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The Frequency Spectrum.

The full frequency spectrum range begins at zero Hertz (which is effectively Direct Current) right up to ionisation radiation.

It passes through the audio range, the RF range, through the invisible and visible light and colour ranges right up to x-rays, y-rays and gamma rays which is basically in the nuclear weapon range.

The frequency wave itself gets higher as the wave lenght get shorter.

The Frequency Spectrum

Very Low Frequency (VLF)

These radio waves are very long wave form between 10km and 100km, and bounce along the ground surface. These waves are used by the maritime community for navigation and communication. Even submarines still tow antennae that can be 10km long for long distance communication and the ground stations have similar very large antennas.

Low Frequency (LF)

These have a wave lenght between 1km and 10km and travel long distances. Low Frequency is still used in Europe, Africa to broadcast sound but is being replaced by GPS now (remember this date of logging this is 2010).


Medium Frequency (MF)

Have a distance of about 100m to 1000m and propagate by reflecting off the E layer of the ionosphere formed at the altitude of around 100km. Because of the charactoristics that ensure relatively stabe propagation over long distances it is used for sound broadcasting. Although when broadcasting you require a very large mast antenna the receiving antenna only needs to be small (ie - your small radio antenna).

High Frequency (HF)

Wave lengths range between 10m and 100m but can travel around the globe because they reflec off the F layer of the ionosphere which is at 200 - 400km above.

The wave form is used for maritime communication, aviation communication and international broadcasting.

Very High Frequency (VHF)

Range between 1m and 10m and basically can bend around buildings and terrain however, it really is "line of sight'. This frequency is used for VHF TV broadcasting, FM radio and some mobile communication..


Ultra High Frequency (UHF)

10cm to 1m - used in UHF TV broadcasting and for mobile communication whereby you only require a small antenna.

Super High Frequency (SHF)

Just 1cm to 10cm - and will only propagate in the "line of sight" therefore only used in unique applications with specific direction. It is used in fixed links between telephone exchanges, satellite communications and broadcasting. It is also used in radar.




Extremely High Frequency (EHF)

Unbelievably small wave forms, measuring merely 1mm to 10mm in height - This wave form will only travel in straight lines and rain can disrupt it's path. It is used in short range radio communications, although it does have uses in radio astronomy.

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This page was last modified on 25 November 2010 and maybe out of date with regards to its information at the time of reading this article. The information above is only intended for use a guide and should not be 100% relied upon as a substitute for official manufacturer technical advice. Quality Electrics disclaims responsibility for any damage, claim, or liability any person may incur, whether caused by negligence or otherwise, as a result of anything contained in our articles.


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