Software for Communications, DTV, FM, LPTV
Probe gives you the ability to map out
broadcast FM, TV and communications coverage in the 20 to 20,000 MHz range. Probe
many powerful features, flexibility and speed, including the ability to take
advantage of multiple program threads and dual core or quad core processors.
is designed to be fast, efficient and highly accurate as
it calculates the propagation variables for multiple communication
services. From 800 MHz two-way communication performance to the the
interference analysis between FM broadcast stations, Probe is the
choice as the universal propagation prediction tool.
Critical to Probe's success is its professionally integrated,
world wide, geographic mapping engine which combines the best polygon mapping
graphics available with precision coordinate information and map projections. Probe
produces absolutely stunning maps with appearances that rival even the best of
the traditional atlas map makers. All background colors, highway colors
and road markers, city names, river line-thickness, lake and ocean colors and
label font names and sizes are fully user-selectable. You can configure every
aspect of Probe's maps to make them
look perfect to the intended reader. The program contains a complete set of
editing and drawing tools for adding text, pointer arrows, circles, squares, lines and
other information to the maps.
Probe's "What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get" (WYSIWYG) interface provides you
with a screen view of the exact printed output. The program builds in a
mouse-zoom feature which enables the you to enlarge any rectangle you select on
the map to full screen so that the area can be examined in detail or
printed. Maps, scaled selected to your choice, can be sent to color or
black and white printers or can be internally converted to graphic files.
Probe 4 offers a polygon drawing tool that allows the user to
enhance maps by highlighting certain areas. When the tool is used in the polygon
mode, users can form a shape on the screen with the mouse and Probe will
calculate the population and area within the shape. This tool is
particularly useful for calculating the population and areas of odd contour
overlaps or interference area shapes. Probe features a hot cursor that, when placed over
a detail on the map, will display the coordinates, elevation, land-cover, signal
levels or interference U/D at the cursor location. The terrain profile tool will
draw a terrain profile graph, complete with Fresnel clearance between any two
spots clicked by the user on the map interface.
Single or multiple station communications or broadcast coverage studies, incoming or outgoing
interference studies, highest signal two-way coverage are all available for user selection. For broadcast related interference studies, Probe automatically identifies the stations to which interference is caused, as well as those stations which cause interference to the user's reference station facilities.
Probe uses any of the numerous V-Soft Communication's terrain elevation databases. (Databases of 3 arc-seconds are available from V-Soft Communications for Canada, USA, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.) Thirty arc-seconds resolution terrain databases are also available for anywhere in the
World. In addition to the Longley-Rice (TECH-NOTE 101) methods, Probe also uses
the ITU-R Model, the Federal Communication's Commission "FCC" propagation model, the Okumura/Hata/Davidson and Cost-231/Hata propagation models as well as the FCC's proposed PTP (Point-to-point) methods, versions one and two. (The PTP method, authored by the FCC's Harry Wong, is primarily based on
Fresnel clearance.) Terrain
Integrated Rough Earth Model (TIREM) methodology is available as an option. Our
highest resolution terrain database for use with Probe 4 in
the U.S. is the 30 meter National Elevation Database.
This propagation model
is based on the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) rules and regulations. This is a significant propagation breakthrough that allows our
Probe 4 to be used in tandem with our world-wide SRTM 03 arc-second digital terrain elevation database to predict signal coverage and interference in accordance with the ITU standards
anywhere in the world. The ITU model can be used either as a contour method or grid/area system that uses colors to differentiate between signal levels, similar to the current Longley/Rice propagation model.
For DTV analysis, Probe's optional DTV OET-69 module calculates the population and area of broadcast TV interference using the precise method prescribed by the FCC.
Tabular signal level output is available for all methods including a complete array of tabular outputs in the Microsoft Excel format... thus facilitating importing to spread-sheets. Probe also includes a MapInfo input and output format so signal information can be exported to various GIS systems and geo-map data can be imported into Probe.
For U.S. and users in other world locations, A detailed census block-level database
is included which allows the tabulation of, county by county, ethnic demographics and household and population totals. In the coverage mode, Probe features a hot cursor that, when placed over a detail on the map, will display the coordinates, elevation, land-cover, signal levels or interference U/D at the cursor location.
Probe will also do ILLR calculations using the Longley-Rice "individual mode", 03 sec terrain database with 0.1 kilometer sampling as is required under the FCC's latest rules relating to the Satellite Home Viewers Act. The user can input a street address and Probe will identify the location and determine the signal strength at the point.
The profile tool (see below) will graph the
elevation and signal profile between a transmitter point and a desired receive point at a user selected earth curvature. Probe also has a line-of-sight mapping mode that will identify all ground locations where a line-of-sight is available to the transmitting antenna.
Probe has an interactive directional antenna editor and comes packaged with the latest TV, DTV and FM FCC engineering and directional antenna databases, the U.S.
2010 SF1 population
database, a land-cover database and a high resolution polygon mapping database (Global databases are available.) Click one of the extended feature links at the top of this page for more information or visit our on-line Probe US or international galleries.
For more details on Probe 4 please download the Probe