between field and laboratory testing by enabling unique field-to-lab test capabilities that help replicate real-life test scenarios in a controlled testbed,” said Fanny Mlinarsky, President of octoScope.
Stackable and configurable octoBox personal testbeds are completely isolated from external interference and can be used at an engineer’s office or lab bench.
Each octoBox testbed is controlled by a dedicated Node.js web server accessible via a browser UI for manual control, or via REST API for test automation. The server provides the time base for the testbed and controls the built-in instruments, DUT configuration, traffic, and test flow. Test results are saved in a MongoDB database, enabling multiple teams to easily collaborate by sharing the test automation scripts and test results.