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W5YI News :
April 11, 2012NTIA Releases Test Plan for UHF LMR Spectrum Sharing Program


The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released a phase two and three test plan for its pilot program for UHF spectrum sharing. NTIA, in coordination with the FCC and federal agencies, established a spectrum sharing innovation test bed pilot program to examine the feasibility of increased sharing between federal and non-federal users.

The pilot program is evaluating the ability of dynamic spectrum access (DSA) devices employing spectrum sensing and/or geolocation technologies to share spectrum with LMR systems operating in the 410 – 420 MHz federal band and in the 470 – 512 MHz non-federal band.

NTIA published the test bed phase one test plan on its website in February 2009, and has been engaged in testing DSA devices at its laboratory, the Institute for Telecommunications Sciences (ITS), in Boulder, Colo. The phase one tests assess the performance and behavior of DSA devices in response to simulated LMR environment signals within a laboratory setting.

Phase two will assess the spectrum sensing capabilities of DSA devices in a live LMR environment with sufficient DSA transmitter attenuation to prevent interference to LMR systems. In Phase three, the DSA devices’ transmitter attenuation will be removed and the devices will be allowed to operate freely in a variety of live LMR radio frequency signal environments.

The tests will provide, under repeatable test conditions, an estimate of the minimum separation distance required to prevent DSA-to-LMR interference — the interference range. The results may be used to adjust DSA policy databases or test procedures in preparation for subsequent Phase three tests. For example, a DSA device may be reconfigured to lock out critical LMR channels or a drive test route modified to guarantee a minimum separation between DSA devices and critical LMR systems.

Devices that don’t exhibit anomalous behaviors in the Section 3 tests will proceed to Section 4 tests, DSA devices operating under less-controlled conditions within the coverage area of a live conventional voice LMR network. Similarly, Section 5 examines the potential impact of DSA devices on a trunked LMR system with particular emphasis on compatibility with LMR control channel signaling. Section 6 describes a geolocation test for suitably equipped devices. Section 7 completes the test plan with lists of acronyms and abbreviations, definitions, and references.

The full phase two and three test plan is available here.

The UHF spectrum was first allocated for the test bed in 2007.


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