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Understanding the Spectrum Environment: Data and Monitoring to Improve Spectrum Utilization


Category: Workshop Reports
Available Format: PDF
Published: 
Pages: 26
View Full Text: https://www.nitrd.gov/nitrdgroups/images/8/80/WSRD_Workshop_V_Report.pdf

Executive Summary

The Wireless Spectrum Research and Development Senior Steering Group (WSRD SSG) Workshop V titled: Understanding the Spectrum Environment: Data and Monitoring to Improve Spectrum Utilization, was hosted by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Arlington, VA on March 31, 2014. This report summarizes the motivation, format, material, conclusions and recommendations drawn from that Workshop.

Spectrum sharing, as a means to enhance efficiency in spectrum use, has become a significant issue for the United States. Several initiatives by the Federal Government, including two Presidential Memorandums2, and the PCAST (Presidential Council of Advisors on Science and Technology) report3, have advocated collaborative research, development, and testing, to advance spectrum sharing technology and related rule-making. While researchers, investors, small business start-ups and well-established businesses have all made progress in this area, there are still significant issues to be addressed. For example, in order to operate successfully and reliably in a shared environment, the sharing entities involved need to trust that the data they receive is accurate and that the data they share will be handled properly, analyzed correctly, and only used for the purposes requested. One method of achieving this knowledge is by monitoring the spectrum, combined with an improved analysis of the resulting data.

Understanding the spectrum sharing environment is complex. While spectrum monitoring is performed today by industry, academia, and government, it usually tends to be narrowly focused to align with their respective mission and business incentives. Depending on the specific purpose and method of data acquisition, spectrum observations tend to be diverse and scattered among many sources. Observations also vary based on the methods used and the type of data requested. Although there are many approaches to measuring spectrum occupancy, no single method is applicable under all circumstances. Also, data requirements are highly variable and dependent on the intended use.

The WSRD Workshop V was conducted to bring together experts across government, industry, and academia to discuss how the use of spectrum data and monitoring can be used to better inform spectrum policy and management decisions, improve regulatory enforcement, and coordinate more efficient and dynamic spectrum usage. The goal of WSRD Workshop V was to capitalize on the collective expertise of the spectrum sharing thought leaders from government, industry, and academia in order to:

  • Examine spectrum monitoring, data, and analysis to improve spectrum utilization
  • Establish meaningful and achievable national goals related to spectrum monitoring
  • Develop a roadmap with meaningful R&D outcomes to achieve these goals


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