Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Douglas Sicker

Second Advisor

Dale Hatfield

Third Advisor

Kenneth Baker


The increase in mobile broadband data services has created significant demand for spectrum. Based on a low supply spectrum market, there is major interest in sharing spectrum between incumbent users and mobile broadband services. Radars are a large user of spectrum worldwide, therefore are a potential sharing partner. Mobile broadband service operators are trending toward small cell architectures. Therefore, it is imperative to develop appropriate spectrum sharing policy that supports both incumbent radar protection and spectrum utilization by small cell systems. One vital aspect of developing appropriate sharing policy is accurately modeling the interference potential between services. The thesis examines if it is suitable to apply traditional propagation models and interference modeling methods for spectrum policy-making activities regarding small cell network architectures. The advances in technology that support spectrum sharing should not be bottlenecked by legacy interference modeling techniques when more granular methods are currently available. A specific scenario was selected for detailed analysis which is ship-borne naval radars interacting with small cell systems in the 3550-3650 MHz band. NTIA recommended ship-borne radar exclusion zones were analyzed using modern propagation modeling methods and compared to traditional modeling work completed by the NTIA. Modeling of aggregate interference impacts from small cell systems to ship-borne radars was completed. The new methods showed that ship-borne radar exclusion zones can be significantly reduced in ship-borne radar operation areas. In addition, it was found that there was insufficient information provided by the NTIA in regards to radar equipment specifications to accurately model interference potential. We conclude that the ITM propagation model was insufficient for accurate modeling of small cell systems. Correspondingly, to accurately model small cell systems in a site-specific manner, the use of higher resolution geographic data and a propagation model that can utilize this data is necessary. It was also found that small cell device loading for aggregate interference impact analysis can be accomplished through use of census and city data and can be done in site-specific manner.