IEEE frequency bands

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The Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) has defined as standard IEEE Standard 521-1984, a system of IEEE frequency bands for electromagnetic frequencies used for radio and radar. There is no question that the names of the bands are confusing, and the history is obscure. [1]

The terminology is used widely for radar, especially in civilian systems. The EU-NATO-US frequency bands for a nomenclature that works well in fine-grained radar band discussion, especially in electronic warfare.

The IEEE system is widely used, but lacks some fine granularity needed for discussing detailed radar examples, and only starts at 1 GHz; the designations below for the lower frequencies come from ITU frequency bands. The ITU designations are more useful when discussing radio.

Frequency range Wavelength IEEE band
300KHz-3 MHz 1 km to 100 meters MF
3-30 MHz 100 meters to 10 meters HF
30-300 MHz 10 meters to 1 meter VHF
300 MHz -3 GHz* 1 meter to 10 cm UHF
1-2 GHz 30 cm to 15 cm L band
2-4 GHz 15 cm to 5 cm S band
4-8 GHz 5 cm to 3.75 cm C band
8-12 GHz 3.75 cm to 2.5 cm X band
12-18 GHz 2.5 cm to 1.6 cm Ku band
18-26 GHz 1.6 cm to 1.2 cm K band
26-40 GHz 1.6 cm to 750 mm Ka band
40-75 GHz 750 mm to 40 mm V band
75 to 111 GHz 40 mm to 28mm W band
Above 111 GHz "millimeter wave"
  1. , Frequency letter bands"Microwave Encyclopedia", Microwaves101, 25 April 2008