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Welcome to the OGC Electromagnetic Spectrum Domain Working Group (EM Spectrum DWG) (EMSpectrumDWG)* web

*NOTE: When this OGC Domain Working Group (DWG) was originally proposed, the initiating organizations were calling it the "SpectrumML DWG". The OGC Planning Committee requested a more generic DWG name – "EM Spectrum DWG" – to make this standard development effort more closely follow the OGC's usual naming procedures. In the future, after review of technical requirements, market needs and enlistment of appropriate experts, the participants in the now officially chartered OGC EM Spectrum DWG may choose to initiate a Standards Working Group to develop the standard. At that point, they may choose to call the standard "SpectrumML", in which case the Standards Working Group will be called the OGC SpectrumML Standards Working Group.

This OGC wiki is a web resource for an OGC Domain Working Group (DWG) that is discussing a proposed open standard conceptual data model* and derived digital encoding(s) for environmental electromagnetic field (EMF) data. " SpectrumML" is the tentative name for the proposed standard.

To join the EM Spectrum DWG listserv: Send an email to Lance McKee , EM Spectrum DWG chair: (no spaces) lmckee 76 at gmail dot com.

Cochairs include Joan Masó, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (CREAF) and

George Zalidis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, i-BEC

* A data model details how to encode real world ideas or objects to make them useful in computer systems. To be more specific: a conceptual electromagnetic field data model would enable the development of one or more implementable encoding standards specifying a common way of representing electromagnetic field data. Widespread use of such a standard would enable data to be created by many players and then published, discovered, assessed, shared, compared, aggregated, integrated, accessed, analyzed and used by many players in distributed computing environments.

This group convened for the first time at a SpectrumML Ad Hoc session on Thursday 23 June 2016 at the OGC Technical Committee meeting in Dublin, Ireland. See the minutes of that meeting below. At that session, the following OGC member representatives agreed to be Charter Members of the proposed working group. They included:

• Martin Desruisseaux, GEOMATYS

• Chuck Heazel, WiSC Enterprises

• Chris Little, UK Met Office

• Joan Maso, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (CREAF)

• Lance McKee, McKee Associates

Persuant to that meeting, Lance McKee drafted a charter for the proposed OGC Spectrum Model Language Domain Working Group. That charter was reviewed by the Charter Members. Revisions were made. The final draft of the charter is available at

A press release public request for comments on the charter was released in August 2016. Comments received were to be incorporated in the charter prior to the OGC Technical Committee meeting in Orlando, Florida, USA in September. (No comments were received.)

The second Ad Hoc session of the group convened again from 08:15-09:05 on Monday 19 September at the OGC Technical Committee meeting in Orlando, Florida, USA. Remote participation was available but no one called in. See minutes of this meeting below (below the minutes of the first Ad Hoc session.)

Two days after the Second Ad Hoc session, the Technical Committee voted at the Thursday 22 September 2016 Plenary Session to approve the OGC Spectrum Model Language Domain Working Group (SpectrumML DWG) Charter. (As mentioned in the note above, at the request of the Planning Committee, the group agreed to change the name of the DWG to "Electromagnetic Spectrum Domain Working Group" or "EM Spectrum DWG".)

EM Spectrum DWG initiators now include:

• Akinori Asahara – Hitachi, Ltd., Central Research Laboratory

• Martin Desruisseaux – GEOMATYS

• Chuck Heazel – WiSC Enterprises

• Siegbert Kunz – Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

• Chris Little – UK Met Office

• Joan Masó – Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (CREAF)

• Lance McKee – Consultant

• Jason Smith – Harris Corporation

• Prof. George Zalidis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, i-BEC

Two active participants then joined the group:
  • Carey Beall
  • Lucia Lovison
After the last meeting, Jesse Caulfield, CEO of Key Bridge, joined our collaboration via email. Key Bridge is a collaborator with the US Defense Spectrum Office and developer of the OpenSSRF reference software.

Work has now begun. The new DWG's members have begun to communicate by email, this wiki, and teleconference to discuss questions and issues. The group will start looking at use cases and start finding electrical engineers who can provide technical guidance and help develop a UML diagram.

An article on this topic by Lance McKee was posted on the EE Times blog on 16 September 2016: " RF Emissions Need Data Model".


MINUTES - SpectrumML First Ad Hoc session on Thursday 23 June:

Lance McKee chaired the meeting. Those in attendance included: Greg Buehler, Martin Desruisseaux, Chuck Heazel, Chris Little, Joan Maso, Mark Reichardt and Kym Watson.

OGC members and non-members had been invited to attend, but no non-members joined the meeting. A SpectrumML Discussion Paper and set of slides had been drafted to provide a basis for discussion at the meeting. At the meeting, the ideas in the paper and slides were discussed. Discussion centered around:

1. The difficulty/simplicity of of developing such a standard. There are many electromagnetic field properties, but their SI units, relationships, and principles of interaction with the physical environment are already well understood.

2. Whether and how such a standard might be useful in resolving the following problems:

— Wireless communication signals sometimes interfere with Earth observations ( National Academy of Sciences, 2015) and with communication between satellites and ground stations. Similar problems exist in aviation. It is also likely that as near-field sensing (e.g. in smart cars) becomes common, such sensing may suffer from interference among many sensing systems in close proximity and perhaps also between such sensing systems and wireless communications systems.

— The multiplying and increasingly closely located IoT sources of radiofrequency emissions are on an electromagnetic compatibility collision course with the delicate, and soon to be ubiquitous, electronic devices of the IoT. ( IEEE Spectrum article, 2015). Also, the transition to distributed renewable energy sources brings with it inverters, mechanical generators and other equipment that may cause electromagnetic noise and pulses that can affect sensitive electronics. The proposed standard would be useful in monitoring, modeling and mitigating problems involving problematic environmental electromagnetic fields.

–– There may be use cases in the wireless communications industry. Adaptive modulation schemes and spectrum sharing may be areas in which the proposed standard would be useful. The proposed standard might also be useful in cell tower siting and small cell network deployment.

–– The proposed standard might be useful in ELINT and SIGINT, spectrometry, telescopy, astrophysics and other domains focused on electromagnetic fields.

3. There was general agreement that "SpectrumML" would be a good name for the proposed standard.

After discussion, a motion to draft a working group charter was made by Chuck Heazel and seconded by Chris Little. A vote was taken. There was unanimous consent that there is sufficient probable need for the standard to warrant drafting a charter for an OGC Spectrum Model Language Domain Working Group ( SpectrumML DWG).

The group committed to completing the draft charter and submitting it for Technical Committee (TC) review and comment in time for possible approval at the next TC meeting (September 2016 in Orlando). The charter will list the names of the working group's initiators. After approval, OGC members will be invited to join the EM Spectrum DWG and chairs of the DWG will be elected. Existence of the new group will be publicly announced. OGC is an open membership organization, and opportunities are provided for public comment and review.

The meeting adjourned.

MINUTES - Second SpectrumML Ad Hoc session 19 September 2016:

Lance McKee (consultant), Akinori Asahara (Hitachi, Ltd., Central Research Laboratory), Jason Smith (Harris Corporation), and Trevor Taylor (OGC) were present.

1. The chair noted that no comments were received in response to the RFC.

2. The chair presented history of outreach to date. Further outreach awaits discussion among WG members.

3. There was discussion about the charter approval vote to be held at the Technical Committee Plenary session on Thursday. All present agreed to seek approval. Members not present had indicated by their agreement to be charter members that they, too, wanted to seek approval. Chair noted that he would discuss and confirm procedure with Scott Simmons.

4. Planning first phase of work awaits TC approval and then email and/or teleconference discussion by group.

5. There was also discussion of main use cases, a nano-spatial use case of interest to Hitachi, and a potential new member. Akinori Asahara at Hitachi is interested in helping to develop a “nanoscale spatial data infrastructure” that conforms to OGC’s geospatial data infrastructure standards. This involves, for example, orientating tiny microcircuit-embedded antennas to the larger indoor/outdoor EMF environment.

Second Ad Hoc session ended.

MINUTES - 8 December 2016 OGC EM Spectrum DWG session (first formal session)

Meeting began 10:15 AM CST.

  • Akinori Asahara, Hitachi CRL
  • John Cinincione, Collateral Analytics
  • Martin Desruisseaux, GEOMATYS
  • Chris Little, UK Met Office
  • Matt Purss, Geoscience Australia
  • Don Sullivan, NASA
  • Lance McKee
  • Carey Beall
  • Lucia Lovison

Lance McKee chaired the meeting and kept the minutes. Trevor Taylor of OGC staff facilitated.

Session began with introductions.

Carey Beall spoke about his work in DISA. DISA provides a tool in use in the Pacific Command — “Mercury” — an open source tool from DISA used to coordinate frequencies on the spot during disasters. 45 countries in Pacific region use this to to share information.

Carey works with NATO countries, maintaining a spectrum standard for data exchange. The standard is used for frequency assignment and equipment certification. The temporal element becomes increasingly important with increased use of cognitive, or software defined, radio. (Their standard has been partially adopted by the White Space Consortium in the US, who who use cognitive radio technology to detect and expoit vacant spectrum.) The NATO std is SMADREF. The DOD std is OpenSSRF. Carey suggested that perhaps DISA did twenty years ago what this DWG aims to do. DISA also did NIEM. They’re involved in many different related activities.

Lucia Lovison deals with EO data for integration of time and space, especially for disasters in Latin America and Europe, and is focussed on standards from the OGC, IEEE and others.

There was a suggestion that a first step would be to do a literature review, to discover other standards. DISA did NIEM, for example, and OGC did a lot of work on Geo4NIEM. These are both related to the purpose of the EM Spectrum DWG.

Carey noted that the DISA people have concluded there is no overarching standard. You can’t model the whole universe. It’s better to have small subset of standards that can be easily changed. E.g., they find frequency assigments is one good domain. Equipment certification is another good domain. Monitored spectrum is a another different domain. All have different business processes.

Aki introduced discussion about tables of frequency allocations. ITU helps manage these agreements. In violent regions, however these allocation rules are not followed. Carey noted that a standard will help if we can nail down the temporal aspect. We’ll need a standard for sensing the radio environment and sensing holes to transmit through. It needs to be highly dynamic. There is no standard to handle that, particularly with software defined radio.

Chris Little provided information about current work in OGC involving temporal. The main calendar used is Gregorian, which uses leap seconds. We’ll need much better resolution, getting around the use of leap seconds. Work is being done in ISO and OGC for well known types (WKT) that will allow use of ISO timestamp (which is being revised), using international time, working out a way to sidestep leapseconds. So work in progress will be relevant to EM Spectrum work. Roger Lott and Mark Hedley are working on it. The calendars and CRS are well understood. A key issue is having a way of implementing the ISO standard so it will fail rather than pass errors.

It was noted, with reference to Chris’s comment, that it in addition to the literature review it would be good to keep a list of the other OGC WGs that are relevant: For temporal issues, it’s the OGC Temporal DWG and also the OGC TimeSeriesML Standards Working Group (SWG) (who are working together).

Lucia Lovison suggested it would benefit us to have people from IEEE involved. They’re been involved in spectrum for many years. Utility company’s are involved. Chris agreed, but IEEE contacts on Temporal DWG didn’t really engage. Also approache International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) but they didn’t want to engage. Chris suggested having the IEEE people who are interested to sign up to the OGC mailing list and wiki and join in the discussions. Lucia will ask them.

Carey re IEEE: The temporal aspect is nailed down in IEEE. The dynamic spectrum allocation has a working group with 3 or 4 standards out. Question is these two opposing points of view: Will dynamic spectrum allocation be done through a centralized system of “when can I emit?” or will it be dynamic -“I am sensing and I can tell when I must get out.”

Chris noted that a Central system won’t be scalable. But with a distributed system the problem is that nobody’s clocks are synchronized.

Carey - exactly right. Companies who buy time will use the centralized system, others will use a dynamic systems. Militaries around the world all use cognitive radio, that is, a dynamic system.

Carey answered Lance’s question about the importance of OGC contribution being spatial contribution: OGC’s contribution is both spatial and temporal. One needs microseconds to sense when the other emitter (the assigned emitter) is ramping up so you can get out. Chris said it will require nanosecond respons. Met authorities have apps where they’re mapping waveforms of lightning strikes and they need to map the waveforms against other wave forms from other receivers. So they use synchronized atomic clocks.

Carey asked Chris for info on how they map the waveforms. Chris replied that they’re monitoring hundreds of strikes per second. That’s why Met got into the temporal. Also when a GPS satellite pops up into view over the horizon, time of that event is dependent on path of radio signal through atmosphere, and angle of refraction depends on atmospheric temperature, so they can use that timing to measure temperature.

Lance asked Carey is there a particular WG within IEEE that might have interest. Carey will email the docs. Is it 5200.21? They’ve been working on dynamic spectrum allocation for years.

Trevor asked re the Mt Aetna example: Is there a need for the emitter installations on either side of the mountain to communicate? Carey: Yes, if there’s a convoy passing, for example. Trevor is looking for connections to other OGC standards. One would need to elaborate the use case to identify which other standards would apply. Agreement, then, that it would be good to identify some use cases. Discussion today serves to help us scope the use cases and literature review. Narrowing the Mt Aetna use case is an action for the future.

Carey: Maybe in the future one use case would be: at a specific many-decimals-precise lat/lon, what frequencies are being used at different times of the day, month and year — That’s something we’ll need with the IoT.

Chris: What about vertical position?

Carey: We need at least one meter

Chris: GPS is not fit for one meter. What about vertical position?

Carey: We need to include it. We have airplanes, and UAVs ….

Chris: The UAV people haven’t yet discovered what aviation learned 50 years. Airplanes use anaeroid barometers. FCC classifies UAVs as being in line of sight. Drones will need to be like airplanes when they fly out of sight, determining their own altitude. CRSs come with quaility aspects and this needs to be part of what’s considered.

So, add the CRS and UAV/UAS WGs to the list of related WGs.

Lucia: In IoT it’s important to be clear that a device is taking control of a frequency: Who is in control of a devices? There should be an ID associated to a signal.

(So add the OGC Security DWG to the list of related WGs.)

Carey: good idea! (quoted radio commentator ) “In the IoT, the worst thing is when you car drives you into a garage and holds you for ransom.”

Actions: minutes, review, list of wgs, list of SDO wgs, later put together a work plan.

Lucia: I will talk to people at ieee re spectrum alloc.

Carey: we need to draw a circle around where were going to work, could go from deep space monitoring to up to the minute warfare.

Lucia suggests to focus on disasters. We have more data in this domain. People will understand and will be able to collaborate. It would sync with OGC initiatives, so the yet-to-be-suggested EM Spectrum SWG could be plugged into OGC testbeds.

Carey agreed re disasters.

Meeting adjourned 11:50 AM CST.

ACTION: Lucia will ask the IEEE people she knows who are interested in our DWG to sign up to the OGC mailing list and wiki and join in the discussions.

ACTION: Carey will send a note on some IEEE groups that might be interested.

ACTION: Lance: Maintain a list of related standards and a list of related OGC WGs.
List of related WGs in OGC:
  • OGC Temporal DWG
  • OGC TimeSeriesML SWG
  • OGC Security DWG
  • OGC Emergency and Disaster Management DWG

Available Information

See the draft OGC SpectrumML Domain Working Group Charter.

See the OGC Request for Comment on the SpectrumML Domain Working Group Charter.

See the draft OGC Discussion Paper, " Proposed: an open standard electromagnetic field data model and derived encodings".

To join the EM Spectrum DWG listserve: Send an email to Lance McKee EM Spectrum DWG chair: (no spaces) lmckee 76 at gmail dot com.


This is a place to for OGC members and non-members to post comments about the proposed standard, about this wiki and about the SpectrumML Discussion Paper. After a working group is chartered we can set this up so comments posted here will be distributed via the listserv.

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Click on "Edit" in the lower left corner, then post comments below, noting your name and the date. When you are finished editing, click on "Save" in the lower left corner.


Carey Beall (USA) -- looking forward to minutes of meeting. We have a disaster system to reduce EMF conflicts ("Mercury") during multi-national disasters -- could provide a frame of reference. We also have developed a NATO-coordinated data exchange standard for frequency assignments and for equipment parametric certification.

Carey Beall (USA) -- the IEEE Std 1900 working group is working on several Dynamic Spectrum Access standards <>. Examples include, 1900.2, "IEEE Recommended Practice for the Analysis of In-Band and Adjacent Band Interference and Coexistence Between Radio Systems"; 1900.5, "IEEE Standard for Policy Language Requirements and System Architectures for Dynamic Spectrum Access Systems; 1900.6, "IEEE Standard for Spectrum Sensing Interfaces and Data Structures for Dynamic Spectrum Access and other Advanced Radio Communication Systems" -- a full list is at the link provided.
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Mercury_Spectrum_Collaboration_Application.pdfpdf Mercury_Spectrum_Collaboration_Application.pdf manage 291.3 K 13 Dec 2016 - 15:08 CareyBeall Mercury Spectrum Collaboration Tool Used in Pacific for Disaster Relief Efforts
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Topic revision: r42 - 02 Mar 2017, LanceMcKee

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