High frequency

High frequency (HF) is the ITU designation[1] for the range of radio frequency electromagnetic waves (radio waves) between 3 to 30 megahertz (MHz). It is also known as the decameter band or decameter wave as its wavelengths range from one to ten decameters (ten to one hundred metres). Frequencies immediately below HF are denoted medium frequency (MF), while the next band of higher frequencies is known as the very high frequency (VHF) band. The HF band is a major part of the shortwave band of frequencies, so communication at these frequencies is often called shortwave radio. Because radio waves in this band can be reflected back to Earth by the ionosphere layer in the atmosphere – a method known as "skip" or "skywave" propagation – these frequencies are suitable for long-distance communication across intercontinental distances and for mountainous terrains which prevent line-of-sight communications[2]. The band is used by international shortwave broadcasting stations (2.31–25.82 MHz), aviation communication, government time stations, weather stations, amateur radio and citizens band services, among other uses.

High frequency
Frequency range
3 to 30 MHz
Wavelength range
100 to 10 m
HF's position in the electromagnetic spectrum.

Propagation characteristics

A modern Icom M700Pro two-way radio for marine HF radio communications.

The dominant means of long-distance communication in this band is skywave ("skip") propagation, in which radio waves directed at an angle into the sky refract back to Earth from layers of ionized atoms in the ionosphere.[3] By this method HF radio waves can travel beyond the horizon, around the curve of the Earth, and can be received at intercontinental distances. However, suitability of this portion of the spectrum for such communication varies greatly with a complex combination of factors:

At any point in time, for a given "skip" communication path between two points, the frequencies at which communication is possible are specified by these parameters

The maximum usable frequency regularly drops below 10 MHz in darkness during the winter months, while in summer during daylight it can easily surpass 30 MHz. It depends on the angle of incidence of the waves; it is lowest when the waves are directed straight upwards, and is higher with less acute angles. This means that at longer distances, where the waves graze the ionosphere at a very blunt angle, the MUF may be much higher. The lowest usable frequency depends on the absorption in the lower layer of the ionosphere (the D-layer). This absorption is stronger at low frequencies and is also stronger with increased solar activity (for example in daylight); total absorption often occurs at frequencies below 5 MHz during the daytime. The result of these two factors is that the usable spectrum shifts towards the lower frequencies and into the Medium Frequency (MF) range during winter nights, while on a day in full summer the higher frequencies tend to be more usable, often into the lower VHF range.

When all factors are at their optimum, worldwide communication is possible on HF. At many other times it is possible to make contact across and between continents or oceans. At worst, when a band is "dead", no communication beyond the limited groundwave paths is possible no matter what powers, antennas or other technologies are brought to bear. When a transcontinental or worldwide path is open on a particular frequency, digital, SSB and Morse code communication is possible using surprisingly low transmission powers, often of the order of milliwatts, provided suitable antennas are in use at both ends and that there is little or no man-made or natural interference.[4] On such an open band, interference originating over a wide area affects many potential users. These issues are significant to military, safety[5] and amateur radio users of the HF bands.


An amateur radio station incorporating two HF transceivers.
A typical Yagi antenna used by a Canadian radio amateur for long distance communication
SpAF Boeing 707-331B(KC)
Boeing 707 used a HF antenna mounted on top of the tail fin [6]

The main users of the high frequency spectrum are:

The high frequency band is very popular with amateur radio operators, who can take advantage of direct, long-distance (often inter-continental) communications and the "thrill factor" resulting from making contacts in variable conditions. International shortwave broadcasting utilizes this set of frequencies, as well as a seemingly declining number of "utility" users (marine, aviation, military, and diplomatic interests), who have, in recent years, been swayed over to less volatile means of communication (for example, via satellites), but may maintain HF stations after switch-over for back-up purposes.

However, the development of Automatic Link Establishment technology based on MIL-STD-188-141 for automated connectivity and frequency selection, along with the high costs of satellite usage, have led to a renaissance in HF usage in government networks. The development of higher speed modems such as those conforming to MIL-STD-188-110C which support data rates up to 120 kilobit/s has also increased the usability of HF for data communications and video transmission. Other standards development such as STANAG 5066 provides for error free data communications through the use of ARQ protocols.

Some modes of communication, such as continuous wave Morse code transmissions (especially by amateur radio operators) and single sideband voice transmissions are more common in the HF range than on other frequencies, because of their bandwidth-conserving nature, but broadband modes, such as TV transmissions, are generally prohibited by HF's relatively small chunk of electromagnetic spectrum space.

Noise, especially man-made interference from electronic devices, tends to have a great effect on the HF bands. In recent years, concerns have risen among certain users of the HF spectrum over "broadband over power lines" (BPL) Internet access, which has an almost destructive effect on HF communications. This is due to the frequencies on which BPL operates (typically corresponding with the HF band) and the tendency for the BPL signal to leak from power lines. Some BPL providers have installed notch filters to block out certain portions of the spectrum (namely the amateur radio bands), but a great amount of controversy over the deployment of this access method remains. Other electronic devices including plasma televisions can also have a detrimental effect on the HF spectrum.

In aviation, HF communication systems are required for all trans-oceanic flights. These systems incorporate frequencies down to 2 MHz to include the 2182 kHz international distress and calling channel.

The upper section of HF (26.5-30 MHz) shares many characteristics with the lower part of VHF. The parts of this section not allocated to amateur radio are used for local communications. These include CB radios around 27 MHz, studio-to-transmitter (STL) radio links, radio control devices for models and radio paging transmitters.

Some radio frequency identification (RFID) tags utilize HF. These tags are commonly known as HFID's or HighFID's (High-Frequency Identification).


The most common antennas in this band are wire antennas such as wire dipoles and the rhombic antenna; in the upper frequencies, multielement dipole antennas such as the Yagi, quad, and log-periodic antennas. Powerful shortwave broadcasting stations often use large wire curtain arrays.

Antennas for transmitting skywaves are typically made from horizontal dipoles or bottom-fed loops, both of which emit horizontally polarized waves. The preference for horizontally polarized transmission is because (approximately) only half of the signal power transmitted by an antenna travels directly into the sky; about half travels downward towards the ground and must "bounce" into the sky. For frequencies in the upper HF band, the ground is a better reflector of horizontally polarized waves, and better absorber of power from vertically polarized waves. The effect diminishes for longer wavelengths.

For receiving, random wire antennas are often used. Alternatively, the same directional antennas used for transmitting are helpful for receiving, since most noise comes from all directions, but the desired signal comes from only one direction. Long-distance (skywave) receiving antennas can generally be oriented either vertically or horizontally since refraction through the ionosphere usually scrambles signal polarization, and signals are received directly from the sky to the antenna.

See also


  1. ^ "Rec. ITU-R V.431-7, Nomenclature of the frequency and wavelength bands used in telecommunications" (PDF). ITU. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  2. ^ Harmon, James V.; Fiedler, Ltc David M; Lam, Ltc Ret John R. (Spring 1994). "Automated HF Communications" (PDF). Army Communicator: 22–26. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  3. ^ Seybold, John S. (2005). Introduction to RF Propagation. John Wiley and Sons. pp. 55–58. ISBN 0471743682.
  4. ^ Paul Harden (2005). "Solar Activity & HF Propagation". QRP Amateur Radio Club International. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
  5. ^ "Amateur Radio Emergency Communication". American Radio Relay League, Inc. 2008. Archived from the original on January 29, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
  6. ^ Shoquist, Marc. "The Antenna Coupler Program". VIP Club.

Further reading

  • Maslin, N.M. "HF Communications - A Systems Approach". ISBN 0-273-02675-5, Taylor & Francis Ltd, 1987
  • Johnson, E.E., et al., "Advanced High-Frequency Radio Communications". ISBN 0-89006-815-1, Artech House, 1997
  • V. Narayanamurti, et al., "Selective Transmission of High-Frequency Phonons by a Superlattice: The "Dielectric" Phonon Filter". Phys. Rev. Lett. 43, 2012–2016 (Issue 27 – 31 December 1979).
  • Boulos-Paul Bejjani, et al., "Transient Acute Depression Induced by High-Frequency Deep-Brain Stimulation". New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 340:1476-1480 May 13, 1999 Number 19. Massachusetts Medical Society.
  • H. C. Liu, "Analytical model of high-frequency resonant tunneling: The first-order ac current response". Phys. Rev. B 43, 12538–12548 (Issue 15 – 15 May 1991).
  • Sipila, M., et al., "High-frequency periodic time-domain waveform measurement system". IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, Volume 36, Issue 10, pg. 1397-1405, Oct 1988. ISSN 0018-9480 INSPEC 3291255 DOI 10.1109/22.6087
  • Morched, A., et al., "A high frequency transformer model for the EMTP". IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, Volume 8, Issue 3, pg. 1615-1626, Jul 1993. ISSN 0885-8977 INSPEC 4581865 DOI 10.1109/61.252688

External links

Advanced Extremely High Frequency

Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) is a series of communications satellites operated by the United States Air Force Space Command. They will be used to relay secure communications for the Armed Forces of the United States, the British Armed Forces, the Canadian Forces and the Royal Netherlands Armed Forces. The system will consist of six satellites in geostationary orbits, four of which have been launched. AEHF is backward compatible with, and will replace, the older Milstar system and will operate at 44 GHz Uplink (EHF band) and 20 GHz Downlink (SHF band). AEHF systems is a joint service communications system that will provide survivable, global, secure, protected, and jam-resistant communications for high-priority military ground, sea and air assets. It is the follow-on to the Milstar system. AEHF systems' uplinks and crosslinks will operate in the extremely high frequency (EHF) range and downlinks in the super high frequency (SHF) range. AEHF satellites use a large number of narrow spot beams directed towards the Earth to relay communications to and from users. Crosslinks between the satellites allow them to relay communications directly rather than via a ground station. The satellites are designed to provide jam-resistant communications with a low probability of interception. They incorporate frequency-hopping radio technology, as well as phased array antennas that can adapt their radiation patterns in order to block out potential sources of jamming.

AEHF incorporates the existing Milstar low data-rate and medium data-rate signals, providing 75–2400 bit/s and 4.8 kbit/sec–1.544 Mbit/s respectively. It also incorporates a new signal, allowing data rates of up to 8.192 Mbit/s. When complete, the space segment of the AEHF system will consist of six satellites, which will provide coverage of the surface of the Earth between latitudes of 65 degrees north and 65 degrees south. For northern polar regions, the Enhanced Polar System acts as an adjunct to AEHF to provide EHF coverage.The initial contract for the design and development of the AEHF satellites was awarded to Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Northrop Grumman Space Technology in November 2001, and covered the System Development and Demonstration phase of the program. The contract covered the construction and launch of three satellites, and the construction of a mission control segment. The contract was managed by the MILSATCOM Program Office of the United States Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Like the Milstar system, AEHF will be operated by the 4th Space Operations Squadron, located at Schriever Air Force Base.

It extends the "cross-links" among AEHF of earlier MILSTAR satellites, which makes it much less vulnerable to attacks on ground stations. As a geosynchronous satellite over the Equator, it still needs to be supplemented, with additional systems optimized for polar coverage in high latitudes.

In the April 2009 Defense Department budget request, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said he planned to cancel the Transformational Satellite Communications System, still in the design phase, in favor of additional AEHF capacity. Individual AEHF satellites, exclusive of launch expenses, cost USD $850 million.

Band II

Band II is the range of radio frequencies within the very high frequency (VHF) part of the electromagnetic spectrum from 87.5 to 108.0 megahertz (MHz).

Dielectric heating

Dielectric heating, also known as electronic heating, radio frequency heating, and high-frequency heating, is the process in which a radio frequency (RF) alternating electric field, or radio wave or microwave electromagnetic radiation heats a dielectric material. At higher frequencies, this heating is caused by molecular dipole rotation within the dielectric.

RF dielectric heating at intermediate frequencies, due to its greater penetration over microwave heating, shows greater promise than microwave systems as a method of very rapidly heating and uniformly preparing certain food items, and also killing parasites and pests in certain harvested crops.

Electromagnetic spectrum

The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of frequencies (the spectrum) of electromagnetic radiation and their respective wavelengths and photon energies.

The electromagnetic spectrum covers electromagnetic waves with frequencies ranging from below one hertz to above 1025 hertz, corresponding to wavelengths from thousands of kilometers down to a fraction of the size of an atomic nucleus. This frequency range is divided into separate bands, and the electromagnetic waves within each frequency band are called by different names; beginning at the low frequency (long wavelength) end of the spectrum these are: radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays at the high-frequency (short wavelength) end. The electromagnetic waves in each of these bands have different characteristics, such as how they are produced, how they interact with matter, and their practical applications. The limit for long wavelengths is the size of the universe itself, while it is thought that the short wavelength limit is in the vicinity of the Planck length. Gamma rays, X-rays, and high ultraviolet are classified as ionizing radiation as their photons have enough energy to ionize atoms, causing chemical reactions. Exposure to these rays can be a health hazard, causing radiation sickness, DNA damage and cancer. Radiation of visible light wavelengths and lower are called nonionizing radiation as they cannot cause these effects.

In most of the frequency bands above, a technique called spectroscopy can be used to physically separate waves of different frequencies, producing a spectrum showing the constituent frequencies. Spectroscopy is used to study the interactions of electromagnetic waves with matter. Other technological uses are described under electromagnetic radiation.

Extremely high frequency

Extremely high frequency (EHF) is the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) designation for the band of radio frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum from 30 to 300 gigahertz (GHz). It lies between the super high frequency band, and the far infrared band, the lower part of which is also referred to as the terahertz gap. Radio waves in this band have wavelengths from ten to one millimetre, so it is also called the millimetre band and radiation in this band is called millimetre waves, sometimes abbreviated MMW or mmW. Millimetre-length electromagnetic waves were first investigated in the 1890s by Indian scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose.

Compared to lower bands, radio waves in this band have high atmospheric attenuation: they are absorbed by the gases in the atmosphere. Therefore, they have a short range and can only be used for terrestrial communication over about a kilometer. Absorption by humidity in the atmosphere is significant except in desert environments, and attenuation by rain (rain fade) is a serious problem even over short distances. However the short propagation range allows smaller frequency reuse distances than lower frequencies. The short wavelength allows modest size antennas to have a small beam width, further increasing frequency reuse potential.

Gravitational wave

Gravitational waves are disturbances in the curvature (fabric) of spacetime, generated by accelerated masses, that propagate as waves outward from their source at the speed of light. They were proposed by Henri Poincaré in 1905 and subsequently predicted in 1916 by Albert Einstein on the basis of his general theory of relativity. Gravitational waves transport energy as gravitational radiation, a form of radiant energy similar to electromagnetic radiation. Newton's law of universal gravitation, part of classical mechanics, does not provide for their existence, since that law is predicated on the assumption that physical interactions propagate instantaneously (at infinite speed) – showing one of the ways the methods of classical physics are unable to explain phenomena associated with relativity.

Gravitational-wave astronomy is a branch of observational astronomy that uses gravitational waves to collect observational data about sources of detectable gravitational waves such as binary star systems composed of white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes; and events such as supernovae, and the formation of the early universe shortly after the Big Bang.

In 1993, Russell A. Hulse and Joseph H. Taylor, Jr. received the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery and observation of the Hulse-Taylor binary pulsar, which offered the first indirect evidence of the existence of gravitational waves.On 11 February 2016, the LIGO and Virgo Scientific Collaboration announced they had made the first direct observation of gravitational waves. The observation was made five months earlier, on 14 September 2015, using the Advanced LIGO detectors. The gravitational waves originated from a pair of merging black holes. After the initial announcement the LIGO instruments detected two more confirmed, and one potential, gravitational wave events. In August 2017, the two LIGO instruments and the Virgo instrument observed a fourth gravitational wave from merging black holes, and a fifth gravitational wave from a binary neutron star merger. Several other gravitational wave detectors are planned or under construction.In 2017, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish for their role in the direct detection of gravitational waves.

Hearing range

Hearing range describes the range of frequencies that can be heard by humans or other animals, though it can also refer to the range of levels. The human range is commonly

given as 20 to 20,000 Hz, although there is considerable variation between individuals, especially at high frequencies, and a gradual loss of sensitivity to higher frequencies with age is considered normal. Sensitivity also varies with frequency, as shown by equal-loudness contours. Routine investigation for hearing loss usually involves an audiogram which shows threshold levels relative to a normal.

Several animal species are able to hear frequencies well beyond the human hearing range. Some dolphins and bats, for example, can hear frequencies up to 100,000 Hz. Elephants can hear sounds at 14–16 Hz, while some whales can hear infrasonic sounds as low as 7 Hz (in water).

High-frequency direction finding

High-frequency direction finding, usually known by its abbreviation HF/DF or nickname huff-duff, is a type of radio direction finder (RDF) introduced in World War II. High frequency (HF) refers to a radio band that can effectively communicate over long distances; for example, between U-boats and their land-based headquarters. HF/DF was primarily used to catch enemy radios while they transmitted, although it was also used to locate friendly aircraft as a navigation aid. The basic technique remains in use to this day as one of the fundamental disciplines of signals intelligence, although typically incorporated into a larger suite of radio systems and radars instead of being a stand-alone system.

HF/DF used a set of antennas to receive the same signal in slightly different locations or angles, and then used those slight differences in the signal to display the bearing to the transmitter on an oscilloscope display. Earlier systems used a mechanically rotated antenna (or solenoid) and an operator listening for peaks or nulls in the signal, which took considerable time to determine, often on the order of a minute or more. HF/DF's display made the same measurement essentially instantaneously, which allowed it to catch fleeting signals, such as those from the U-boat fleet.

The system was initially developed by Robert Watson-Watt starting in 1926, as a system for locating lightning. Its role in intelligence was not developed until the late 1930s. In the early war period, HF/DF units were in very high demand, and there was considerable inter-service rivalry involved in their distribution. An early use was by the RAF Fighter Command as part of the Dowding system of interception control, while ground-based units were also widely used to collect information for the Admiralty to locate U-boats. Between 1942 and 1944, smaller units became widely available and were common fixtures on Royal Navy ships. It is estimated HF/DF contributed to 24% of all U-boats sunk during the war.The basic concept is also known by several alternate names, including Cathode-Ray Direction Finding (CRDF), Twin Path DF, and for its inventor, Watson-Watt DF or Adcock/Watson-Watt when the antenna is considered.

High-frequency trading

In financial markets, high-frequency trading (HFT) is a type of algorithmic trading characterized by high speeds, high turnover rates, and high order-to-trade ratios that leverages high-frequency financial data and electronic trading tools. While there is no single definition of HFT, among its key attributes are highly sophisticated algorithms, co-location, and very short-term investment horizons. HFT can be viewed as a primary form of algorithmic trading in finance. Specifically, it is the use of sophisticated technological tools and computer algorithms to rapidly trade securities. HFT uses proprietary trading strategies carried out by computers to move in and out of positions in seconds or fractions of a second.In 2017, Aldridge and Krawciw estimated that in 2016 HFT on average initiated 10–40% of trading volume in equities, and 10–15% of volume in foreign exchange and commodities. Intraday, however, proportion of HFT may vary from 0% to 100% of short-term trading volume. Previous estimates reporting that HFT accounted for 60–73% of all US equity trading volume, with that number falling to approximately 50% in 2012 were highly inaccurate speculative guesses.

High-frequency traders move in and out of short-term positions at high volumes and high speeds aiming to capture sometimes a fraction of a cent in profit on every trade. HFT firms do not consume significant amounts of capital, accumulate positions or hold their portfolios overnight. As a result, HFT has a potential Sharpe ratio (a measure of reward to risk) tens of times higher than traditional buy-and-hold strategies. High-frequency traders typically compete against other HFTs, rather than long-term investors. HFT firms make up the low margins with incredibly high volumes of trades, frequently numbering in the millions.

A substantial body of research argues that HFT and electronic trading pose new types of challenges to the financial system. Algorithmic and high-frequency traders were both found to have contributed to volatility in the Flash Crash of May 6, 2010, when high-frequency liquidity providers rapidly withdrew from the market. Several European countries have proposed curtailing or banning HFT due to concerns about volatility.

High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) was initiated as an ionospheric research program jointly funded by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It was designed and built by BAE Advanced Technologies (BAEAT). Its original purpose was to analyze the ionosphere and investigate the potential for developing ionospheric enhancement technology for radio communications and surveillance. As a university-owned facility, HAARP is a high-power, high-frequency transmitter used for study of the ionosphere.

The most prominent instrument at HAARP is the Ionospheric Research Instrument (IRI), a high-power radio frequency transmitter facility operating in the high frequency (HF) band. The IRI is used to temporarily excite a limited area of the ionosphere. Other instruments, such as a VHF and a UHF radar, a fluxgate magnetometer, a digisonde (an ionospheric sounding device), and an induction magnetometer, are used to study the physical processes that occur in the excited region.

Work on the HAARP facility began in 1993. The current working IRI was completed in 2007; its prime contractor was BAE Systems Advanced Technologies. As of 2008, HAARP had incurred around $250 million in tax-funded construction and operating costs. In May 2014, it was announced that the HAARP program would be permanently shut down later in the year. After discussions between the parties, ownership of the facility and its equipment was transferred to the University of Alaska Fairbanks in August 2015.HAARP is a target of conspiracy theorists, who claim that it is capable of "weaponizing" weather. Commentators and scientists say that advocates of this theory are uninformed, as claims made fall well outside the abilities of the facility, if not the scope of natural science.

Modes of mechanical ventilation

Modes of mechanical ventilation are one of the most important aspects of the usage of mechanical ventilation. The mode refers to the method of inspiratory support. In general, mode selection is based on clinician familiarity and institutional preferences, since there is a paucity of evidence indicating that the mode affects clinical outcome. The most frequently used forms of volume-limited mechanical ventilation are intermittent mandatory ventilation (IMV) and continuous mandatory ventilation (CMV). There have been substantial changes in the nomenclature of mechanical ventilation over the years, but more recently it has become standardized by many respirology and pulmonology groups. Writing a mode is most proper in all capital letters with a dash between the control variable and the strategy (i.e. PC-IMV, or VC-MMV etc.)

Plastic welding

Plastic welding is welding for semi-finished plastic materials, and is described in ISO 472 as a process of uniting softened surfaces of materials, generally with the aid of heat (except solvent welding). Welding of thermoplastics is accomplished in three sequential stages, namely surface preparation, application of heat and pressure, and cooling. Numerous welding methods have been developed for the joining of semi-finished plastic materials. Based on the mechanism of heat generation at the welding interface, welding methods for thermoplastics can be classified as external and internal heating methods, as shown in Fig 1.

Production of a good quality weld does not only depend on the welding methods, but also weldability of base materials. Therefore, the evaluation of weldability is of higher importance than the welding operation (see Rheological weldability) for plastics.

Radio frequency

Radio frequency (RF) is the oscillation rate of an alternating electric current or voltage or of a magnetic, electric or electromagnetic field or mechanical system in the frequency range from around twenty thousand times per second (20 kHz) to around three hundred billion times per second (300 GHz). This is roughly between the upper limit of audio frequencies and the lower limit of infrared frequencies; these are the frequencies at which energy from an oscillating current can radiate off a conductor into space as radio waves. Different sources specify different upper and lower bounds for the frequency range.

Radio spectrum

The radio spectrum is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum with frequencies from 30 Hertz to 300 GHz. Electromagnetic waves in this frequency range, called radio waves, are extremely widely used in modern technology, particularly in telecommunication. To prevent interference between different users, the generation and transmission of radio waves is strictly regulated by national laws, coordinated by an international body, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).Different parts of the radio spectrum are allocated by the ITU for different radio transmission technologies and applications; some 40 radiocommunication services are defined in the ITU's Radio Regulations (RR). In some cases, parts of the radio spectrum are sold or licensed to operators of private radio transmission services (for example, cellular telephone operators or broadcast television stations). Ranges of allocated frequencies are often referred to by their provisioned use (for example, cellular spectrum or television spectrum). Because it is a fixed resource which is in demand by an increasing number of users, the radio spectrum has become increasingly congested in recent decades, and the need to utilize it more effectively is driving modern telecommunications innovations such as trunked radio systems, spread spectrum, ultra-wideband, frequency reuse, dynamic spectrum management, frequency pooling, and cognitive radio.

Super high frequency

Super high frequency (SHF) is the ITU designation for radio frequencies (RF) in the range between 3 and 30 gigahertz (GHz). This band of frequencies is also known as the centimetre band or centimetre wave as the wavelengths range from one to ten centimetres. These frequencies fall within the microwave band, so radio waves with these frequencies are called microwaves. The small wavelength of microwaves allows them to be directed in narrow beams by aperture antennas such as parabolic dishes and horn antennas, so they are used for point-to-point communication and data links and for radar. This frequency range is used for most radar transmitters, wireless LANs, satellite communication, microwave radio relay links, and numerous short range terrestrial data links. They are also used for heating in industrial microwave heating, medical diathermy, microwave hyperthermy to treat cancer, and to cook food in microwave ovens.

Frequencies in the SHF range are often referred to by their IEEE radar band designations: S, C, X, Ku, K, or Ka band, or by similar NATO or EU designations.

Terahertz radiation

Terahertz radiation – also known as submillimeter radiation, terahertz waves, tremendously high frequency (THF), T-rays, T-waves, T-light, T-lux or THz – consists of electromagnetic waves within the ITU-designated band of frequencies from 0.1 to 30 terahertz (THz). One terahertz is 1012 Hz or 1000 GHz. Wavelengths of radiation in the terahertz band correspondingly range from 1 mm to 0.1 mm (or 100 μm). Because terahertz radiation begins at a wavelength of one millimeter and proceeds into shorter wavelengths, it is sometimes known as the submillimeter band, and its radiation as submillimeter waves, especially in astronomy.

Terahertz radiation can penetrate thin layers of materials but is blocked by thicker objects. THz beams transmitted through materials can be used for material characterization, layer inspection, and as an alternative to X-rays for producing high resolution images of the interior of solid objects.Terahertz radiation occupies a middle ground between microwaves and infrared light waves known as the “terahertz gap”, where technology for its generation and manipulation is in its infancy. It represents the region in the electromagnetic spectrum where the frequency of electromagnetic radiation becomes too high to be measured digitally via electronic counters, so must be measured by proxy using the properties of wavelength and energy. Similarly, the generation and modulation of coherent electromagnetic signals in this frequency range ceases to be possible by the conventional electronic devices used to generate radio waves and microwaves, requiring the development of new devices and techniques.

Tesla coil

A Tesla coil is an electrical resonant transformer circuit designed by inventor Nikola Tesla in 1891. It is used to produce high-voltage, low-current, high frequency alternating-current electricity. Tesla experimented with a number of different configurations consisting of two, or sometimes three, coupled resonant electric circuits.

Tesla used these circuits to conduct innovative experiments in electrical lighting, phosphorescence, X-ray generation, high frequency alternating current phenomena, electrotherapy, and the transmission of electrical energy without wires. Tesla coil circuits were used commercially in sparkgap radio transmitters for wireless telegraphy until the 1920s, and in medical equipment such as electrotherapy and violet ray devices. Today, their main usage is for entertainment and educational displays, although small coils are still used as leak detectors for high vacuum systems.

Ultra high frequency

Ultra high frequency (UHF) is the ITU designation for radio frequencies in the range between 300 megahertz (MHz) and 3 gigahertz (GHz), also known as the decimetre band as the wavelengths range from one meter to one tenth of a meter (one decimeter). Radio waves with frequencies above the UHF band fall into the super-high frequency (SHF) or microwave frequency range. Lower frequency signals fall into the VHF (very high frequency) or lower bands. UHF radio waves propagate mainly by line of sight; they are blocked by hills and large buildings although the transmission through building walls is strong enough for indoor reception. They are used for television broadcasting, cell phones, satellite communication including GPS, personal radio services including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, walkie-talkies, cordless phones, and numerous other applications.

The IEEE defines the UHF radar band as frequencies between 300 MHz and 1 GHz. Two other IEEE radar bands overlap the ITU UHF band: the L band between 1 and 2 GHz and the S band between 2 and 4 GHz.

Very high frequency

Very high frequency (VHF) is the ITU designation for the range of radio frequency electromagnetic waves (radio waves) from 30 to 300 megahertz (MHz), with corresponding wavelengths of ten meters to one meter.

Frequencies immediately below VHF are denoted high frequency (HF), and the next higher frequencies are known as ultra high frequency (UHF).

Common uses for radio waves in the VHF band are FM radio broadcasting, television broadcasting, two way land mobile radio systems (emergency, business, private use and military), long range data communication up to several tens of kilometers with radio modems, amateur radio, and marine communications. Air traffic control communications and air navigation systems (e.g. VOR & ILS) work at distances of 100 kilometres (62 mi) or more to aircraft at cruising altitude.

In the Americas and many other parts of the world, VHF Band I was used for the transmission of analog television. As part of the worldwide transition to digital terrestrial television most countries require broadcasters to air television in the VHF range using digital rather than analog format.

Visible (optical)
Wavelength types
Subcarrier signals

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