Viavi Solutions has recently started offering support for verifying the existence of any interference between 5G communications networks and radar altimeters used in the aviation industry, based on its history of testing both wireless and avionics equipment for communication service providers, airlines, military branches and equipment manufacturers worldwide.
Any potential interference would occur in a very narrow band of radio frequency, one that is technically not even part of the C-band (3.7-3.98 GHz) being utilized by communication service providers.
“At VIAVI, we have a unique current understanding about potential interference in C-band, as we are deeply involved in both 5G communications and RADALT technologies,” said Sameh Yamany, Chief Technology Officer, VIAVI, and author of “Understanding 5G.” “From this vantage point, we aim to help the industry and government regulators tackle any issues comprehensively, to enable communication service providers and aviation to operate harmoniously.”
Radar altimeter (RADALT) systems use the 4.2-4.4 GHz band. However, there is potential for interference from the edges of these bands, which can be mitigated by testing and adjusting both 5G networks and RADALT systems before live deployment.
VIAVI has established a testbed consisting of:
- The VIAVI ALT-9000, which provides altitude simulations with true RF time delay and path loss models to test any format of RADALT system including Low Probability of Intercept (LPI), Combined Altitude Radar Altimeter (CARA) & Next Generation variants. The ALT-9000 is instrumental in enabling rigorous test procedures and workflows to assess, evaluate, and monitor the RADALT vulnerability to any potential 5G interference.
- The VIAVI OneAdvisor 800, which provides real-time spectrum analysis for the 5G C-band range of frequency with 2D and 3D spectrogram plots. The OneAdvisor 800 monitors and detects channel leakage and frequency bleeding as well as spurious emissions that potentially can impact RADALT operations.
- The VIAVI Ranger, which provides broadband recording and playback of RF signal environments. The Ranger records real-world 5G signals and plays them back into RADALT devices during the test to simulate 5G C-band interference. When used in conjunction with the ALT-9000 and One Advisor 800, the Ranger enables advanced testing under real-world conditions.