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Spectrum Supportability Process SSP

Spectrum Supportability 

Spectrum Supportability is the assurance that the necessary frequencies and bandwidth are available to military systems in order to maintain effective interoperability in the operational EME. The assessment of an equipment, or systems, as having “spectrum supportability" is based on, as a minimum, receipt of equipment spectrum certification (ESC), reasonable assurance of the availability of sufficient frequencies for operation, Host Nation Approval (HNA), and consideration of EMC.

  • Spectrum Supportability requires Certification
  • Consideration of worldwide allocations and Host Nation regulations
  • Consideration of future spectrum plans
  • Feedback early in the development process
  • Collaboration between acquisition and spectrum management community to mitigate risk

DoDI 4650.01, Policy and Procedures for Management and Use of the Electromagnetic Spectrum 

DoD Instruction (DoDI) 4650.01 (9 January 2009) identifies DoD policy that requires that a Spectrum Supportability (SS) determination be performed by the DoD Component that is developing or acquiring spectrum-dependent (S-D) equipment or systems.  This written determination shall be completed with the concurrence of the DoD Component or Component Chief Information Officer (CIO), and state whether there is reasonable assurance of SS.  Efforts to obtain SS should be initiated as early as possible during the Technology Development Phase for spectrum dependent equipment or systems.

Spectrum Supportability Risk Assessments (SSRAs)

"The purpose of the Spectrum Supportability Risk Assessment is "to affect design and procurement decisions" because the early identification of regulatory, technical and operational spectrum supportability risks minimizes the possibility that the spectrum-dependent (S-D) equipment cannot be employed to support Navy and Marine Corps requirements. Identified risks should be reviewed during acquisition milestones for programs of record and throughout a system’s life cycle." [CHIPS, Assessing Spectrum Supportability, March 2010]

Click here for more information on the SSRA Guidance and information.

DD Form 1494, Request for Equipment Spectrum Certification
  • Purpose:  Ensure DoD equipment and systems are designed to conform to applicable E3 standards, international and national tables of allocated frequency bands, and other frequency guidance
  • Submission reponsibility:  Equipment program office
  • Approval Responsibility:  ESG PWG of the Joint Frequency Panel (JFP)
    • Representatives from each Service
    • Technical Support from JSC
  • Methodology:  Review technical Characteristics on DD Form 1494 for compliance is a four stage process
    •  Stage 1:  Conceptual - Initial planning complete, including proposed frequency bands
    •  Stage 2:  Experimental - Preliminary design complete, radiation using test equipment  and preliminary models may be required
    •  Stage 3:  Developmental - Major design complete and radiation required for testing
    •  Stage 4:  Operational - Development is complete and final operating constraints or restrictions required to assure compatibility need to be identified

Host Nation Coordination

Spectrum is a national resource to be managed by each country. Granting approval to transmit within a country in consideration of potential interference to local receivers are key issues at the discretion of each host nation.
Use by the DoD of U.S. commercial and military C-E systems in host nations requires coordination and negotiation including approvals and certifications.

The Spectrum Supportability Process will be applicable to all equipment or systems that require utilization of the electromagnetic spectrum, and will be composed of:
  • Equipment Spectrum Certification
  • Host Nation Supportability Assessment
  • Electromagnetic Environmental Effects (E3) Assessment.

Global Spectrum Issues

The Canadian government has refused to accept four Cyclone test helicopters because that they are non-compliant because certain flight systems, an engine computer, and the engines are not sufficiently shielded against electromagnetic waves. The Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone helicopters are slated to replace CH-124 Sea Kings, that have been in operation since 1963.

Canadian Air Force Helicopters Beset with EMI Woes (Interference Technology, 09/19/2013)

LightSquared Subsidiary LLC is a company seeking FCC approval to provide a wholesale, nationwide, wireless broadband network integrated with satellite coverage. They intend to combine its existing satellite communications services with a ground-based 4G-LTE network that transmits on the same radio band as its satellites. The band is right next to the primary Global Positioning System (GPS) frequency (L1).  The Global Positioning System (GPS) community was concerned because testing has shown LightSquared's ground-based transmissions would overpower the relatively weak GPS L1 signals from space. Although LightSquared would operate in its own authorized band, the band is so close to the GPS signals that many GPS devices could pick up the stronger LightSquared signals and become overloaded or saturated. There is also concern that millions of existing GPS users could be forced to upgrade their devices and/or accept GPS performance losses to accommodate the new network. On February 14, 2012, the FCC moved to stop LightSquared's planned national broadband network after being informed by the NTIA, "the federal agency that coordinates spectrum uses for the military and other federal government entities, that there is no practical way to mitigate potential interference at this time." LightSquared is challenged the FCC's action.

(Wireless Week - 4/30/2013)

ITU global standard for international mobile telecommunications

For the last 20 years, ITU has been coordinating efforts of government and industry and private sector in the development of a global broadband multimedia international mobile telecommunication system, known as IMT. Since 2000, the world has seen the introduction of the first family of standards derived from the IMT concept. Since May 2007, there are more than 1 billion IMT-2000 subscribers in the world!

´IMT-Advanced´ provides a global platform on which to build the next generations of mobile services - fast data access, unified messaging and broadband multimedia - in the form of exciting new interactive services.

GPS Modernization with New Civil Signals

A major focus of the GPS modernization program is the addition of new navigation signals to the satellite constellation. The new signals are phasing in incrementally as the Air Force launches new GPS satellites to replace older ones. Most of the new signals will be of limited use until they are broadcast from 18 to 24 satellites.  The government is in the process of fielding three new signals designed for civilian use: L2C, L5, and L1C. The legacy civil signal, called L1 C/A or C/A at L1, will continue broadcasting in the future, for a total of four civil GPS signals.

Roles and Responsibilities


From:   Annual Report on the Status of Spectrum Repurposing (August 2019)

U.S. Department of Commerce
Wilbur L. Ross, Secretary
Douglas W. Kinkoph, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information
August 2019

A summary description of the status of current spectrum repurposing efforts of NTIA and the FCC, 

during the period covered by report (Jan.1, 2018 through June 30, 2019), band by band.

Frequency BandRepurposing Status
512-698 MHzThis band with non-federal allocations (84 MHz) was repurposed from UHF television broadcasting to licensed wireless broadband (70 MHz) and unlicensed devices and wireless microphones (14 MHz). New wireless licenses were awarded and incumbent full power and Class A TV station licensees were assigned new channels through the Broadcast Incentive Auction. The post-auction transition to repack broadcast licensees into a smaller band and clear the 600 MHz band for new wireless licensees is underway.
809-817 MHz
854-862 MHz
The FCC updated its rules to provide public safety organizations and other private land mobile radio users with access to as many as 318 new “interstitial” channels in the 800 MHz band.
896-901 MHz
935-940 MHz
In March 2019, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to reconfigure the 900 MHz band to facilitate the development of broadband technologies and services, including for critical infrastructure.
1300-1350 MHzThis band (50 MHz) is used for both federal and non-federal radar and is under study for sharing with wireless services, with a goal of auctioning at least 30 megahertz by July 1, 2024, if relocation, sharing, or a combination thereof proves feasible.
1526-1536 MHz
1627.5-1637.5 MHz
1646.5-1656.5 MHz
These three sub-bands (30 MHz) are within the 1525-1559 MHz and 1626.5-1660 MHz bands allocated for federal and non-federal mobile satellite services (including an ancillary terrestrial component (ATC)). The current licensee has asked the FCC for a modification to its license to authorize stand-alone terrestrial wireless operations.
1675-1680 MHzThis band (5 MHz) is currently allocated for federal and non-federal meteorological aids and satellite services; it is under study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and is the subject of an FCC rulemaking proceeding to determine if the band could be shared with commercial terrestrial wireless services. Results from the NOAA study are expected in 2020.
1695-1710 MHz 
1755-1780 MHz
2155-2180 MHz
The FCC auctioned these “AWS-3” bands (65 MHz) in 2015 to accommodate licensed wireless services, with some continued federal sharing at selected locations. The transition is ongoing and is slated to be completed by 2025.
2020-2025 MHzThis band with a non-federal allocation (5 MHz) is currently allocated on a co-primary basis to the fixed and mobile services.

Frequency BandRepurposing Status
2496-2690 MHzThe FCC released a public draft Report and Order (R&O) that would provide greater flexibility to current Educational Broadband Service (EBS) licensees and create new opportunities for additional entities, including Tribal Nations, to obtain unused 2.5 GHz band spectrum.
3100-3550 MHzThis band (450 MHz), with a primary federal allocation for radiolocation, is under study to determine the feasibility of sharing the band, or a portion thereof, with commercial wireless services. A report is due to the Commission and the appropriate committees of Congress by March 2020. Portions of this band are used for non-federal radiolocation, space research, earth exploration satellites, and amateur services (on a secondary basis).
3550-3650 MHzThis band with both federal and non-federal allocations (100 MHz), together with the 3650-3700 MHz band, has been made available for the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (or CBRS) under an innovative sharing approach that allows ongoing federal radar use. The FCC has enacted a tiered licensing structure to repurpose this band for use by commercial wireless services. The FCC and the NTIA have taken a number of actions towards implementing this sharing approach.
3700-4200 MHzThis is a band with a non-federal allocation that is currently used primarily by commercial satellite systems. The FCC has commenced a rulemaking proposing to make some or all of the band available for terrestrial wireless. The FCC also must report to Congress in September 2019 on the feasibility of making the band available for licensed or unlicensed commercial wireless services.
4940-4990 MHzThe Commission is exploring ways to expand investment in and the use of the 4.9 GHz band.
5850-5925 MHzThis band is allocated for federal radars on a primary basis. FCC authorized Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) in the co-primary mobile service, under Part 95, Sub-Part L and 90.371 of the FCC rules. The FCC, NTIA, DoD, and DoT are studying the potential for unlicensed use of this band (or a portion of it), and whether this use, or expansion of the DSRC to other vehicular services, would be compatible with each other and incumbent operations. Phase I of a multi-phase testing plan was completed in 2018; Phase II will commence in Summer 2019.
5925-6425 MHz
6425-7125 MHz
The FCC has proposed rules under which these bands with non-federal allocations would be made available to address the expected growth of Wi-Fi and Internet of things (IoT) devices. In addition, federal agencies and NTIA have a pending proposal at the FCC to implement the results of WRC-07 and make the 5925-6700 MHz band

Frequency BandRepurposing Status
24.25–24.45 GHz
24.75–25.25 GHz*
The FCC made 700 MHz of spectrum available in the 24 GHz band under flexible-use rules and conducted an auction of licenses in this band.6
27.5–28.35 GHz*The FCC made 850 MHz of spectrum available in the 28 GHz band under flexible-use rules and completed an auction of 28 GHz licenses.
25.25-27.5 GHz
42-42.5 GHz
The FCC sought comment on potential shared use of the 26 GHz and 42 GHz bands.
37-37.6 GHzThe FCC sought comment on a mechanism for shared use of the lower 37 GHz band by Federal and non-Federal entities.
37.6-38.6 GHz
38.6-40 GHz
47.2-48.2 GHz*
The FCC made 3.4 GHz of spectrum available in the upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands, and established an incentive auction mechanism to assign new licenses for contiguous spectrum in these bands while preserving incumbents’ existing spectrum usage rights in the 39 GHz band.
50.4–52.6 GHzThe FCC sought comment on making this band available for flexible terrestrial use, and it adopted rules to allow fixed-satellite service operators to operate with individually licensed earth stations transmitting in the 50.4-51.4 GHz portion of this band.
64-71 GHzThe FCC made 7 GHz of unlicensed spectrum available in the 64-71 GHz band, adjacent to another 7 GHz of unlicensed spectrum in the 57-64 GHz band.
95-3000 GHzThe FCC created a new category of experimental licenses for use of frequencies between 95 GHz and 3 TeraHertz (THz).
116-123 GHz
174.8-182 GHz
185-190 GHz
244-246 GHz
The FCC made available just over 21 GHz of spectrum for unlicensed use in these shared bands with federal and non-federal allocations.



Spectrum Tools

DD Form 1494 Process       

NTIA Redbook        

Spectrum Dashboard

For questions regarding any of the information located in the Spectrum and E3 Compliance CoP, please contact the Joint Spectrum Center at:

Reference4/9/2019 3:22 PM
DOD SPECTRUM Strategy Electronic Final.pdf
Report11/27/2017 1:35 PM
Findings and Recommendations of the study 9 27 2005 v5.doc
Lessons Learned8/22/2017 12:59 PM
JSV 2010.pdf
Reference5/16/2017 7:08 PM
NTIA Manual.aspx
Reference5/16/2017 7:08 PM
138 174 NB Info Paper.doc
Case Study5/16/2017 7:08 PM
NTIA Website Info on the IRAC.aspx
Learning Material5/16/2017 7:08 PM
Spectrum Dashboard.aspx
Learning Material8/1/2015 1:21 AM
Shellman SSRA article jite 31 02 284.pdf
Learning Material8/1/2015 1:21 AM
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