Spectrum management on test ranges and military installations

Military installations and test ranges are a key asset to a nation’s armed forces. Here, scenarios, strategy, forces and equipment are put through their paces to ensure readiness for the battlefield. However, these areas all use a multitude of electronic hardware that produce a variety of RF spectrum emissions, both on the ground and in the air. These emissions need to be monitored and managed for both safety and ongoing test analysis.

Black Hawk

Monitoring the congested spectrum

The use of RF frequencies on military installations and test ranges has to be carefully managed to ensure that finite spectrum allocations are optimized amongst installation users, and also to resolve any potential interference issues. This need is further highlighted by the growth in spectrum sharing, which often requires military users to carry out spectrum deconfliction with commercial users of the same frequency bands. In order to manage the RF spectrum, careful monitoring is needed. This can be performed with a network of extremely sensitive radio receivers, RFeye Nodes and dedicated software. The RFeye systems allows the Spectrum Manager to continuously, and autonomously, monitor and manage the spectrum from a centralized control point.

Visualize the information not just the spectrum

With the ability to integrate with range/base spectrum schedules (IFDS/Spectrum 21), RFeye systems can see what should be happening when, where and at what frequency. All this information can be displayed to the spectrum manager as schedules, maps and reports as well as spectrum displays. So, if a transmitter is broadcasting at the wrong frequency, at the wrong time or, operating outside of its designated area, this can all be visualized, and the spectrum management team automatically alerted in real time.

Range incident
Wide area deployment

Infinitely scalable to cover national or international borders

The RFeye system can cover a single installation or test range and operate as stand-alone system. However, it is possible to network individual RFeye networks together to create a “super network” that can cover hundreds or thousands of miles. So, multiple military bases using the same RFeye technology could be performing separate monitoring tasks while a central command also uses the RFeye capabilities to perform ultra-wide area monitoring and geolocations. This capability can be extremely useful for long range tracking of aircraft (both friendly and adversaries), ballistic missile tracking or monitoring spectrum use over wide areas.

Additional benefits

Aircraft Tracking – The RFeye system has the capability to carry out wide-area aircraft tracking with 3DTDOA. RFeye AirDefense is a wide-area 3D geolocation and intelligence system that can identify and track aircraft while remaining invisible to electronic detection. Using RF, you can passively track hostile aircraft, extending the reach beyond radar. RFeye AirDefense is an essential addition to situational awareness in both testing and battlespace environments.

Range aircraft tracking

EMCON – RF signals are vital for operations and logistics, but those same RF signals can be detected and located by the enemy. Understanding your own RF emission status, ensures both people, equipment and vehicles are undetectable. Testing this concept on the range before deployment is crucial. The CRFS RFeye solutions have been field-tested and proven to help friendly forces understand just what they might be giving away: how quickly an EM signature can be detected, how long it can be visible and even how quickly it can be exploited.

Drone and UAS Detection – Drones and UAS pose increasing security and privacy concerns for test ranges and military bases, but the same CRFS system that is used for spectrum monitoring can simultaneously be used drone/UAS detection.  RFeye DroneDefense is a passive RF sensing system that geolocates drone & operator emissions in 3 dimensions. The system can track multiple drones simultaneously and alert operational/security staff to the confirmed presence of a drone and its location, all in real time.

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Further reading

RFeye Mission for test ranges

VIDEO – Monitoring on Military Installations

3D passive aircraft tracking