Future Trends

DOD to Focus on Protecting Avionics Instruments Instead of Delaying 5G Deployment


DOD to Focus on Protecting Avionics Instruments Instead of Delaying 5G Deployment

The Department of Defense will end its bid to stop the Federal Communications Commission's C-band spectrum auction and will instead focus on protecting aviation equipment from interference.

DOD leaders and other agencies recently released a memo asking the FCC to stop the sale after multiple commercial aviation groups said the move could lead to "catastrophic failures," Defense News reported Thursday.

“The approach should be not on trying to slow down 5G metro deployment, but speeding up development and testing of mitigations that can serve as an interim gap until avionics manufacturers can harden their systems," said Alan Burke, the chairman of the DOD's Aviation Cyber Initiative Task Force. 

Burke said the DOD will focus on identifying and addressing the risks that 5G in metropolitan areas has on military aircraft. The long-term challenge is the development of avionics systems resilient to out-of-band interference and understanding how to mitigate risks, he added. 

The Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics said in October that 5G activities in the 3.7 GHz-3.98 GHz range of the band could interfere with radar altimeters operating in the 4.2 GHz-.4.4 GHz portion.

The RTCA only accounted for radar altimeters on commercial and civil aircraft, but the military also operates on the same part of the spectrum, Burke said. 

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that the 5G auction faced technical, legal, practical and political challenges in the auction. and that pushing through with the auction was worth it despite the concerns. 

“It would have been easy to delay. But we rightly pushed ahead and overcame every one of those obstacles. As a result, we significantly advanced United States leadership in 5G and have enabled America’s wireless consumers to more quickly benefit from 5G services," Pai added. 

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Category: Future Trends