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Finding Minimum Values of Distances and Distance Ratios in ATS Spectrum Management

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Technical Report

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Preventing interference among radio circuits used for air traffic services ATS often requires spectrum managers to observe channel-assignment rules based on minimum ratios of the great-circle distances GCDs traversed by desired and undesired potentially interfering signals. Each circuit operates within a service volume of airspace having a circular or polygonal footprint on the surface of a spherical Earth. Minimizing undesired-to-desired GCD ratios with respect to these footprints can be significantly facilitated in many cases through the use of stereographic projection. Instead of performing the minimization using the footprints on the surface of the sphere, a stereographic projection of the footprints to the complex plane is performed to transform the original minimization problem into a simpler problem of minimizing a ratio of distances in the complex plane. This ratio can be expressed in terms of a single real variable and then minimized using the Newton-Raphson method. There are other assignment rules that require spectrum managers to observe channel assignment rules based on minimum distances between service volume footprints. Finding the minimum GCD distance between service volume footprints on the sphere can be done in an efficient manner using vector analysis, and as a result a closed form solution can be provided enabling the computation to be performed quickly. Procedures described in this paper have been incorporated into Spectrum Prospector, an automated tool developed by The MITRE Corporations Center for Advanced Aviation System Development CAASD to perform spectrum analysis studies for the Federal Aviation Administration FAA.

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  • Commercial and General Aviation
  • Radio Communications

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