CRFS, a leader in RF spectrum monitoring and geolocation solutions, was chosen by the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) of the United Arab Emirates to provide spectrum monitoring solutions for the for Expo 2020 currently being held in Dubai.

Expo 2020 was delayed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but is now underway and attracting large numbers of visitors. Exhibitors from 192 different counties are taking part and with so many organizations using and relying on the RF spectrum, there is a significant task for the regulator TDRA to manage spectrum allocations, guarantee safe operations and deal with any interference. TDRA chose CRFS to help it to meet this challenge with a network of high performance RFeye Node, RF receivers.

The RFeye Nodes cover all frequencies from 9 kHz to 18 GHz with excellent sensitivity and very high probability of signal intercept. They can geolocate the source of any interfering or unapproved transmissions using accurate time difference of arrival, enabling TDRA to respond rapidly.

“There were a number of interesting challenges in this project given the location and topography of the site,” said Malcolm Sellars, CRFS product manager. “Working with our UAE partner, Motabaqah Trading, we were able to install the network and get everything up and running really quickly. Heat might also have been an issue, but the RFeye Nodes had no problems, even with temperatures reaching 50°C. Also, with the majority of the signal processing happening on the Nodes, data backhaul requirements are low, and this allowed us to use wireless modems to connect the network, much simplifying the installation.”

CRFS’s RFeye Mission software, enabled TDRA to automate all the routine spectrum allocation and monitoring tasks, freeing up its operators to focus on any issues or problems using the expert real-time RFeye Site software. Portable RFeye Stormcase systems have also been provided to enable TRDA to carry out closer investigation of unauthorized signals and rapid deconfliction, wherever it might be needed.

Mohammed Al Blooshi, spectrum monitoring manager at TDRA, commented, “We have been very pleased with how CRFS was able to meet our requirements and provide and set up the RFeye network so quickly. We now have a complete picture of the RF spectrum over the Expo site ensuring that spectrum users at the Expo and other users outside are free from interference and can rely on the spectrum wherever and whenever they need to. Another important consideration for TDRA in choosing CRFS was the versatility of the RFeye systems and their ability to be quickly re-deployed. This will enable us subsequently to utilize the equipment in other locations and in other applications for long after the Expo has ended.”

The Dubai Expo2020 runs from  October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.