Context: I have a transponder that is explicitly stated to output 250W peaks and has been frying some nearby components. The transponder average output is not stated but the average input is 7W and 12W max. I need to do some tests with an expensive spectrometer that has a max input of 20dBm (-10dB) so I can figure out safe ranges and shielding solutions. I've got a proper antenna and have been looking at attenuators to add to the circuit to attenuate about 40dB. Most market attenuators are around '2W' which is where I'm confused.
Questions: Is the 2W label on attenuators max or average power input? How can I find max power input? If I use an 8W attenuator, would this suffice assuming almost all input power of my transponder goes to signal (standby mode is <1W)? How would I search for companies that provide these types of attenuators?
My next course of action is to take readings at a far distance from the transponder but it would be helpful to have some close up readings at around 1m. Any help is greatly appreciated.