W Overview

W band of the microwave part of the electromagnetic spectrum ranges from 75 to 110 GHz. It sits above the U.S. IEEE designated V band (50–75 GHz) in frequency, yet overlaps the NATO designated M band (60–100 GHz). The W band is used for millimeter wave radar research, military radar targeting and tracking applications, and some non-military applications.

A number of passive millimetre-wave cameras for concealed weapons detection operate at 94 GHz. A frequency around 77 GHz is used for automotive cruise control radar. The atmospheric radio window at 94 GHz is used for imaging millimetre-wave radar applications in astronomy, defense, and security applications.

Less-than-lethal weaponry exists that uses millimeter waves to heat a thin layer of human skin to an intolerable temperature so as to make the targeted person move away. A two-second burst of the 95 GHz focused beam heats the skin to a temperature of 130 °F (54 °C) at a depth of 1/64th of an inch (0.4 mm). The United States Air Force and Marines United States Marine Corps are currently using this type of Active Denial System.

The 71 - 76 GHz / 81 - 86 GHz segment of the W-band is allocated by the International Telecommunication Union to satellite services. Because of increasing spectrum and orbit congestion at lower frequencies, W-band satellite allocations are of increasing interest to commercial satellite operators, although no commercial project has yet been implemented in these bands.


 
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The microwave spectrum is usually defined as electromagnetic energy ranging from approximately 1 GHz to 100 GHz in frequency, but older usage includes lower frequencies. Most common applications are within the 1 to 40 GHz range. Microwave frequency bands, as defined by the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB), are shown in the table below:



Footnote: P band is sometimes incorrectly used for Ku Band. "P" for "previous" was a radar band used in the UK ranging from 250 to 500 MHz and now obsolete per IEEE Std 521, see and .. For other definitions see
 

 

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