The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has said it will vote in November on whether to allow U.S. GPS receivers to access the Galileo global navigation satellite system (GNSS).
From an Amateur Radio perspective the key part is that the FCC will only be voting to waive its licensing requirements for non-federal operations with Galileo channels E1 and E5, subject to certain technical constraints.
This means they will not be voting on the E6 channel 1260-1300 MHz, these frequencies are also Amateur and Amateur-Satellite Service allocations. This suggests for 1260-1300 MHz the situation in the USA will be unchanged, the unlicensed use of the Galileo signal on channel E6 will not be permitted for non-Federal operations in the USA.
Read the Reuters story which also says Ajit Pai is proposing the first comprehensive review of the FCC’s orbital debris rules since their adoption in 2004
2006 article – Galileo and amateur radio operations in 1260-1300 MHz
The ARRL report the FCC has invited public comment on a Petition for Rule Making (RM-11715) that would make a significant portion of the 10.0 to 10.5 GHz band available for wireless broadband services.
The Petition by Mimosa Networks Inc proposes a band plan for 10.0 to 10.5 GHz that, it says, would protect frequencies most often used by radio amateurs. The petition hinges on FCC adoption of rule changes that would put the 10 GHz band under Subpart Z of the Commission’s Part 90 rules. Subpart Z currently sets out regulations governing wireless licensing, technical standards, and operational standards in the 3650 to 3700 MHz band.
“The application of the coordination procedures and requirements provided in Subpart Z will ensure that Amateur Radio operations in the band will not be disrupted,” Mimosa told the FCC. “In addition, as a further safeguard, Mimosa proposes a band plan for the 10.0-10.5 GHz band that would protect frequencies in the band that are most often used by Amateur Radio operators.” The proposed band plan would specify 10.350 to 10.370 GHz as an “Amateur Calling Band,” and 10.450 to 10.500 GHz for Amateur-Satellite operations in the midst of 21 wireless broadband channels and a small guard band.
ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, is quoted as saying “Mimosa’s proposed power limit of 55 dBW EIRP is very high, particularly for point-to-multipoint operations, and no mechanism has been proposed for ensuring that harmful interference to amateur operations does not occur.”
Read the full ARRL story at
Petition for Rule Making RM-11715
Interested parties may comment on RM-11715 using the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS).
Image of a CubeSat in Space
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Public Notice to provide guidance concerning FCC licensing of spectrum for use by small satellites, including satellites that fall within the categories of pico-satellites, nano-satellites and cubesats.
The advent of such small satellite designs has brought with it dramatically lower launch costs, enabling a larger range of organizations to directly launch satellites. Institutions such as universities and research organizations that previously found it cost prohibitive to launch their own satellite can now participate in the exploration of space. Many of these participants may be unfamiliar with the spectrum licensing, scheduling and other requirements attendant on satellites. This Public Notice seeks to alert affected parties of these requirements and thus aid small satellite operators in the planning necessary for a successful launch operation.
Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) has submitted an application for Special Temporary Authority to the FCC.
They request the use of frequencies in the 400 MHz and 2200 MHz bands under the callsign WF9XGI . The application says:
The purpose of this operation is to demonstrate a low-cost, commercial capability to transport cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) and return it safely to the Earth. The nominal mission profile calls for launch of the capsule from Cape Canaveral into Low Earth Orbit (LEO), followed by ISS proximity operations, berthing with ISS (nominally remaining berthed for several weeks), unberthing, de-orbit maneuvers, re-entry, and splash-down in the Pacific Ocean. The basic orbital parameters for this mission are as follows: Non-Geostationary circular orbit (approx. 407 km); Equatorial Inclination of 52.5 degrees; Period of Orbit is 5400 s. The scheduled launch readiness date for this mission is currently NET December 19, 2011.
Read the application at https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=49678
NASA Announces Launch Date and Milestones for Spacex Flight
AMSAT-UK publishes a colour A4 newsletter, OSCAR News, which is full of Amateur Satellite information. Free sample issue at http://www.uk.amsat.org/on_193_final.pdf Join online here