Spectrum Management and Electromagnetic Compatibility Issues in the Department of Defense

by Gregory E. Parnell, Cullen M. Crain, Alvin L. Hiebert


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This Note provides an overview of the concerns to be factored into analysis and policy regarding technical and nontechnical components of spectrum management and the need for electromagnetic compatibility. It presents policy, administrative, and procedural issues as well as the framework within which the Department of Defense (DoD) and other users of electromagnetically dependent devices must operate. It traces the history of the topics, assesses reasons for recent heightened concern, and discusses recent activities and remaining challenges for the DoD. Devices dependent upon electromagnetic phenomena for their operation must exhibit electromagnetic compatibility among their components, other electromagnetically dependent devices, and the electromagnetic environment. For nonmilitary systems, the lack of electromagnetic compatibility can be costly; for military systems and operations it can be disastrous. Use of technology as a force multiplier and growing heated competition for limited spectrum portend unprecedented interest in electromagnetic compatibility and spectrum management.

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