Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
the research laboratory of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration

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2014 Outstanding Publication Award

Michael Cotton and Roger Dalke were honored by their peers with the ITS Outstanding Publication Award in the NTIA Report category for their NTIA Technical Report TR-14-500, "Spectrum Occupancy Measurements of the 3550–3650 Megahertz Maritime Radar Band Near San Diego, California." 

This report presents 3.5 GHz maritime radar occupancy data measured near San Diego in June 2012. Its timely publication played a critical role in subsequent policy decisions related to this band. First, it provided the only quantitative evaluation of 3.5 GHz incumbent usage in a presumably high-use location. Second, the report is clear and comprehensive in its description of the optimal measurement strategy, allowing the engineering or research community to validate and replicate the techniques for monitoring, coordination, and (eventually) enforcement purposes. Finally, this report established a technical foundation for the NTIA Spectrum Monitoring Pilot Program pursuant to the 2013 Presidential Memorandum (June 14, 2013) that gave direction for NTIA to initiate such a program.

A panel of the authors' peers found that the main body of the report is clearly and concisely written and conclusive results are well illustrated. In the context of the 3.5 GHz measurements, this report also provides an especially comprehensive treatment of a broader subject—spectrum occupancy estimation from measurement. The rigorous mathematical framework developed in the first two appendices is original theoretical work in this field of study, applying renewal theory as a model for spectrum usage (in general). Mathematical definitions for channel and band occupancy are given, and expressions for confidence intervals of occupancy estimates derived from independent and dependent sampling assumptions.