What is Airwave?

Airwave is the communication system for the emergency services. Police, fire brigade, ambulance services and related organisations use the digital system for their mobile communication. More than 300,000 emergency workers communicate 24/7 via Airwave with their control rooms and each other. They use the closed system during daily work, but also at major incidents and disasters. 

The free-standing masts and rooftop locations of Airwave are connected by switching stations. The masts and switching stations ensure that emergency response workers can communicate with the control room at any time anywhere in the UK and beyond via their fixed and mobile radios. 

How does Blu Eye detect the presence of vehicles equipped with Airwave radio's?

Blu Eye detects the short (periodical) pulses the Airwave radio’s transmit with intervals of several seconds in order to be assured of a place in the network. As soon as these pulses are detected in the neighborhood of your vehicle, Blu Eye will alert you. This even happens when the Airwave radio’s are in standby only and not being used for communication (speech). 

For which vehicles does Blu Eye warn you?
  • Ambulances
  • Fire Engines
  • Police (marked and unmarked vehicles)
  • Highway Agency vehicles 
Is the use of Blu Eye legal?

Yes, Blu Eye is legal throughout Europe. The system informs about the presence of emergency services and makes no distinction between the emergency services themselves: all emergency services are detected the same way. Blu Eye also works in accordance with European laws and regulations. Radio messages sent by the emergency services via the Airwave network are not decoded by Blu Eye.

In many countries in Europe, there is a ban on radar detectors. Is it possible Blu Eye be banned in the future as well?

In fact a strange question for a system that has proven to increase safety in traffic. In some countries this discussion started after Blu Eye was named a “police detector” and an “every crook’s must-have car gadget”. The chance that the foregoing statements will lead to a ban of Target Blu Eye almost zero. Blu Eye perfectly suits government campaigns to inform drivers what to do in case of approaching emergency service vehicles.

Radar detectors have been banned in many countries and this is due to the fact they serve one goal; inform drivers about the presence of radar speed traps. Blu Eye does not only warn drivers for Police vehicles but also for Fire Engines and Ambulances. Besides that, Blu Eye doesn’t make any difference between the 3. 

Does Blu Eye also react to signals other than those of vehicles with Airwave equipment on board?

No, Blu Eye only reacts to signals that are actually transmitted by emergency services and therefore never raises the alarm without good reason. But because Blu Eye looks around instead of just ahead, in practice this means that the system sometimes warns for an emergency service that you cannot see yourself at that moment. This can happen especially in urban areas. At such a moment you can activate the City Mode on the system so that Blu Eye only warns for emergency services that are really close by.

At what distance does Blu Eye warn for approaching Emergency Services?

That depends on the factors below:

  • When the standard bumper-mount antenna (TRACK VCD-antenna), to be invisibly installed at the inside of the front- or rear bumper, is used: up to 1,000 meters.
  • Environmental factors: in open areas and with low traffic, detection ranges are larger than in urban areas. 
Does Blu Eye always warn of approaching emergency services?

Blu Eye always detects all signals sent by the emergency services via their Airwave communication system. But emergency services do not always transmit (periodic) signals as they can operate in two different modes: TMO and DMO.

In TMO (Trunked Mode Operation), the communication equipment uses the Airwave network and always transmits periodic signals that Blu Eye detects.

In DMO (Direct Mode Operation) the emergency services do not use the network and units communicate directly with each other. The communication equipment then does not transmit periodic signals. DMO is used, among other things, during traffic checks where various units are controlled from a command vehicle (which is itself in TMO).

Radios in DMO are detected by Blu Eye when they are used for mutual communication.

Does Blu Eye work abroad?

Blu Eye alerts you to emergency services in the countries listed below:

  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Estonia
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Croatia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Montenegro
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Austria
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom


Blu Eye partially works in:

Spain: in Catalonia, the Basque Country and around all major cities. The Guardia Civil is not detected as they use the older TetraPol system.

Blu Eye does not work in:

France, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. These countries use the older TetraPol system

Target Blu Eye map


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