High-frequency noise and spectrum occupancy measurements for Virginia and Texas with comparisons to International Radio Consultative Committee predictions


  • Serafin P. Rodriguez


There is ongoing interest in the high-frequency (HF) band of the spectrum, both in terms of the noise levels and the available spectrum bandwidth. In particular, current HF radar systems such as the U.S. Navy's Relocatable Over-the-Horizon Radar (ROTHR) or the Australian Jindalee radar must operate against the external noise and share the spectrum with other HF band users. Current estimates of external noise levels are based on International Radio Consultative Committee (CCIR) [1988]. These predictions are based primarily on measurements made several decades ago at a few sites around the world. There are no current generally accepted estimates for available spectrum bandwidth. The Radar Division at the Naval Research Laboratory, in support of the U.S. Navy's ROTHR, developed a semiportable HF spectrum monitoring system to make HF noise and available bandwidth measurements. HF measurements were made over the 5- to 28-MHz frequency range at three locations. Measurements were made in Virginia at the end of August 1994, in Texas at the end of November 1994, and aboard the U.S.S. Ashland off the coast of Virginia in May 1995. These measurements are presented, as well as comparisons with CCIR predictions for the same period.