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Resolving RF interference at airports

2018-10-10T11:48:39+00:00

Minimize disruption by resolving interference more quickly

Communications, navigation systems and even autoland systems can be impacted by RF interference at airports. Preventing and quickly resolving interference at airports is essential for avoiding disruption, financial loss and serious accidents. It is for this reason that both the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) and the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) have detailed specific recommendations for handling RF interference to aviation.

rf spectrum monitoring at airports

Even with the most rigorous preventative measures in place, equipment malfunctions and criminal behavior always pose an interference risk. When these incidents do occur, they need to be detected and resolved as quickly as possible.

The approach at many airports is to contact the national spectrum regulator to investigate when RF spectrum interference is suspected. Even if there is a response the same day, the interfering signal will often have moved on by the time engineers arrive. Engineers may be sent out to an airport over ten times with an RF monitoring vehicle and each time find that the interference source has been and gone. This is a huge drain on resources without a successful outcome.

Continuous monitoring at airports

The costs of disrupted flights and the cost of fruitless investigations by national regulators means that a continuous RF monitoring solution is not just a more effective solution, but also a much more cost-efficient solution.

A network of RFeye Nodes can be installed at an airport in a matter of hours to monitor and automatically report interference cases 24/7. Interference sources can then be located such that the case is often resolved immediately, rather than ‘maybe eventually’ being solved after tens of incidents if a pattern of behaviour can be spotted.

Additional benefits of the solution

The RFeye network can be used for all spectrum management and monitoring needs, not just resolving interference. For example, many airports are vulnerable to intrusions by remote controlled drones. The RFeye network can be used to detect and locate such drones as well as their operators. With a network of four or more Nodes it is also possible to take advantage of our latest 3D TDOA plugin which can be used to track aircraft in real time. This could be used to detect ADS-B jamming and spoofing.

 

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