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X band

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Title: X band  
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Subject: Super high frequency, Indian Deep Space Network, Radio spectrum, MWband/doc, Microwave
Collection: Microwave Bands, Radar, Radio Frequency Propagation
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X band

IEEE X band
Frequency range
8.0 – 12.0 GHz
Wavelength range
3.75 – 2.5 cm
Related bands

The X band is a segment of the microwave radio region of the electromagnetic spectrum. In some cases, such as in communication engineering, the frequency range of the X band is rather indefinitely set at approximately 7.0 to 11.2 gigahertz (GHz). In radar engineering, the frequency range is specified by the IEEE at 8.0 to 12.0 GHz.


  • Satellite communications 1
  • Radar 2
  • Terrestrial communications and networking 3
  • Space communications 4
  • Amateur radio 5
  • Other uses 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Satellite communications

For military communications satellites, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has assigned the X band uplink frequency band (for sending modulated signals) as from 7.9 to 8.4 GHz. The ITU-assigned downlink frequency band (for receiving signals) is from 7.25 to 7.75 GHz. The US military uses all frequencies in this spectrum; however, they use select signals on the frequencies throughout this spectrum. The typical local oscillator frequency of an X band low-noise block converter (LNB) is 6300 MHz. Both of these frequency bands are 500 MHz wide.

In engineering, this pair of frequency bands may be referred to as the 8 / 7 GHz X band satellite communications system.


An X-Band radar antenna.

X band is used in radar applications including continuous-wave, pulsed, single-polarization, dual-polarization, synthetic aperture radar, and phased arrays. X band radar frequency sub-bands are used in civil, military, and government institutions for weather monitoring, air traffic control, maritime vessel traffic control, defense tracking, and vehicle speed detection for law enforcement.[1]

X band is often used in modern radars. The shorter wavelengths of the X band allow for higher resolution imagery from high-resolution imaging radars for target identification and discrimination.

Terrestrial communications and networking

In Ireland, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Canada, the X band 10.15 to 10.7 segment is used for terrestrial broadband. Alvarion, CBNL, and Ogier make systems for this, though each has a proprietary airlink. The Ogier system is a full duplex Transverter used for DOCSIS over microwave. The home / Business CPE has a single coaxial cable with a power adapter connecting to an ordinary cable modem. The local oscillator is usually 9750 MHz, the same as for Ku band satellite TV LNB. Two way applications such as broadband typically use a 350 MHz TX offset.

Space communications

Portions of the X band are assigned by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) exclusively for deep space telecommunications. The primary user of this allocation is the American NASA Deep Space Network (DSN). DSN facilities are located in Goldstone, California (in the Mojave Desert), near Canberra, Australia, and near Madrid, Spain.

These three stations, located approximately 120 degrees apart in longitude, provide continual communications from the Earth to almost any point in the Solar System independent of Earth rotation. DSN stations are capable of using the older and lower S band deep-space radio communications allocations, and some higher frequencies on a more-or-less experimental basis, such as in the K band.

Notable deep space probe programs that have employed X band communications include the Viking Mars landers; the Voyager missions to Jupiter, Saturn, and beyond; the Galileo Jupiter orbiter; the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper belt, the Curiosity rover and the Cassini-Huygens Saturn orbiter.

An important use of the X band communications came with the two Viking program landers. When the planet Mars was passing near or behind the Sun, as seen from the Earth, a Viking lander would transmit two simultaneous continuous-wave carriers, one in the S band and one in the X band in the direction of the Earth, where they were picked up by DSN ground stations. By making simultaneous measurements at the two different frequencies, the resulting data enabled theoretical physicists to verify the mathematical predictions of Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. These results are some of the best confirmations of the General Theory of Relativity.

Amateur radio

The Radio Regulations of the International Telecommunication Union allow amateur radio operations in the frequency range 10.000 to 10.500 GHz,[2] and amateur satellite operations are allowed in the range 10.450 to 10.500 GHz. This is known as the 3-centimeter band by amateurs and the X-band by AMSAT.

Other uses

Motion detectors often use 10.525 GHz.[3] 10.4 GHz is proposed for traffic light crossing detectors. Comreg in Ireland has allocated 10.450 GHz for Traffic Sensors as SRD.[4]

Many electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrometers operate near 9.8 GHz.

See also


  1. ^ Radar Bands
  2. ^ VHF Handbook of IARU Region 1 (2006), pg. 50
  3. ^ 10GHz Wideband Transceiver
  4. ^

External links

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