IARU update regarding Amateur Satellite allocations

IARU Team at WRC-19

IARU Team at WRC-19

The second week of the World Radiocommunication Conference reports on the status of two issues affecting the amateur satellite service.

In a report written by Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, first is an agenda item currently under review during this WRC-19 session; second is planning for future pressure on frequencies for the amateur satellite service.

Current WRC-19

While it does not directly affect us – work at WRC-15 saw to that – we are following an agenda item that seeks spectrum for telemetry, tracking and command in the space operation service for non-GSO satellites with short duration missions (CubeSats, among others).

We would like a solution to be found to cut down on the misuse of the very limited amateur-satellite spectrum for commercial applications. Discussions are focusing on spectrum near 137 MHz (down) / 149 MHz (up) but reaching agreement is proving to be very difficult.

Future – WRC-23

With the spectrum from 8.3 kHz to 275 GHz fully allocated and some bands above 275 GHz already identified for particular uses, any proposal for new allocations involves sharing with one or more incumbent services.
The pressures for spectrum access to accommodate new uses for commercial purposes are intense; for an established service such as ours, any WRC that does not reduce our own useful spectrum access is a success.

The idea of including the amateur two meter band in a study of non-safety aeronautical mobile service applications has not resurfaced. However, the IARU is concerned with a proposed item for WRC-23 entitled: “Review of the amateur service and the amateur-satellite service allocations to ensure the protection of the radionavigation-satellite service (space-to-Earth) in the frequency band 1240-1300 MHz.”

Our regulatory status is already clear. The amateur service is secondary in this band and the amateur-satellite service is permitted to operate in the Earth-to-space direction on a non-interference basis in the band 1260-1270 MHz. In the international Radio Regulations this is all the protection a primary service such as radionavigation-satellite requires; implementation is up to individual administrations.

The one well-documented case of interference to a Galileo receiver that prompted this proposed agenda item occurred more than five years ago and was quickly resolved by the administration concerned. There have been no known interference cases to user terminals.

An amateur service allocation of 1215-1300 MHz was made on a primary, exclusive basis in 1947, later downgraded to secondary to accommodate radiolocation (radar) and narrowed to 1240-1300 MHz. The radionavigation-satellite service was added in 2000. As a secondary service amateur radio has operated successfully in the band for many years.Given the relatively modest density and numbers of amateur transmissions in the band, we view the Galileo-oriented proposal for an agenda item as disproportionate.

The IARU recognizes the concern and does not want the amateur service to affect the operation of the Galileo system in any way. It has already updated its operational recommendations for amateur stations in Region 1. If necessary, further recommendations may be developed and rolled out globally.

In CEPT, two preliminary measurement studies of Galileo receiver performance/vulnerability (from 2015 and 2019) are currently being evaluated. Discussions can be more timely and focused within CEPT.

The IARU believes that this process already offers the potential for a satisfactory solution and thus the issue does not warrant WRC action and the commitment of ITU resources.

Source: http://www.iaru.org/news–events

Read the RSGB WRC-19 updates at https://rsgb.org/main/blog/category/news/special-focus/wrc-19/

RAC Attends Canadian CubeSat Meeting

UNB CubeSats Group photo by Annette Wetmore

UNB CubeSats Group photo by Annette Wetmore

On October 7, 8 and 9, 2019, the University of New Brunswick’s (UNB) Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and CubeSat NB hosted the first of three Preliminary Design Review (PDR) meetings for the Canadian CubeSat Project initiated by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

The Canadian Space Agency is providing support and guidance to 15 teams of university and college students across Canada who are building satellites. These satellites are in the “CubeSat” format, based on a standardized architecture of 10 cm cubes. All 15 proposed satellites will be deployed from the International Space Station (ISS), possibly starting in 2021.

Radio Amateurs of Canada was present because many of the CubeSat projects are proposing to use Amateur Radio frequencies. RAC Atlantic Director Dave Goodwin, VE9CB, attended the PDR to offer RAC’s insight into these projects and to discuss the processes required to secure frequency coordination for these projects through the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).

At the meeting at UNB, six teams led by students from UNB, the Université de Moncton, New Brunswick Community College, the University of Prince Edward Island, Dalhousie University (NS), Memorial University of Newfoundland with C-CORE, the Université de Sherbrooke (QC) and Concordia University (QC), presented their work to date on designing six satellites. They sought feedback and suggestions from other teams as well as the federal government agencies – the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) – and NanoRacks, the US-based company that provides launch services for the Canadian CubeSat Project.

Following the Fredericton event, similar meetings were also held in London, Ontario and Victoria, British Columbia for Preliminary Design Reviews of the nine other CubeSats in the Canadian CubeSat Project in Ontario, western Canada, and northern Canada.

Designing and constructing CubeSats is a complicated, multi-year process. These projects will develop these students’ skills in many facets of engineering, science, technology, business and project management. Once in orbit, these satellites will assist pure and applied scientific research. Some of these satellites may offer facilities that Radio Amateurs across Canada and around the world can use.

– Dave Goodwin, VE9CB and Brent Petersen, VE9EX.

Source Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) Bulletin

WRC-19 Day 9 and 10: Satellites, 50 MHz and 1240-1300 MHz

RSGB Spectrum Forum Chair Murray G6JYB talking to delegates at WRC-19

RSGB Spectrum Forum Chair Murray G6JYB talking to delegates at WRC-19

The RSGB have released a report on days 9 and 10 of the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference being held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt from October 28 to November 22, 2019.

The report covers Satellites, HF (7 MHz), a proposed 50 MHz band for the Amateur Service only (not Satellites) and Future Agenda Items including the 1240-1300 MHz band where a number of countries wish to restrict (or remove) amateur radio operation to “protect” GNSS servces. Both the European Galileo (due for completion 2020) and Japan’s Quasi-Zenith (QZSS) (due for completion 2023) GNSS systems have downlinks that transmit across 1260-1300 MHz.

Read the RSGB report at https://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/gb2rs/2019/11/10/wrc-19-day-10-halfway-there/

Read the RSGB WRC-19 updates at https://rsgb.org/main/blog/category/news/special-focus/wrc-19/

IARU Region 1 WRC-19 Week 2 report https://www.iaru-r1.org/index.php/174-news/latest-news/1914-wrc-19-week-2

IARU WRC-19 News http://www.iaru.org/news–events

CEPT ECC Report covers the key Agenda Item 1.1 on a 50 MHz Amateur Service band in ITU Region 1 – but not for the Amateur-Satellite Service
https://www.cept.org/ecc/groups/ecc/cpg/client/introduction/weekly-report-from-wrc-19

RSGB WRC-19 Update: 23cms and A Long Day

IARU Team at WRC-19

IARU Team at WRC-19

The RSGB have posted an update on activities at the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference during Tuesday, November 5.

A somewhat difficult start to the day’s proceedings began with another AI-10 Proposal being introduced for WRC-23 – protecting RNSS (Galileo etc) from secondary amateur usage in the 23cm band.

Future mobile/IMT was also being discussed in the 3-18 GHz range (including our 10 GHz band). Another item may even affect 241 – 700GHz. It will be a while before the WRC-23 agenda down-selection gets agreed at the conference. A busy day then continued as a raft of topics was attended, with few signs of positive progress.

Read the RSGB Day 7 report at
https://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/gb2rs/2019/11/05/wrc-19-day-7-23cms-and-a-long-day/

Other RSGB WRC-19 updates at
https://rsgb.org/main/blog/category/news/special-focus/wrc-19/

PocketQube Workshop videos available

3rd PocketQube Workshop GlasgowThe 3rd PocketQube Satellite Workshop, hosted by Alba Orbital, was held September 5-6, 2019, in Glasgow. Talks given at the event are now available on YouTube.

Among the presenters were:
• Stuart Robinson GW7HPW, $50SAT Team
• Julian Fernandez EA4HCD, Fossasat-1
• Zac Manchester KD2BHC, Chipsats
• Constantin Constantinides MM6XOM, Unicorn-2

Talk schedule and PDF slides at http://www.albaorbital.com/3rd-pocketqube-workshop

Watch the videos at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7qrB8LwUKBhszyEVAUuL8kvgoA8eu4JG

Alba Orbital https://twitter.com/AlbaOrbital

Early Progress, Contention on Difficult Issues Mark First Week of WRC

ITU WRC-19 posterSharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, November 1, 2019 – Week 1 of the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference saw agreement reached on several issues on which discussions prior to the conference had revealed consensus. Those were the easy ones; the rest will be more difficult.

The early decisions here in Sharm El-Sheikh were only possible because of countless hours of work conducted within the ITU Radiocommunication Sector and the six regional telecommunications organizations (RTOs) since the previous WRC in 2015. Three of these decisions were on issues of interest to the IARU.

IARU Team at WRC-19

IARU Team at WRC-19

The band 47.0-47.2 GHz was allocated solely to the amateur and amateur-satellite services by the 1979 World Administrative Radio Conference. Commercial wireless broadband interests had expressed some interest in the band being designated for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) and there was some concern that such a proposal might be made at WRC-19. The fact that none was forthcoming was due in part to the work of the IARU at the Conference Preparatory Meeting earlier this year and in the RTOs. The WRC has agreed to “no change” (NOC) at 47.0-47.2 GHz.

Another NOC decision that avoided impact on the amateur service applies to the band 5850-5925 MHz, which is an amateur secondary allocation in Region 2. Consideration of proposals involving other parts of spectrum in the 5-GHz range will take much longer.

Finally, the WRC has agreed to make no frequency allocations or other changes to the Radio Regulations to accommodate Wireless Power Transmission for electric vehicles (WPT-EV). Much more work remains to be done on an urgent basis in the ITU and other standards organizations if radiocommunication services are to be adequately protected from harmful interference that may be generated by WPT-EV, both at the fundamental frequency and from unwanted emissions.

ITU WRC-19 LogoConsideration of a 50 MHz allocation in Region 1 to harmonize the allocations in the three Regions was the subject of spirited debate in a Sub Working Group chaired by Dale Hughes, VK1DSH, of the Australian delegation. The four RTOs in Region 1 made disparate proposals to the conference and a small group of administrations proposed NOC. For three days there was no progress toward a consensus solution but that changed on Friday morning. An agreement has been reached, subject to confirmation by the regional groups, that will provide administrations in Region 1 with flexibility in how to accommodate their amateurs.

One of the most difficult issues facing WRC-19 is to develop an agenda for WRC-23. There are dozens of proposals for agenda items and they cannot all be accommodated within available ITU resources. The substantive work of considering these proposals began on Friday afternoon and must be completed over the next two weeks.

Some meetings on the more difficult issues are scheduled for Saturday, November 2. Delegates have been warned to expect more intensive use of weekend and evening hours as the conference proceeds toward its conclusion on November 22.

Source IARU http://iaru.org/

CEPT ECC report on WRC-19 Week 1
https://www.cept.org/ecc/groups/ecc/cpg/client/introduction/weekly-report-from-wrc-19

For daily updates see the RSGB WRC-19 Blog
https://rsgb.org/main/blog/category/news/special-focus/wrc-19/