In a progressively connected world with a growing demand for frequency bandwidth and its commercial value, the electromagnetic spectrum has become a critical resource. Considered a national asset for technological advancement and economic growth, governments and their communications regulatory authorities focus on monitoring and managing this resource to maximize its benefit and prevent misuse and pollution of the spectrum.
Rapidly growing economies such as those in the Middle East, with emerging smart cities and digital societies, depend heavily on the electromagnetic spectrum as devices, homes, equipment, transportation and other technologies become more interconnected. Because of this, countries in the Middle East boast some of the most developed information and communications technology (ICT) regulators around the world, as recently stated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
In these and other countries, emerging technologies such as 5G is rapidly changing the frequency spectrum landscape, requiring an evolving approach to managing and regulating the spectrum. Although new frequency bands expand the capacity of networks to meet growing demand and enhance the speed and quality of data services, the increasing use of higher frequencies allow for much shorter-range waves and lower-power signals, requiring more dynamic approaches to monitoring. Today’s spectrum environment necessitates a combination of large-scale strategic systems and agile, deployable solutions to effectively manage the use of this invisible resource.
HENSOLDT South Africa’s GEW business unit (previously GEW Technologies), offers spectrum management and monitoring solutions to address the evolving challenges of the ICT sector, from standalone products and single stations, to regional and nationwide strategic systems. Meeting the specific needs of clients and their unique operating environments, GEW’s scalable and modular systems are custom-designed to optimally blend the use of large fixed stations, agile mobile systems and smart sensors.
Spectrum Management and Monitoring
GEW develops a range of core technology products, such as monitoring receivers, direction finders, specialised antennas and software solutions. Specialising in bespoke integrated systems, GEW brings these solutions together on portable, transportable, mobile and fixed platforms.
Specifically designed for spectrum monitoring applications, GEW’s software suites provide a user-friendly interface with these products and solutions, allowing integration and exchange of information between spectrum management databases and monitoring solutions, tasking the monitoring systems and reporting the results.
GEW’s SkyManager system automates the spectrum management environment, combining middleware and various user interfaces into a comprehensive software ecosystem with sophisticated management tools. The system’s workflows allow for the automation of complex spectrum management tasks, reducing unnecessary risk or delays in the licensing process and offer a user-friendly experience for system operators and their licence applicants. SkyManager simplifies and optimises frequency licence management, frequency occupancy analysis, frequency allocation management, fee-calculation and ensures data integrity. SkyManager combines a host of technical tools and integrates seamlessly with spectrum monitoring sensor systems.
Portable and transportable monitoring solutions provide the capability to swiftly deploy spectrum-monitoring equipment in optimal locations for agile monitoring operations. Lightweight equipment is used with quad-pods or carried on operators’ backs, offering optimal flexibility of use.
Mobile monitoring stations employ high performance HF, V/UHF and SHF wideband direction finders and monitoring receivers that are integrated into vehicles for monitoring on the move. The compact and rugged design of the equipment makes it ideal for mobile applications and front-line operations, covering areas that cannot be monitored via fixed stations. These platforms are indispensable for the identification of unauthorised transmitters and threat emitters, as well as interference handling, including location identification. Mobile station equipment is controlled locally by its operators, or remotely from a control centre using the SkyMon-CC software suite.
Fixed direction-finding and monitoring stations are used for wide-area data collection, offering fully remote-controlled operations and automated monitoring tasks. Hybrid TDoA/AoA capability allow direction finders in this configuration to form part of a fixed sensor network for real-time transmitter geo-location.
Fixed and mobile stations can also be combined on a regional or national scale to provide a network of integrated tools for verification of licensing compliance, channel occupancy, spectrum planning and regulatory enforcement.
Spectrum Monitoring Training
The first step in successful spectrum management and monitoring starts with a solid foundation in electronic communication techniques. GEW offers hands-on practical training that teaches participants the fundamentals of direction finding and monitoring according to ITU recommendations. GEW’s experienced and knowledgeable trainers deliver an essential background required in the field of spectrum monitoring and measurement.
Because GEW recognises the significance of continuous operations and optimal performance in challenging operating environments, we partner with our clients from custom design, to implementation, delivery and beyond – maximising the capability and serviceability of their systems. GEW has a team of specialists committed to supporting our systems throughout the world – assisting clients with in-country technical and logistics support, training, maintenance, repairs and upgrades.
Our focus is not only on delivering world-class products, systems and service, but on partnering with our clients to achieve their operational mission and strategic vision. That is why we work with our clients to advance their national defence industry and grow their economy through localisation of production and integration, skills and knowledge transfer, as well as job creation.
HENSOLDT is a pioneer of technology and innovation in the area of defence and security electronics. The company, headquartered in Taufkirchen near Munich, is a market leader in civilian and military sensor solutions. It develops new products to counter a wide variety of threats based on innovative concepts in such fields as big data, robotics and cyber security.