Scan Rate Calculator

This tool calculates the scan or sweep rate of a spectrum analyzer or radio receiver. It answers the question as to how much frequency (in kHz, MHz, GHz or THz) does the instrument cover every second.


  • Instantaneous bandwidth of the Spectrum analyzer
  • Tune time
  • Frequency span

and this calculator will provide the scan or sweep rate


The Instantaneous bandwidth of a spectrum analyzer refers to the range of frequencies it can analyze instantaneously or without having to sweep. Most modern real time spectrum analyzers have bandwidths in the range of 20 MHz to 100 MHz.

The tune time is how long it takes to go from one frequency to the next. Typically there’s a FFT processing time that should be included as well. But relative to the tuning time, it’s typically negligible.

Frequency range gives the total span of frequencies that the analyzer will cover over one second.

Example Calculation

For an instantaneous bandwidth of 10 MHz, a tune time of 150 micro-seconds, the scan rate is 66.7 GHz/s.

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