The threat to weather radars by wireless technology
July 1, 2016
Wireless technology, such as local area telecommunication networks and surveillance cameras, causes severe interference for weather radars, because they use the same operational radio frequencies. One or two disturbances can be removed from the radar image, but the number and power of the interfering wireless devices are growing all over the world, threatening that one day the radars could not be used at all. Some agencies have already changed or are considering changing frequency bands, but now even other bands are under threat. Use of equipment at radio frequencies is regulated by laws and international agreements. Technologies have been developed for peaceful co-existence. If wireless devices use these technologies to protect weather radars, their data transmission capabilities become limited, so it is tempting to violate the regulations. Hence, it is an important task for the worldwide weather community to involve themselves in the radio-frequency management process and work in close contact with their National Radio Authorities to ensure that meteorological interests be duly taken into account in any decision making process toward the future usage of wireless devices.