SpectrumWiki: A New Resource for Cataloging the Radio Spectrum

By Andrew W. Clegg, posted on January 16th, 2013 in Quick Look, Technology

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spectrumwiki logoSpectrumWiki is under development as a new Web resource for cataloging band-by-band uses of the radio spectrum.

There are two basic components to SpectrumWiki. The first is an electronic interface to the U.S. and International Telecommunication Union (ITU) tables of frequency allocations, including band-specific footnotes, U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules, U.S. spectrum auction data, and basic engineering data such as isotropic collecting area and free space loss.

The second is a customized Wiki-type framework that supports user-contributed information on specific uses of the radio spectrum on a band-by-band basis. The central idea is to leverage a small amount of information contributed by a large number of users to provide frequency-specific details on radio spectrum uses, for the benefit of all. The concept is like Wikipedia, but with all entries keyed to, and searchable, by frequencies or frequency bands.

SpectrumWiki also supports uploading or linking to a variety of documents and information, including FCC proceedings, ITU documents, legislation, band plans, occupancy measurements, Radio Frequency Interference plots, publications, data sheets, images, videos, presentations, and other resources, keyed to frequencies or frequency bands.

The main goal of SpectrumWiki is to capture frequency use and similar information directly relevant to other users of the radio spectrum, while not repeating non-spectrum-related information that is readily available elsewhere. For example, an entry on the Global Positioning System (GPS) provides the five frequencies that the system operates on and the specified minimum signal strength on the ground for GPS signals, and then includes several links for finding additional detailed information on GPS, such as the official U.S. Air Force GPS Web site, interface specification documents, the Wikipedia entry on GPS, and other external resources.

The site is in the development stage now and still contains some bugs, but it is freely available for use. Feedback and bug reports are highly desired, and will be used to improve the design and usability of the site. Most importantly, contributions of spectrum usage information are needed.

If you have information to add, no matter how small, please register as a user and enter the data at the site. Registration is required to protect the integrity of the site. Please contact Andy Clegg (info@spectrumwiki.com) if you need any help using the site or would like a demonstration. Given a sufficient number and variety of contributions, SpectrumWiki will be a useful resource for figuring out “who’s in the band.”

Andrew Clegg is the creator of SpectrumWiki.com. For his day job, he is the spectrum manager for the U.S. National Science Foundation. In his spare time, he enjoys surveying the radio spectrum with a spectrum analyzer.

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