RF, or radio frequency weapons, also known as directed-energy weapons, use electromagnetic energy on specific frequencies to disable electronic systems. The principle is similar to that of high-power microwave (HPM) weapons, only HPM systems tend to be much more sophisticated, and are thus, more likely to be in the control of superpowers or near-superpowers. RF weapons, by contrast, are simple and low-voltage enough that they could be deployed by smaller, less technologically enhanced forces.
The range of frequencies for waves in the electromagnetic spectrum is from approximately 102 Hz to more than 1025 Hz —in other words, from about 100 cycles per second to about 10 trillion trillion.
From the lowest frequencies to about 1010 Hertz is the range of long-wave radio, shortwave radio, and microwaves. These carry broadcast radio, television, mobile phone communications, radar, and even highly specific forms of transmission such as those of baby monitors or garage-door openers.
Because of regulation by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), AM or amplitude modulation broadcasts take place across a frequency range from 535 kHz (kilohertz, or 1,000 Hertz) to 1.7 MHz (megahertz, or 1,000,000 Hertz). The FCC has assigned the range of 5.9 to 26.1 MHz to shortwave radio, and 26.96 to 27.41 MHz to citizens’ band (CB) radio. Above these are microwave regions assigned to very high frequency (VHF) television stations 2 through 6, then FM (frequency modulation) radio, which occupies the range from 88 to 108 MHz. Higher still are VHF channels 7 to 13, ultra-high frequency (UHF) television broadcasts, and so on. At the highest