FCC Interference Investigation Resources & Radio Frequency Radiation Safety Assessment

Course Description

This course was developed in response to a large number of requests following webinar presentation of related topics which did not allow hands-on and detailed student and instructor dialogue. This in-person course will offer training by the Enforcement Bureau of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in the following topic areas: Introduction to the FCC and its Enforcement Bureau: Discussion of the FCC’s spectrum allocation and management functions with explanation of its rulemaking process. Emphasized will be the responsibilities and structure of the FCC Enforcement Bureau and explanation of the processes of investigating complaints and conducting inspections. It will introduce some of the specialized spectrum monitoring equipment used by FCC field agents. Introduction to Spectrum Monitoring and RF Interference Resolution: Will provide participants basic techniques of spectrum monitoring. Discussed will be the purpose and capabilities of different types of spectrum monitoring equipment. The instruction will then define/classify different types of RF interference, and key information needed from interference complaints. After gaining a better understanding of the interference issues, practical techniques will then be applied for analysis and resolution. Effects of Quality of Service to Cellular Network Due to Interference: Will introduce various Quality of Service (QoS) measurements for Cellular Communications Systems and provide examples of identified signal sources that adversely impacted the QoS of these systems. The course will also describe some of the techniques used in locating these interfering signal sources. RF Spectrum Monitoring & Direction Finding: The Right Tools for the Right Problem: Will provide class members with an introduction to the various popular testing tools used for spectrum monitoring and direction finding. The training will relate specifics of common testing methods for each application and will differentiate use cases for a spectrum monitoring tool versus a direction finding/interference hunting tool. The course will also address upcoming trends in these test tools. This topic will conclude with practical application of test tools using examples from real interference investigations. Overview of Radio Frequency Radiation Assessments and On-Site Measurements: This training will introduce and explore the areas concerning Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR). It will commence with the RFR basics such as what is exposure, why we are concerned, and what are the biological effects of exposure for 7 GHz and below and for mmWave base stations operating in the 24 to 53 GHz bands. Described will be how to quantify exposure and explain why certain frequency bands have more concerns for full body exposure. Also addressed will be some of the concerns with respect to the new 5G base stations utilizing MIMO (Multiple Input and Multiple Output) with beam steering. Also included will be a review of different standards adopted by countries for setting limits based on frequency and power density (mW/cm2); a look at FCC Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE) limits, below 6 GHz and above 6 GHz to 100 GHz regarding Occupational Workers and the General Public; discussion of what constitutes a good RFR Safety Program and contrast compliant versus non-compliant sites by using examples; Review of the basics for conducting an RFR Survey using a meter and probe, and more.

Learning Objective

To obtain good working knowledge of the above special enforcement-related topics and tools.


Federal Communications Commission


Columbia, MD

Training Dates

June 13 to 16, 2023


Spectrum Monitoring Sequence