Cite This Publication

Frank H. Sanders, Edward F. Drocella Jr., Robert L. Sole, and John E. Carroll

Abstract: This report is a case-history of the development, deployment, and operational experiences associated with 5 GHz unlicensed national information infrastructure (U–NII) devices that incorporate a detect-and-avoid approach to spectrum sharing. Such dynamic frequency selection (DFS) technology was authorized by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to accommodate co-band operation of U–NII transmitters among other incumbent radio systems, specifically radars. DFS-equipped U–NII systems are designed to detect frequencies occupied by radar transmissions and then command their own transmitters to avoid operation on those occupied frequencies. Examining the historical and technical aspects of the development and deployment of 5 GHz DFS-equipped U–NIIs, this report focuses on issues encountered with the deployment of this nascent DFS technology, particularly with respect to two government radar systems that have experienced harmful interference: Terminal Doppler Weather Radars (TDWRs) and Range Instrumentation Radars (RIRs). These interference interactions and the likely underlying causes are described, along with steps that have already been taken in an effort to mitigate existing and potential future interference interactions. This report’s narrative summarizes the DFS experience and shares the Lessons Learned from these experiences that may be applied to future similar spectrum-sharing approaches.

Keywords: radar; electromagnetic compatibility (EMC); band sharing; spectrum sharing; radio interference; out-of-band (OOB) emissions; spectrum measurement; unlicensed national information infrastructure (U-NII); terminal Doppler weather radar (TDWR); dynamic frequency selection (DFS); emission limits; spurious emissions; 5 GHz band; access point (AP); detect and avoid; range instrumentation radar (RIR)

For technical information concerning this report, contact:

Frank H. Sanders
Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
(303) 497-7600

Disclaimer: Certain commercial equipment, components, and software may be identified in this report to specify adequately the technical aspects of the reported results. In no case does such identification imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, nor does it imply that the equipment or software identified is necessarily the best available for the particular application or uses.

For questions or information on this or any other NTIA scientific publication, contact the ITS Publications Office at or 303-497-3572.

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