K-Band vs. Ka-Band Frequencies
K-band frequency communication offers good short-range, high throughput, and high resolution.
With focused spot beam and multiple beam technology, Ka-band frequency can be reused, which improves the capacity as well as coverage of the satellite communication.
The percentage of false alerts received in K-band radars is so high that they are rarely in use without false alert filtering.
Radar communication uses K-band as well as Ka-band frequencies
Radar detectors identify the presence of radar waves, which are typically X-band, K-band, or Ka-band frequencies. X-band, K-band, and Ka-band radar frequencies fall into different frequency bands, and they are chosen based on the radar application. There is often confusion about how to compare K-band vs. Ka-band frequencies, so let’s go over the advantages, applications, and challenges of each in this article.
K-band vs. Ka-Band Frequencies
According to the IEEE, K-band frequency ranges from 18 to 27 GHz. The wavelength of the K-band frequency ranges from 1.7 to 1.1 cm. In the electromagnetic spectrum, the K-band frequency lies between the Ku-band and Ka-band. The K-band frequency includes the peak resonance frequency of water vapor, i.e., 22.24 GHz, which makes this band unsuitable for long-range transmissions. However, K-band frequency communication offers good short range, high throughput, and high resolution.
The Ka-band is comprised of 27 GHz to 40 GHz frequency. The wavelength is between 1.1 cm to 0.75 cm. The Ka-band is regarded as the sub-classification of the K-band present in the electromagnetic spectrum. In law enforcement radar applications, the Ka-band radar frequencies are between 33.04 GHz and 36 GHz. The three main Ka-band radar frequencies are 33.8 GHz, 34.7 GHz, and 35.5 GHz.
There are several features and advantages to using K-band and Ka-band frequencies in various applications. The table below shows the 3 main advantages of each.
K-Band vs. Ka-Band Frequency: Advantages Comparison Table
Short-range communication is safe with K-band frequency. Law enforcement authorities adopt the K-band frequency due to its high performance, commonly using 24.125 GHz and 24.15 GHz. Some non-law enforcement applications of K-band frequency are automatic door openers, collision avoidance systems, and blind spot monitoring systems in vehicles.
Ka-band frequency can be used in high-resolution, close-range targeting radars, military aircraft, space telescopes, wireless point-point microwave communication systems, vehicle speed detection systems, and satellite communications. Ka-band frequencies are often used in satellite communication, as they provide wider bandwidth and higher data transfer rates. With the focused spot beam and multiple beam technology, Ka-band frequency can be reused, which improves the capacity as well as coverage of satellite communication. The capital cost in establishing Ka-band communication is less, as it offers reduced-size antennas and other associated systems.
Comparing False Alerts
False alerts are common in K-band radars, and they are rarely used without false alert filtering. Unfortunately, adding false alert filtering increases the cost of K-band radars.
False alerts are rarely obtained from Ka-band frequency-based radar systems.
Summary Comparison Table
When designing radar or weather forecasting systems employing K-band and Ka-band frequencies, Cadence’s suite of design and analysis tools can assist you in developing systems with optimum performance and cost-effectiveness. Cadence’s AWR software can support you in K- and Ka-band radar simulations with detailed analysis of RF-front-end components.
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