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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about SENSR

What is SENSR?

SENSR (Spectrum Efficient National Surveillance Radar) is a cross-agency / department effort to examine the feasibility of making a minimum of 30 MHz of the 1300 to 1350 MHz spectrum band available for non-federal use.

Who is involved in the program?

The following agencies / departments are involved:

  • Department of Transportation (DOT) – Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Department of Defense (DOD)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – Now in an advisory role.

Why was the program formed?

Demand for the spectrum use is soaring due to technological innovation such as 4G mobile services, as well as the rapid expansion of wireless internet.

Prompted in part by this demand, the Spectrum Pipeline Act of 2015 requires federal agencies to submit a plan to free 30 MHz below 3.0 GHz for an auction that would take place by 2024.

The Spectrum Pipeline Act has incentivized federal agencies to be more spectrum efficient and in return agencies could obtain better surveillance solutions.

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How is it being funded?

The SENSR program is being funded through the federal government's Spectrum Reallocation Fund (SRF).

How would SENSR make bandwidth available?

The team is assessing the feasibility of acquiring new surveillance solutions (potentially radar or non-radar) for the legacy systems residing in the 1300 - 1350 MHz band.

Specifically, the agencies are looking to make at a minimum 30 MHz available in the 1300 to 1350 MHz band.

Is the government solution focused on phased array radar technology? Is this a radar program or a system of systems program?

The government team does not have any specific surveillance solution and is seeking feedback from industry on their proposed solutions.

The program's success will be based on the collaborative relationship between the government team and industry.

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If all goes well and auction is held in 2024, what would happen with the proceeds?

Auction proceeds would be provided to the federal agencies to cover costs related to relocation or spectrum sharing costs.

How much is the federal government estimating the return will be on vacating the spectrum?

The auction could potentially yield approximately $19 billion for the U.S. federal government.

How much funding has the program received to date?

The SENSR Program (FAA, DOD and DHS) is receiving approximately $71.6 million (combined) which is being used for Phase I. Each agency received funding according to what was provided in the Spectrum Pipeline Plan for Phase I.

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