12 November 2008

An Engineer’s Guide to Operating Frequencies of common systems and devices

Omar Mohamed Anwar 4102950 Antenna Engineering – Class 3 (C)


Channel spacing on the air band has been 25 kHz. globally unlicensed Industrial. is reserved for navigational aids such as VOR beacons.500 feet are required to be capable of handling this reduced spacing. and precision approach systems such as ILS or LAAS. It chops up the data being sent and transmits chunks of it on up to 79 different frequencies. Bluetooth UHF 2. Scientific.3 ~ 26.5 ~ 283. Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) and Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) messages. The lower part of the band.The Operating Frequency Handbook THE FREQUENCY GUIDE Aviation (Air Band) VHF 108 ~ 137 MHz Used for: Commercial and General Aviation Radio Navigational Aids Air Traffic Control ABSTRACT: In common use among aviation professionals.1 (Short Wave) Omar Mohamed Anwar Page 2 .400 MHz) which are not part of the air band.4835 GHz ABSTRACT: Bluetooth is a wireless protocol utilizing short-range communications technology facilitating data transmission over short distances from fixed and mobile devices. However. Bluetooth connects and exchanges information between devices through a secure.33 kHz channels in the ICAO European region. increasing congestion has led to further subdivision into 8. the modulation is Gaussian frequency shift keying (GFSK).5 kHz (Long Wave) 515 ~ 1629 kHz (Medium Wave) 2.4 GHz short-range radio frequency bandwidth. all aircraft flying above 19. creating wireless personal area networks (PANs). It can achieve a gross data rate of 1 Mb/s. Broadcasting AM MF 148. the band of frequencies is sometimes referred to as VHF or Victor. Military aircraft also operate using additional frequencies (225 . Bluetooth uses a radio technology called frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS).975 MHz. from 108 to 117.4 ~ 2. and Medical (ISM) 2. In its basic mode.

TV systems in most countries relay the video as an AM (amplitude-modulation) signal and the sound as an FM (frequency-modulation) signal. with the exception of 10 kHz spacing for the Americas (ITU region 2). multiples of 50 kHz are used. In most of the Americas and the Caribbean. Divided into 15 broadcast bands.074.03. An exception is France. 0. and 0. Bermuda and U. In some parts of Europe. 0. Canada. 0.01. Short wave is used by audio services intended to be heard at great distances from the transmitting station.The Operating Frequency Handbook ABSTRACT: Long wave is used for radio broadcasting in Europe.001. There are other unusual and obsolete standards in some countries. 0.5. FM VHF 76 ~ 90 MHz (Japan) 87.5 ~ 108. ITU region 2 also authorizes the Extended AM broadcast band between 1610 kHz and 1710 kHz. and is not allocated in the Western Hemisphere. territories this band is mainly reserved for aeronautics navigational aids. only even multiples are used. Greenland and Africa.0 MHz (everywhere else) ABSTRACT: The frequency of an FM broadcast station (more strictly its assigned nominal centre frequency) is usually an exact multiple of 100 kHz. where the sound is AM. In the United States. Medium wave is by far the most heavily used band for commercial broadcasting (this is actually the "AM radio" that most people are familiar with).S. including 0. short wave broadcasts generally use a narrow 5 kHz channel spacing.3 MHz Television VHF: 54 ~ 88 MHz Channels 2 to 6. 174 ~ 216 MHz Channels 7 to 13 UHF: 470 ~ 890 MHz Channels 14 to 83 ABSTRACT: The VHF and UHF signals in bands III to V are generally used. 9 kHz channel spacing is generally used (even for long wave). Marine/Maritime VHF 156 ~ 174 MHz Used for: Summoning Rescue Services Communicating with Harbors and Marinas Omar Mohamed Anwar Page 3 . In Italy. Africa and parts of Asia (ITU region 1). only odd multiples are used.

'S' for 'short'. 8 ~ 12 GHz Missile guidance.100 GHz. Channel 16 (156.8 MHz) is the international calling and distress channel. weather.g.150 ± 0. and 5 nautical miles (9 km) between aerials mounted on small boats at sea-level. where communication can only take place in one direction at a time. foliage penetrating. Photo radar. satellite altimetry. Named X band because the frequency was a secret during WW2. limited use due to absorption by water vapor. short range. marine radar. frequency just above K band (hence 'a'). Satellite transponders. a compromise (hence 'C') between X and S bands. medium-resolution mapping and ground surveillance. The majority of channels. Long range air traffic control and surveillance. Mapping. airport surveillance. Channel 9 can also be used in some places as a secondary call and distress channel. ground penetrating. A transmit button on the set or microphone determines whether it is operating as a transmitter or a receiver. so Ku and Ka were used instead for surveillance. Kband is used for detecting clouds by meteorologists. and by police for detecting speeding motorists. Very long range (e. giving a maximum range of up to about 60 nautical miles (111 km) between aerials mounted on tall ships and hills. Very long range. 'L' for 'long'. are set aside for "duplex" transmissions channels where communication can take place in both directions simultaneously. Marine VHF mostly uses "simplex" transmission. ground penetrating. used to trigger cameras which take Page 4 Ku K Ka 24 ~ Omar Mohamed Anwar . From German kurz. frequency just under K band (hence 'u'). however. meaning 'short'.The Operating Frequency Handbook ABSTRACT: A typical marine VHF set is a combined transmitter and receiver and only operates on standard. international frequencies known as channels. ballistic missile early warning). long-range weather. marine radar. over-the-horizon radar (OTH) radars. Frequency modulation is used. 12 ~ 18 GHz 18 ~ 24 GHz High-resolution mapping. RADAR Radar frequency bands Band Name HF VHF UHF L S C X Frequency Range 3 ~ 30 MHz 50 ~ 330 MHz 300 ~ 1000 MHz 1 ~ 2 GHz 2 ~ 4 GHz 4 ~ 8 GHz ABSTRACT Coastal radar systems. Transmission power ranges between 1 and 25 watts. Terminal air traffic control. K-band radar guns operate at 24.

Omar Mohamed Anwar Page 5 . including vessels at sea and mobile land vehicles. operates at 34. Satellite Internet C-Band: 4 ~ 6 GHz Ka-Band: 19 ~ 29 GHz ABSTRACT: Satellite Internet services are used in locations where terrestrial Internet access is not available and in locations which move frequently. Used as a visual sensor for experimental autonomous vehicles.100 GHz.42 MHz L2: 1227. Such systems operate using trilateration. Used for Military communication.300 ± 0.6 ~ 10. Satellite Communication Systems Global Positioning System IEEE L-Band L1: 1575. GPS receivers do this by measuring the signals from three or more satellites simultaneously and determining their position using the timing of these signals. UWB 1. highresolution meteorological observation. Internet access via satellite is available worldwide. V W 50 ~ 75 GHz 75 ~ 110 GHz Very strongly absorbed by the atmosphere. Trilateration is the process of determining the position of an unknown point by measuring the lengths of the sides of an imaginary triangle between the unknown point and two or more known points.5 GHz Used for through the wall radar and imaging systems. and imaging.The Operating Frequency Handbook 40 GHz Q 40 ~ 60 GHz pictures of license plates of cars running red lights.6 MHz (transmissions occur on both frequencies) ABSTRACT: GPS uses satellite technology to enable a terrestrial terminal to determine its position on the Earth in latitude and longitude.

Each geo-stationary C-band satellite needs to be spaced 2 degrees from the next satellite (to avoid interference). The transponder 'retransmits' the signals back to Earth but at a different frequency band. transmitting and receiving calls through each satellite's 12.3 ~ 30 GHz Downlink (UHF): 1.7 ~ 12. or to a terrestrial network. A typical satellite has up to 32 transponders for Ku-band and up to 24 for a C-band only satellite. typically in the C-band or Ku-band or both. the Middle East. The uplink dish is pointed toward a specific satellite and the uplinked signals are transmitted within a specific frequency range. and Australia. The leg of the signal path from the satellite to the receiving Earth station is called the downlink.6 ~ 2.25-meter-aperture reflector. There is no spot on the Earth where you will not be able to receive a satellite phone call through Iridium.925 ~ 6.2 GHz Ku-Band: Uplink|14 ~ 14. like other communications relayed by satellite.7 ~ 4. Northern Asia. Satellite Television Microwave C-Band (Early Usage): Uplink|5. the Middle East. Thuraya offers dual-mode GSM and satellite mobile telephone services.5 GHz ABSTRACT: A satellite phone is a mobile telephone which communicates using satellites instead of using cell towers. Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Europe.The Operating Frequency Handbook Satellite Phone Uplink (SHF): 17. Downlink|3. Three major satellite phone networks are currently in operation: • • • Iridium The Iridium network uses 66 low earth orbit satellites in polar orbits 485 miles above sea level. The increased diameter results in more accurate aiming and increased signal strength at the satellite. so as to be received by one of the transponders tuned to that frequency range aboard that satellite. C-band transmission is susceptible to terrestrial interference while Ku-band transmission is affected by rain (as water is an excellent absorber of microwaves at this particular frequency). For Ku-band the spacing can be 1 degree. Globalstar The Globalstar network utilizes 40 low earth orbit satellites orbiting at an altitude of 876 miles. Downlink|11. as much as 9 to 12 meters (30 to 40 feet) in diameter.425 GHz. Satellite phone calls are routed directly from one handheld unit to another. Uplink satellite dishes are very large.2 GHz ABSTRACT: Satellite television. or more for hybrid satellites. starts with a transmitting antenna located at an uplink facility. The Iridium network is able to provide complete global coverage.5 GHz. Thuraya The Thuraya satellite phone network provides coverage over Europe. This includes most of North and South America. Omar Mohamed Anwar Page 6 . Central and Northern Africa. Typical transponders each have a bandwidth between 27 MHz and 50 MHz.

4 GHz cordless phones have a channel spacing of 5 MHz. often based on other frequencies. This split-frequency Omar Mohamed Anwar Page 7 .11b and 802. Cellular Standards: 1G • • • • • NMT Hicap CDPD Mobitex DataTAC • • • • • 2G iDEN PDC CSD PHS WiDEN • • • • • • • • • 3G W-CDMA (UMTS) HSPA HSDPA HSUPA HSPA+ UMTS-TDD TD-CDMA TD-SCDMA FOMA • • • • • Pre-4G iBurst HiperMAN WiMAX WiBro GAN (UMA) Cordless First Generation: 46 ~ 50 MHz Second Generation: 902 ~ 928 MHz Third Generation: 2. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth transmission.725 ~ 5. mobile providers encountered a problem because they couldn't provide service to the increasing number of customers.4 ~ 2. The 2. For fourth generation 5.8 GHz frequencies only for base-to-handset transmissions. The cellular frequencies are the sets of frequency ranges within the UHF band that have been allocated for cellular phone use. The UHF band is also shared with television.4 GHz frequencies for handset-to-base transmissions. As mobile phones became more popular and affordable.4 GHz cordless phone frequencies are shared with 802. or "UHF".11g wireless networks.850 GHz ABSTRACT: Second generation 900MHz cordless phones have channel spacing between 30-100 KHz. while still using the 2. for the transmission and reception of their signals. While third generation 2.8GHz cordless phones it is important to note that some phones use the 5.4835 GHz Fourth Generation: 5. They had to develop their existing networks and eventually introduce new standards.The Operating Frequency Handbook Telephone Cellular UHF 824 ~ 896 MHz 1850 ~ 1990 MHz ABSTRACT: All cellular phone networks worldwide utilize a portion of the radio frequency spectrum designated as Ultra High Frequency.

because it requires more power to transmit at the higher 5.8 GHz cordless phone frequencies are shared with 802. IEEE 802. WLAN (Wireless LAN) 802.11 n: 5 and/or 2.11 a: 5 GHz 802.11 is a set of standards for wireless local area network (WLAN) computer communication. This gives users the mobility to move around within a broad coverage area and still be connected to the network.8 GHz frequency than at the lower 2. developed by the IEEE LAN/MAN Standards Committee (IEEE 802) in the 5 GHz and 2.11a wireless networks.4 GHz public spectrum bands.11 b. The 5.The Operating Frequency Handbook technique saves battery life on the cordless phone handset.4 GHz ABSTRACT: A wireless LAN or WLAN or wireless local area network is the linking of two or more computers or devices using spread-spectrum or OFDM modulation technology based to enable communication between devices in a limited area. g: 2. Omar Mohamed Anwar Page 8 .4 GHz 802.4 GHz frequency.

The Operating Frequency Handbook INFORMATION YOU MAY NEED TO KNOW The Electromagnetic Spectrum Omar Mohamed Anwar Page 9 .

satellite television. navigational beacons. remote keyless entry for automobiles.000– 10.The Operating Frequency Handbook The Radio Frequency Spectrum Name Extremely low frequency Super low frequency Ultra low frequency Very low frequency Low frequency Medium frequency High frequency Very high frequency Ultra high frequency Symbol ELF Frequency 3–30 Hz Wavelength 10.000 km 100– 1. wireless networking. amateur radio. satellite links.000 km 10–100 km Applications Directly audible when converted to sound. the absorption of electromagnetic radiation by Earth's atmosphere is so great that the atmosphere is effectively opaque to higher frequencies of electromagnetic radiation. radio astronomy. microwave ovens. GPR Wireless networking. communication with submarines Directly audible when converted to sound. amateur radio. communication with mines Directly audible when converted to sound (below ca. mobile telephones. remote sensing. GPR Broadcast television. door openers Microwave data links. aviation. broadcast television. 20 kHz. AM broadcasting. advanced security scanning SLF ULF VLF 30–300 Hz 300– 3000 Hz 3–30 kHz LF MF 30– 300 kHz 300– 3000 kHz 3–30 MHz 30– 300 MHz 300– 3000 MHz 1–10 km 100–1000 m HF VHF UHF 10–100 m 1–10 m 10–100 cm Super high frequency Extremely high frequency SHF 3–30 GHz 1–10 cm EHF 30– 300 GHz 1–10 mm Notes • Above 300 GHz. AC power grids (50–60 Hz) Directly audible when converted to sound.000 km 1. lowFER Navigational beacons. maritime and aviation communication Shortwave. amateur radio. microwave links. cordless telephones.000– 100. citizens' band radio FM broadcasting. or ultrasound otherwise) AM broadcasting. until the Page Omar Mohamed Anwar 10 . advanced weapons systems.

SLF. The SHF and EHF bands are sometimes not considered to be a part of the radio spectrum. However. IEEE Bands IEEE Std 521-2002 Band HF band Frequency range 3 to 30 MHz Origin of name High Frequency Very High Frequency VHF band 30 to 300 MHz UHF band 300 to 1000 MHz Ultra High Frequency Frequencies from 216 to 450 MHz were sometimes called Pband: Previous. and VLF bands overlap the AF (audio frequency) spectrum. since early British radar used this band but later switched to higher frequencies. ULF. and not by electromagnetic energy. The ELF.The Operating Frequency Handbook • • atmosphere becomes transparent again in the so-called infrared and optical window frequency ranges. forming their own microwave spectrum. sounds are transmitted by atmospheric compression and expansion.000 Hz. X for cross (as in crosshair) Kurz-under German Kurz (short) Kurz-above Omar Mohamed Anwar Page 11 . L band S band C band X band Ku band K band Ka band V band W band 1 to 2 GHz 2 to 4 GHz 4 to 8 GHz 8 to 12 GHz 12 to 18 GHz 18 to 27 GHz 27 to 40 GHz 40 to 75 GHz 75 to 110 GHz W follows V in the alphabet COURTESY OF THE INSTITUTE OF ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS Long wave Short wave Compromise between S and X Used in WW II for fire control. which is approximately 20–20.

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