Spectrum monitoring and management

The RF spectrum is a finite resource used by many civil and military applications. To ensure proper and fair use, the spectrum is heavily regulated and frequency bands are allocated to specific users. However, things can and do go awry. The key to managing the spectrum is effective spectrum monitoring; monitoring who is using the spectrum, where and when they are using it and what they are using it for. Any breach of conditions can then be quickly spotted, and the spectrum utilized effectively.

CRFS provide intelligent systems for real-time monitoring and management of the RF spectrum, including state-of-the-art hardware (RFeye Nodes and RFeye Arrays) and software (RFeye Site and RFeye Mission).

Interference hunting

When a user of the RF spectrum has paid or been allocated spectrum to work within, they quite rightly want to ensure they are able to use it without interruption or interference.  Spectrum monitoring tools from CRFS continually scan the RF spectrum and when an anomaly is found, e.g. a transmitter broadcasting from an unauthorized location, the Spectrum Manager can be instantly alerted. Armed with information on the frequency, power, duration, and importantly the geolocation of the transmission, they can quickly take steps to rectify the situation.

LOB from three arrays to geolocate a transmitter

Military spectrum monitoring

Militaries of the world have large chunks of spectrum allocated to them. How these allocations are distributed and used among the military end users is as equally challenging as it is to a national regulator. Certain frequencies may be allocated to a test range or military base, the installation spectrum manager then needs to re-allocate spectrum to specific missions or units. For example, a test of a new IED jammer may be allocated a certain frequency for a limited time period in a particular location. By using CRFS spectrum monitoring solutions the installation Spectrum Manager can not only monitor the use of the spectrum but be alerted to any breeches of conditions, e.g. the test transmissions running over their allotted time slot.

Spectrum usage and occupancy

How the spectrum is legitimately being used is also important to users and regulators alike. By reporting on the utilization of the spectrum, decisions can be made on how best to use the resource. CRFS can monitor how various frequencies are used, including spectrum occupancy by time, location and power. These reports can be used to either protect spectrum allocation, by providing evidence of use, or to re-purpose allocations on under-utilized frequencies.

Spectrum Occupancy
Spectrum at Sporting Events

Short term license monitoring

At major sporting and entertainment events spectrum may be licensed on a temporary basis. From handheld radios to wireless transmission from TV cameras, the spectrum can be extremely congested at these events. With millions, and sometimes billions, of dollars generated from TV rights, operators need to ensure that they are able to broadcast without interruption or interference. With effective monitoring of the spectrum before and during the event, any issues can be resolved before they impact on the coverage of the event.

If you need to monitor the RF Spectrum for regulatory, military or commercial use, you’ll need a flexible, accurate and scalable system, that doesn’t just give you RF data, but actionable intelligence. Get in touch and let us show you how.

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Further reading

Resolving RF interference at airports

Minimizing disruption by resolving interference more quickly

Securing proving grounds & test ranges

Optimize spectrum allocations and resolve any interference issues

Maritime safety and security

Spectrum monitoring at major sporting events

Interference hunting during UAV flight & test