Ofcom Consultation: Space Spectrum Strategy

Ofcom are holding a public consultation on their proposed strategy for managing radio spectrum used by the space sector.

Ofcom say:

Supporting the growing use of cutting-edge satellite technology to offer innovative services for people and businesses, is at the heart of Ofcom’s new proposed space spectrum strategy.

The space sector is expanding rapidly, with the number of space launches increasing by almost 60% between 2017 and 2021.

Companies such as OneWeb and SpaceX are deploying large numbers of new satellites – known as non-geostationary orbit (NGSO) satellite systems. Meanwhile, universities and start-ups are using smaller satellites to test and trial a range of exciting new projects.

Our proposed space spectrum strategy sets out our priorities for how we will help the sector deliver even more services in the coming years, while making sure it uses spectrum efficiently.

Supporting the growth of satellite broadband

Thousands of NGSO satellites orbit the Earth constantly, tracked by satellite dishes as they move across the sky, to provide broadband to homes and businesses in remote locations.

But these innovative news services need radio spectrum to work – and that’s where Ofcom comes in.

Our job is to make sure this spectrum is used efficiently and manage risks of interference between different spectrum users. So our space spectrum strategy sets out where we think we can make the biggest difference over the next two to four years, building on the licensing changes we introduced last year.

This includes considering options for future access to UK spectrum that could boost the capacity of satellite services, such as additional access to the 14.25 – 14.50 GHz band, as well as pursuing improvements to international NGSO rules.
Protecting vital Earth observation services

Earth observation satellites are playing an increasingly important role in collecting data on climate change. For example, they use radio waves to monitor changes in the natural world, such as the changing thickness of ice in polar regions. These systems also help other industries, such as agriculture, the emergency services and weather forecasting.

Part of our job is to help ensure Earth observation systems are protected from interference from other spectrum users.
Safe access to space

The rapidly rising numbers of space objects and proposals for mega-constellations has led to concerns across the space community about the potential for space debris.

Our role is to make sure there is appropriate spectrum available for systems that support the safe use of space, such as radar systems that track the many objects in space.

Helen Hearn, Ofcom Interim Spectrum Group Director, said: “While spectrum might be alien to some, we all rely on these invisible radio waves every day. And they’re vital to the rapidly growing space industry.

“So as the next generation of satellites beam down vital information to us, we’re playing our part to help the sector continue its journey and make sure these enterprising pioneers have the launchpad they need.”

The consultation closes on 24 May 2022 and we aim to publish our final strategy later this year.

Consultation document

Further details anf response form at

EASAT-2 and HADES Update

EASAT-2 and HADESAMSAT-EA Mission Manager Felix EA4GQS provides an update on the status of the EASAT-2 and HADES satellites launched on January 13.

On the AMSAT Bulletin Board he writes:

We confirm the reception of both EASAT-2 and HADES, as well as the decoding of telemetry and the FM recorded voice beacon with the callsign AM5SAT of the first one. EASAT-2 appears to be working well except for the deployment of the antennas, something that apparently has not yet occurred and causes weak signals. However, the AMSAT-EA team confirms that, based on the reception of FSK, CW, the FM voice beacon and the telemetry data that has been decoded, it can be said that the satellite is working perfectly. In the event of low battery or system malfunction, the on-board computer would not transmit CW messages or the voice beacon-callsign, as it would be in a ‘safe’ state with only fast and slow telemetry transmissions.

These signals that have been able to confirm the operation of both satellites were received by Dr. Daniel Estévez EA4GPZ at 18:07 UTC on Saturday, January 15, using two antennas from the Allen Telescope Array. The TLEs used were obtained from the radio amateur community, with Doppler observations from the Delfi-PQ satellite, deployed together with EASAT-2 and Hades.

TLEs used were these ones:

Daniel EA4GPZ performed a preliminary analysis using just one polarization of one of the satellite dishes. EASAT-2 has been detected with a relatively strong signal, close to the Delfi-PQ signal, obtaining said recorded voice FM beacon transmissions and FSK, FSK-CW at 50 baud.

The CW beacon clearly shows the message: VVV AM5SAT SOL Y PLAYA, which is one of several that both satellites emit, although the callsign AM5SAT confirms that it is EASAT-2.

In the recording made by Daniel EA4GPZ there is also a faint trace confirmed to be from Hades and stronger packets probably from the IRIS-A satellite.

HADES, like EASAT-2, is transmitting weak signals, weaker than the ones of EASAT-2, most likely because the on-board computer has not yet managed to deploy the antennas either, although it will continue trying regularly. The reason the signals are suspected to be weaker at Hades is that the antennas are more tightly folded than those of EASAT-2. In any case, this is great news, since the transmission pattern confirms the proper functioning of the satellite. In the observations you can see the FSK tones with a deviation of about 5 kHz interspersed with the FM carrier corresponding to the voice beacon of the satellite, which has callsign AM6SAT. The AMSAT-EA team is working to try to decode the telemetry signals and obtain more detailed information on the state of the satellite.

We kindly ask you, if you have very high gain antennas, to try to receive them, specially Hades. If we could decode telemetry it would be very helpful for us.

Until antennas are deployed it will be very difficult to use their repeaters or to receive any SSTV camera images from Hades, but we hope that this will happen sooner or later, at least because even if the computer doesn’t succeed applying heat to the resistor where the thread is attached, with time, the thread should break due to the space environment conditions.

Details of the decoded telemetry and voice, as well as more details in:
https://www.amsat-ea.org/ (Texts are in Spanish)

And in the following Twitter threads:

EASAT-2 transmissions:

EASAT-2 decodings by Gabriel Otero:

HADES transmissions:

Thanks a lot and 73,

Felix EA4GQS – AMSAT EA Mission manager

IARU-R1: 23cm Band and RNSS – Compromises need to be found

RNSS - Credit IARU Region 1

RNSS – Credit IARU Region 1

The Chair of IARU Region 1 Spectrum Affairs, Barry Lewis G4SJH, reports on the work being done in defending the interests of the Amateur Services in the 1240-1300 MHz band.

On the IARU Region 1 site he writes:

As we head into 2022 the ITU‑R and CEPT work considering the 23cm band and coexistence with the RNSS systems (GALILEO, COMPASS, GLONASS, GPS…) will continue so where have we got to and where is it heading?

The IARU has provided extensive information regarding the amateur and amateur satellite service applications in the band 1240 – 1300MHz as well as operational characteristics and data indicating the density of active transmitting stations and the busiest periods when these are most likely to be operational. Using this data, one CEPT administration has provided an extensive set of propagation model predictions for a number of amateur operating scenario assumptions (including satellite working and EME operation) that predict an “interfered area” over which an amateur transmissions may be received by a RNSS receiver at levels exceeding a defined protection level. Another ITU‑R member administration contributed a smaller set of predictions using the same model. The received RNSS interference level that the RNSS can tolerate (receiver protection level) is based on ITU‑R recommended criteria and depends on whether narrowband or wideband interfering signals are being transmitted.

The propagation model predicts that an interfered area can extend out to several tens of km (depending on the scenario) but at the extremes of the area, the time probability of exceeding the protection level is very low (1%) and for only 50% of locations. The model can only assume a full power continuous transmission.

In addition much attention has been paid to documenting an interference case recorded in Italy between an Italian 23cm band repeater and GALILEO receivers at the nearby European Commission Joint Research Centre in Ispra where work is undertaken to develop and test GALILEO system applications. The impact of traffic through this very local repeater (12.5km distant) on three different GALILEO receivers has been documented. This work suggests that whilst RNSS receiver bandwidth can have a part to play in enabling coexistence, beyond that nothing has been reported that could help develop any coexistence criteria. Nothing is reported about the mode of failure in the receivers beyond degradation on C/N.

This one case is often cited as the “proof” that interference can occur.

At present the conclusions from this work are being developed (in ITU‑R and CEPT) and IARU work continues to ensure these results are put into a real world context to understand what they imply with respect to successful coexistence.

Amateur transmissions virtually anywhere in the band will be co-frequency with the RNSS receivers from one system or another. It is therefore obvious that any RNSS receiver will be open to any co-frequency amateur transmission and amateur operators have no way of knowing where or when a RNSS service user is active. Therefore IARU has expressed a view that for successful coexistence guidance to be developed, some compromises will need be necessary.

As we move through the work in 2022 we need these compromises will become apparent so that the amateur community can know how to respond appropriately in a way that can allow our diverse set of applications to continue to develop whilst minimising any potential disruption to RNSS services. It is anticipated that the international views on the ITU‑R studies will need to stabilise by the middle of this this year in order to meet the timetable for the WRC-23 preparatory work. These views will likely propose technical and operational measures to be applied to the amateur and amateur satellite services that could be formalised in the Radio Regulations.

As the study activities work towards conclusions it is vital that the national societies engage with their national amateur radio regulators to ensure they understand and hear about the importance of this band for the amateur radio community.

Source IARU-R1

RNSS and Amateur Services

Tevel satellites on SpaceX launch

Tevel satellite under development - credit Herzliya Science Center

Tevel satellite under development – credit Herzliya Science Center

The Tevel mission consisting of 8 satellites developed by the Herzliya Science Center in Israel, each carrying an FM transponder, is expected to launch on January 13 at 15:25 GMT on the SpaceX Falcon-9 Transporter-3 mission. This mission also carries AMSAT-EA’s EASAT-2 and HADES satellites.

The AMSAT News Service reports:

Tevel-1, Tevel-2 ….Tevel-8

Beacon transmissions on 436.400 MHz, (9600bps BPSK G3RUH)
FM transponders uplink frequency: 145.970 MHz|
FM transponders downlink frequency: 436.400 MHz

All 8 satellites will have the same frequencies, so as long as the footprints are overlapping, only one FM transponder will be activated. The satellites were built by 8 schools in different parts of Israel.

Prelaunch TLEs:

Deployment number 28

1 12345U 22-T3TE 22013.69008102 0.00000000 00000-0 00000-0 0 9997
2 12345 97.3652 83.6317 0010843 246.0911 147.6817 15.12493461 06

Deployment number 30

1 12345U 22-T3TE 22013.69038194 0.00000000 00000-0 00000-0 0 9991
2 12345 97.3658 83.6317 0009074 254.1211 141.2940 15.11975594 07

Deployment number 55

1 12345U 22-T3TE 22013.69375000 0.00000000 00000-0 00000-0 0 9991
2 12345 97.3676 83.6318 0009046 252.0606 161.7026 15.11914367 05

Control station will be 4X4HSC at the Herzliya Science Center.

[ANS thanks David Greenberg, 4X1DG, for the above information]

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination information

First ever Svalbard QO-100 DXpedition JW100QO

Map of Svalbard showing the QO-100 station location

Map of Svalbard showing the QO-100 station location

A DXpedition to Svalbard (78° North) is planned for April 19-26 with the callsign JW0X. In addition to the five HF stations (FT8/FT4/RTTY/SSB/CW) the team will activate the first QO-100 satellite DX Station callsign JW100QO April 22-24.

Making the first ever QO-100 calls from Svalbard is the biggest challenge of this DXpedition. ON4CKM Cedric, ON4DCU Patrick and ON5UR Max will make a rugged snowmobile ride of almost 100 km in temperatures of -20° – 25° Celsius to reach their goal. Kapp Linné is the only place in the area that allows a view of the QO-100 satellite at only 3° above the horizon. Svalbard also lies on the edge of the satellite area (footprint), which makes the challenge even greater. We want to give as many radio amateurs as possible the opportunity to work this first QO-100 DXpedition. For this unique challenge we also have a special callsign JW100QO.

Further info at:

Svalbard QO-100 JW100QO April 22-24

Svalbard JW0X April 19-26

QO-100 geostationary amateur satellite transponder provides coverage from Brazil to Thailand, see

XW-3 (CAS-9) Satellite Launch December 26

XW-3 (CAS-9) satellite

The CAMSAT XW-3 (CAS-9) satellite carrying a 145/435 linear transponder was launched from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center at 03:11:31 GMT on December 26, 2021.

XW-3(CAS-9) satellite was piggybacked on the rocket with primary payload ZY-1(02E) satellite. The satellite orbit is a circular sun-synchronous orbit with an altitude of 770.1 kilometers and an inclination of 98.58 degrees, the running cycle is 100.14 minutes.

The functions of XW-3(CAS-9) satellite include UHF CW telemetry beacon, GMSK telemetry data transmission, V/U mode linear transponder, a visible light band space camera and an experimental thermoelectric generator for high school students.

Deployment from the launcher took place at 98.858° east longitude and 28.413° north latitude at 03:35:58 GMT, location close to Western Australia. The amateur radio CW beacon and GMSK telemetry signals were activated approximately 38 seconds after the satellite separated from the launch vehicle, and the linear transponder was switched on approximately 49 seconds later.

Download the XW-3 (CAS-9) Amateur Radio Satellite User’s Manual V1.11

Download the XW-3 (CAS-9) Amateur Radio Satellite Launch Time Sequence


Doppler measurements show that XW 3 (CAS 9) is object 50466 (2021-131B).

Frequency CW beacon: 435.57515 MHz.

1 50466U 21131B   21361.15310929 -.00000045  00000-0  00000+0 0  9991
2 50466  98.5981  73.3722 0003165 299.3678  60.7297 14.38435478   149

Updated at 11:45 UTC on the 27th Dec 2021

SatPC32 Doppler.SQF Line