K band

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K band
NATO K band
Frequency range
20 – 40 GHz
Wavelength range
1.5 cm – 7.5 mm
Related bands
IEEE K band
Frequency range
18 – 27 GHz
Wavelength range
1.67 – 1.11 cm
Related bands
  • J / K bands (NATO)
  • SHF (ITU)

K band designates certain portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, in either the microwave domain or in the infrared domain. The microwave K bands are used primarily for radar and satellite communications while the infrared K band is used for astronomical observations.

NATO K band[edit]

The NATO K band is the obsolete designation given to the radio frequencies from 20 to 40 GHz (equivalent to wavelengths between 1.5 and 0.75 cm) during the cold war period. Since 1992 frequency allocations, allotment and assignments are in line to NATO Joint Civil/Military Frequency Agreement (NJFA).[1] However, in order to identify military radio spectrum requirements, e.g. for crises management planning, training, Electronic warfare activities, or in military operations, this system is still in use.

NATO Radio spectrum designation
LATEST SYSTEM ALTERNATIVE SYSTEM
BAND FREQUENCY (MHz) BAND FREQUENCY (MHz)
A 0 – 250 I 100 – 150
B 250 – 500 G 150 – 225
C 500 – 1 000 P 225 – 390
D 1 000 – 2 000 L 390 – 1 550
E 2 000 – 3 000 S 1 550 – 3 900
F 3 000 – 4 000 C 3 900 – 6 200
G 4 000 – 6 000 X 6 200 – 10 900
H 6 000 – 8 000 K 10 900 – 36 000
I 8 000 – 10 000 Ku 10 900 – 20 000
J 10 000 – 20 000 Ka 20 000 – 36 000
K 20 000 – 40 000 Q 36 000 – 46 000
L 40 000 – 60 000 V 46 000 – 56 000
M 60 000 – 100 000 W 56 000 – 100 000

IEEE K band[edit]

The IEEE K band is a portion of the radio spectrum in the microwave range of frequencies ranging between 18 and 27 GHz. K band between 18 and 26.5 GHz is absorbed easily by water vapor (H2O resonance peak at 22.24 GHz, 1.35 cm).

Subdivisions[edit]

The IEEE K band is conventionally divided into three sub-bands:

  • Ka band: K-above band, 26.5–40 GHz, mainly used for radar and experimental communications. NASA's Kepler spacecraft is the first NASA mission to use Ka band DSN communications.[2]
  • K-band 18–27 GHz
  • Ku band: K-under band, 12–18 GHz, mainly used for satellite communications, terrestrial microwave communications, and radar, especially police traffic-speed detectors.

Amateur radio[edit]

The Radio Regulations of the International Telecommunication Union allow amateur radio and amateur satellite operations in the frequency range 24.000 GHz to 24.250 GHz, which is known as the 1.2-centimeter band. It is also referred to as the K band by AMSAT.

Infrared astronomy[edit]

In infrared astronomy, the K band refers to a different frequency range atmospheric transmission window centered on 2.2 µm (in the near-infrared 136 THz range).

References[edit]