AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 40 Observations and Instrumentation: Non-Optical
Poster, Tuesday, January 6, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[40.04] Study of Spectrum Usage and Potential Interference in the UHF and Microwave Radio Astronomy Bands

A. Petrin, P.G. Steffes (Georgia Institute of Technology School of Electrical and Computer Engineering)

The increasing usage of radio spectrum in both frequency and power, coupled with radio astronomy’s vulnerability to interference necessitates a better understanding of the existing and predicted usage of the spectral environment.

To measure and examine spectral usage the Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a Radio Spectrum Evaluation System (RSES). This system provides coverage from 400 MHz to 6.4 GHz and offers the capability to observe and analyze spectra in multiple dimensions: frequency, power, location, space, azimuth, polarization and time. Since radio astronomy can be suffer interference at extremely low power levels this system’s sensitivity has recently been increased by reducing intermodulation distortion and thermal noise of the receiving system.

A study of the radio frequency usage in and adjacent to radio astronomy bands was undertaken to determine current usage levels and characteristics. Measurements in the 608 – 614 MHz, 1300 – 1430 MHz, and 4950 – 5000 MHz frequency ranges will be presented, indicating usage in power, azimuth, polarization and time. While this study was performed in an urban area, additional studies will measure spectrum usage in suburban and rural environments to assist in predicting future spectral usage and characteristics.

This work is supported by the spectrum management program of the NSF Astronomy Division, under grant number AST-0309469.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.