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

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

Brazil: High school students shown amateur radio

Gonçalves Dias School Students

Gonçalves Dias School Students

Brazilian radio amateurs participated in a Science Fair at Gonçalves Dias School, Boa Vista on October 16, 2019.

Paulo PV8DX used basic concepts of physics and geography when explaining amateur radio to the students. As well as theory they there were also practicals involving the students in antenna construction and contacts using the transponder on the amateur radio satellite LAPAN IO-86.

Paulo had asked AMSAT-UK FUNcube team if a special ‘Fitter‘ message could be transmitted from the FUNcube-1 (AO-73) satellite. This was arranged and the message from space was received at the school.

Watch Atividade Escolar – Ham Radio – By PV8DX

Further information on FUNcube-1 ‘Fitter’ messages and how to request one is available at https://funcube.org.uk/ground-segment/fitter-messages/

AMSAT-UK https://twitter.com/AmsatUK

AMSAT-UK Colloquium Talks on YouTube

Professor Julia Hunter-Anderson talking about WUSAT-3

Professor Julia Hunter-Anderson talking about WUSAT-3

Videos of the presentations given at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium, which was held as part of the RSGB Convention in Milton Keynes, October 12-13, 2019, are being made available on YouTube.

The first of the videos is the fascinating presentation on the WUSAT-3 CubeSat project given by Professor Julia Hunter-Anderson of the University of Warwick which highlights the potential use of CubeSats for wildlife tracking.

Other presentations are expected to be uploaded in the coming weeks.

Watch University of Warwick WUSAT-3

AMSAT-UK videos on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/AMSATUK/videos

Our thanks to the British Amateur Television Club and Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG for their work in recording, editing and uploading these videos.

Hurricane Lorenzo: Amateur satellite AO-92 will be available in U/v mode

Hurricane Lorenzo estimated track

Hurricane Lorenzo estimated track

Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, AMSAT VP Operations has received a request from amateurs involved with emergency communications in the Azores, requesting we forego L/v operation on AO-92 this week.

AO-92 / Fox-1D CubeSat

AO-92 / Fox-1D CubeSat

AMSAT News Service reports:

Hurricane Lorenzo is expected to pass through the Azores as a Category 4 storm Tuesday and Wednesday, and they are requesting AO-92 remain in U/v for potential emergency traffic.

Please be aware of and yield to any emergency traffic, on any satellite, coming from the area during this time. Passes covering the Azores and Portugal are the most critical.

We realize that there have been a few moves and cancellations for this mode recently, and I ask for understanding and cooperation.

Emergency use is always first priority, and AMSAT is happy to assist in any way we can.

[ANS thanks Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, AMSAT VP Operations for the above information]

Source AMSAT News Service https://www.amsat.org/pipermail/ans/2019/001134.html