When I started decades ago, (picture above) most sweep providers were simply using a Broad Band Receiver, Rudimentary Telephone Analyzer and perhaps a Non-Linear Junction Detector. We elevated the bar by selecting the most advanced sweep gear available from around the world, including Harmonic Receivers and Time Domain Reflectometry. Today the investment is approaching one half million, to provide state of the art detection equipment.
But hardware is only one part of the equation. Another key factor is technical training. Frankly over 80% of TSCM service providers have had little or no technical training in the field, which they claim expertise. As a result, with very few exceptions, the DOD and numerous Federal Agencies prohibit sweep services by private contractors who have not attended the Army or ITC Programs.
Fortunately we are one of those exceptions, and were honored when approached by a recruiter to be a TSCM Subject Matter Expert / Instructor. (respectfully declined)
In comparison, I have a Technical Degree is Law Enforcement Technology (Forensics) and Communications Electronics with a Microwave Endorsement for FCC First Class Radio Technician.
In addition, certifications / factory training have been acquired from the manufacturers, including Radio Frequency Spectrum Analyzers, Near Field Receivers, Non-Linear Junction Detection, Advanced Telephone Analysis and Backscatter X-Ray.
One of our strengths, is the ability to blend in and perform low profile electronic sweeps in virtually any venue. For this reason the Department of Defense selected us over the military sweep service, to accompany a military research group around the country for three years and protect classified conferences and meetings. (this raised a few eyebrows and was a success)
One of the difficulties perspective clients face in vetting a service provider is the fact that TSCM falls within the realm of counter-intelligence. Private clients typically utilize Non Disclosure Agreements and Government Programs are classified. PLEASE be very careful in selecting a service provider from an internet web page.