Radio and Microwave Frequency Bands



Introduction

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates frequency use by setting specifications for transmit frequency, power, bandwidth, modulation, and location, to name a few, and requires a license for many uses. The FCC does NOT cover the CALIBRATION of radar units, radar ACCURACY, or OPERATOR capability requirements.

Note the following multiplier abbreviations for frequency (also see appendix B -- Electromagnetic Waves).

Table A-1 -- Frequency Multipliers

Hz (hertz) cycles per second 1 Hz
kHz (kilohertz) one thousand hertz 1,000 Hz
MHz (megahertz) one million hertz 1,000,000 Hz
GHz (gigahertz) one billion hertz 1,000,000,000 Hz
THz (terahertz) one trillion hertz 1,000,000,000,000 Hz


Radio Band Designations
Frequency Wavelength Radio Band designation
30 - 300 Hz 10 - 1Mm ELF (extremely low frequency)
300 - 3000 Hz 1000 - 100 km ULF (ultra low frequency)
3 - 30 kHz 100 - 10 km VLF (very low frequency)
30 - 300 kHz 10 - 1 km LF (low frequency)
300 - 3000 kHz 1000 - 100 m MF (medium frequency)
3 - 30 MHz 100 - 10 m HF (high frequency)
30 - 300 MHz 10 - 1 m VHF (very high frequency)
300 - 3000 MHz 100 - 10 cm UHF (ultra high frequency)
3 - 30 GHz 10 - 1 cm SHF (super high frequency)
30 - 300 GHz 10 - 1 mm EHF (extremely high frequency)
   

IEEE Radar Band Designations
Frequency Wavelength IEEE Radar Band designation
1 - 2 GHz 30 - 15 cm L Band
2 - 4 GHz 15 - 7.5 cm S Band
4 - 8 GHz 7.5 - 3.75 cm C Band
8 - 12 GHz 3.75 - 2.50 cm X Band
12 - 18 GHz 2.5 - 1.67 cm Ku Band
18 - 27 GHz 1.67 - 1.11 cm K Band
27 - 40 GHz 11.1 - 7.5 mm Ka Band
40 - 75 GHz   V Band
75 - 110 GHz   W Band
110 - 300 GHz   mm Band
300 - 3000 GHz   u mm Band
   

Satellite TVRO Band Designations
Frequency Wavelength Satellite TVRO Band
1700 - 3000 MHz   S-Band
3700 - 4200 MHz   C-Band
10.9 - 11.75 GHz   Ku1-Band
11.75 - 12.5 GHz   Ku2-Band (DBS)
12.5 - 12.75 GHz   Ku3-Band
18.0 - 20.0 GHz   Ka-Band

Military Electronic Countermeasures Band Designations
Frequency Wavelength IEEE Radar Band designation
30 - 250 MHz A Band
250 - 500 MHz B Band
500 - 1,000 MHz C Band
1 - 2 GHz D Band
2 - 3 GHz E Band
3 - 4 GHz F Band
4 - 6 GHz G Band
6 - 8 GHz H Band
8 - 10 GHz I Band
10 - 20 GHz J Band
20 - 40 GHz K Band
40 - 60 GHz L Band
60 - 100 GHz M Band

Traffic Radar Frequencies

Table A-2 - Traffic Radar Frequency Bands
Band Frequency Wavelength Notes
S 2.455 GHz 4.8 in
12 cm
obsolete
X 10.525 GHz ±25 MHz 1.1 in
2.8 cm
one 50 MHz channel
Ku 13.450 GHz 0.88 in
2.2 cm
no known systems
K 24.125 GHz ±100 MHz 0.49 in
1.2 cm
one 200 MHz channel
Europe and some US systems
K 24.150 GHz ±100 MHz 0.49 in
1.2 cm
one 200 MHz channel
Ka 33.4 - 36.0 GHz 0.35 - 0.33 in
9 - 8.3 mm
13 channels; 200 MHz/ch
IR -- Infrared 332 THz 904 nm Laser Radar


Table A-3 -- Select Ka Band Traffic Radar Frequencies
Frequency tolerance for Ka band radars typically ±100 MHz.

Frequency System
33.3 GHz Genesis II
33.4 GHz "Photo Radar"
33.8 GHz BEE 36
34.3 GHz TMT-6F photo radar and Multanova 6F photo radar
34.6 GHz PR-100 photo radar
34.70 or 34.94 GHz Stalker ATR
34.2 - 35.2 GHz Stalker ATR (frequency hopping)



Frequency Band Designations

Military Radar Bands
Military radar band nomenclature (L, S, C, X, Ku, K and Ka bands) originated during World War II as a secret code so scientists and engineers could talk about frequencies without divulging them. After the war the codes were declassified, millimeter (mm) was added, and the designations were eventually adopted by the IEEE -- Institute of Electric and Electronic Engineers. Military radar band nomenclature is widely used today in radar, satellite and terrestrial communications, and electronic countermeasure applications, both military and commercial.

Table A-4 -- Military Radar Bands

Radar Band Frequency Notes
HF 3 - 30 MHz High Frequency
VHF 30 - 300 MHz Very High Frequency
UHF 300 - 1000 MHz Ultra High Frequency
L 1 - 2 GHz
S 2 - 4 GHz
C 4 - 8 GHz
X 8 - 12 GHz
Ku 12 - 18 GHz
K 18 - 27 GHz
Ka 27 - 40 GHz
mm 40 - 300 GHz millimeter wavelength

Military HF, VHF, UHF same as Radio Band HF, VHF, UHF respectively.


ITU Radar Bands
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) specifies bands designated for radar systems as described in the table below. The ITU bands are sub-bands of military designations.

Table A-5 -- International Telecommunications Union Radar Bands

ITU Band Frequency
VHF 138 - 144 MHz
216 - 225 MHz
UHF 420 - 450 MHz
890 - 942 MHz
L 1.215 - 1.400 GHz
S 2.3 - 2.5 GHz
2.7 - 3.7 GHz
C 5.250 - 5.925 GHz
X 8.500 - 10.680 GHz
Ku 13.4 - 14.0 GHz
15.7 - 17.7 GHz
K 24.05 - 24.25 GHz
Ka 33.4 - 36.0 GHz

VHF -- Very High Frequency
UHF -- Ultra High Frequency


Radio Bands
Radio band designations are summarized below. Note that the radio band chart includes wavelength. In the early days of radio it was easier to measure wavelength than frequency.

Table A-6 -- Radio Frequency Bands

Band Nomenclature Frequency Wavelength
ELF Extremely Low Frequency 3 - 30 Hz 100,000 - 10,000 km
SLF Super Low Frequency 30 - 300 Hz 10,000 - 1,000 km
ULF Ultra Low Frequency 300 - 3000 Hz 1,000 - 100 km
VLF Very Low Frequency 3 - 30 kHz 100 - 10 km
LF Low Frequency 30 - 300 kHz 10 - 1 km
MF Medium Frequency 300 - 3000 kHz 1 km - 100 m
HF High Frequency 3 - 30 MHz 100 - 10 m
VHF Very High Frequency 30 - 300 MHz 10 - 1 m
UHF Ultra High Frequency 300 - 3000 MHz 1 m - 10 cm
SHF Super High Frequency 3 - 30 GHz 10 - 1 cm
EHF Extremely High Frequency 30 - 300 GHz 1 cm - 1 mm



ECM Bands
The electronic countermeasures (ECM) industry occasionally refers to band designations as described below.

Table A-7 -- ECM Bands

Band Frequency
A 30 - 250 MHz
B 250 - 500 MHz
C 500 - 1,000 MHz
D 1 - 2 GHz
E 2 - 3 GHz
F 3 - 4 GHz
G 4 - 6 GHz
H 6 - 8 GHz
I 8 - 10 GHz
J 10 - 20 GHz
K 20 - 40 GHz
L 40 - 60 GHz
M 60 - 100 GHz



.
The Electromagnetic Spectrum DC to Gamma

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http://physics.open.ac.uk/~rogley/Astronomy/bands.html

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NASA



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