APL Colloquium

September 14, 2018

Colloquium Topic: Defense of the Electro-Magnetic Spectrum

The electro-magnetic spectrum (EMS) is an essential element in an information dependent society. Utilizing spectrum effectively and efficiently is critical to maximizing the economic value of information.  Governing access to spectrum has long been recognized as a sovereign right within national borders, and nations coordinate as needed to minimize mutual interference issues.  In fact, coordination, which is a key part of spectrum management, is primarily a balance between enabling users to efficiently communicate information through the use of electro-magnetic spectrum while minimizing interference to other users.

Electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) access is a prerequisite for modern military operations. DoD’s growing requirements to gather, analyze, and share information rapidly; to control an increasing number of automated Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) assets; to command geographically dispersed and mobile forces to gain access into denied areas; and to “train as we fight” requires that DoD maintain sufficient spectrum access. Additionally, adversaries are aggressively developing and fielding electronic attack (EA) and cyberspace technologies that sig­nificantly reduce the ability of DoD to access the spectrum and conduct military operations. Concurrently, the global wireless broadband industry’s demand for spectrum is driven by consumer demand for greater mobility and better data access. These competing requirements for finite spectrum resources have changed the spectrum landscape, nationally and internationally, for the foreseeable future. Going forward, our national leaders will be challenged to make decisions that balance national security with economic interests.

Our challenge today is to determine how to best share this finite resource between these very different users and services.  We continue to project and see new demands for spectrum use as new technologies come of age, military and civilian, while few established systems relinquish their need for spectrum access.  Negotiations and coordination continues to be the approach, nationally and internationally, for determining how to best meet these resource demands and still ensure that spectrum needed to maintain a safe and secure society are maintained. 

We will discuss the fundamental issues facing spectrum managers and users today and we will be focusing on the complex processes taken within the Defense Department for identifying spectrum requirements and coordinating radio frequency spectrum.  The interlacing of defense spectrum use with civilian spectrum requires careful planning, well thought out policies, sound engineering, and excellent coordination to ensure that both the national defense mission as well as the successful functions of the spectrum dependent public are met.

Colloquium Speaker: Scott Hoschar and Beau Backus

Scott Hoschar is currently the Head of the MIDLANTAFC office. This office is one of nine DoD spectrum management offices in the United States and Possessions (US&P). The MIDLANTAFC office provides both local installation spectrum management support for the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division and the Atlantic Test Ranges at the Patuxent River, MD facility, as well as DOD level regional spectrum support for the Mid-Atlantic region from roughly New York to Florida. Mr. Hoschar has worked previously worked on the Chief of Naval Operations Staff in the Office of the Director, Space, Information Warfare, Command and Control Directorate (N6) in the Pentagon. He was assigned duties as the Director, Spectrum Management (SM) and Electromagnetic Environmental Effects (E3) Programs for the Department of the Navy. In this capacity, Mr. Hoschar was responsible for formulating and promulgating Department of the Navy policy and guidance with respect to the Department’s management and use of the electromagnetic spectrum. Mr. Hoschar has also worked at the HQ level of the Naval Air Systems Command ensuring that the Naval aviation teams appropriately addressed the multi-faceted and complex disciplines of E3 and Spectrum Management in the acquisition and development of all Naval Aviation systems and platforms. This included work in the NAVAIRSYSCOM Battlespace Systems Engineering Division. Mr. Hoschar has been a member of the DoD spectrum management community for over 23 years.

Beau Backus is a Spectrum Manager at NOAA/NESDIS HQ in Silver Spring, MD, and is a Senior Spectrum Manager in the Space Exploration Sector at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel.  Mr. Backus is a founding member of the Commercial Smallsat Spectrum Management Association.  He serves on the NTIA Policy & Programs Steering Group – Spectrum Working Group; the Space Frequency Coordination Group; the ESA/NASA/JAXA Frequency Coordination Meeting; and the DoD/NASA/DOC Pre-coordination group.  He served as a US Delegate to the successful World Radio Conference 15 in Geneva, Switzerland, and is now participating in several ITU and US working parties as we begin to prepare for WRC-19.  He chairs the ITU 4A sub-working group for studies relating to the frequency band 51.4−52.4 GHz for possible allocation to the fixed-satellite service (Earth-to-space) (agenda item 9.1.9).  Mr. Backus is a former Air Force officer and has been a member of the spectrum management community for over 30 years.