144 and 1240 MHz Bands – RSGB information

RSGB volunteers continue to be engaged with IARU and Ofcom on WRC matters including the 144 MHz and 1240 MHz bands as well as WRC-19 Agenda Items in CEPT-PTD (50 MHz, WPT, 5GHz) and CEPT-PT1 (24/47 GHz).

At UK level, RSGB are members of the Ofcom IFPG groups that consider these matters.

The RSGB has updated their special focus page with the latest documents and CEPT meeting minutes. See Proposed WRC-23 Agenda Items at
https://rsgb.org/main/news/special-focus/wrc-19/wrc-19-papers/

June 21 – RSGB Update on 144MHz and 1240 MHz band threats
https://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/gb2rs/headlines/2019/06/21/update-on-144mhz-and-23cm-threats/

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CEPT Project Team A, responsible for some aspects of the CEPT position for WRC-19, met in Prague from June 17-21. The meeting minutes are available for download

Regarding the 1240-1300 MHz band the minutes say:

The representative of the European Commission (EC) stated that, RNSS systems are global by nature, and that the radio amateur service is allocated in all regions. Once RNSS receivers (including Galileo E6 receivers) are deployed ubiquitously, the number of interference cases coming from radio amateur emissions will increase significantly and represent an important burden to Administrations, unless clear guidelines are available in order to drive the amateur community towards an appropriate usage of their allocation.

For these reasons, the EC believes that the French proposal of a WRC-23 agenda item is essential in order to complement the work being started within CEPT, and to find a sustainable solution for all parties. Also, the EC considers that WRC-23 is the right time for a decision enabling the better regulation of the RNSS-amateur coexistence at international level, as Galileo will start providing freely available high accuracy services in the 1260-1300 MHz band on a global basis from 2020.

The EC noted that some of the 7 Administrations which objected to the French contribution are open to consider a revised version of the proposal, and therefore believes that relevant support may be achievable at CPG level, following further discussions until end August.

Regarding the 144 MHz band the minutes say:

The representative of the IARU stated that, the IARU views with grave concern the element of the WRC-23 agenda item proposal 1.6 in the AI10 ECP, on studies towards a possible new allocation to the aeronautical mobile service in the band 144-146 MHz. This band is an important and the only globally harmonised primary allocation to the amateur and amateur satellite services in the VHF range. Examination of the RR below and above the 144-146 MHz range suggests that alternative proposals could be developed that could provide further spectrum for the aeronautical applications without impacting on this amateur service spectrum. The proposal provides no justification for addressing this band and the IARU believes that sharing with airborne systems is likely to be difficult and will lead to constraints on the development of the amateur and amateur satellite services in this band.

Meeting minutes https://cept.org/Documents/cpg-pt-a/52280/pta-19-105_minutes-pta-7

See the WRC-23 Agenda Items update issued by IARU Region 1 June 21
https://amsat-uk.org/2019/06/21/144-and-1240-mhz-bands-wrc-23-agenda-items-update/

Some background on previous CEPT WGFM and CPG/PTA discussions on the 1240-1300 MHz band
https://amsat-uk.org/2019/05/31/1240-1300-mhz-band-discussed-by-cept-wgfm-and-cpg-pta/

144 and 1240 MHz bands – WRC-23 Agenda Items – Update

IARU was represented at the meeting of CEPT Project Team A (responsible for some aspects of the CEPT position for WRC-19), held in Prague from June 17-21.

The IARU Region 1 website reports:

Of particular interest were discussions on two proposed Agenda items for WRC-23, concerning the sharing of the 1240-1300 MHz band with the Galileo navigation system and the proposal from France to study a range of frequencies, including the 144 MHz amateur band, for future aeronautical applications.

The output from PTA does not carry forward the Galileo proposal, but it is likely that further discussions will take place prior to the Conference Preparatory Group meeting in August. Meantime work on this issue will also continue in other specialist CEPT forums. IARU will continue to support this approach and it believes this will be the most efficient method for developing the sharing guidance required to protect Galileo operations in a timely manner.

Regarding new aeronautical frequencies (including 144-146 MHz), the proposal was not strongly opposed by administrations and has been carried forward to the higher level CEPT Conference Preparatory Group (CPG) meeting in August for final adoption.

IARU views with grave concern any proposal to include the 144 MHz band in the proposed aeronautical agenda item and will be making every effort to fully protect amateur radio interests and seek the support of regulators in this regard.

The band 144-146 MHz is allocated globally to the amateur and amateur satellite services on a primary basis. It is the only globally harmonised VHF band for the amateur and amateur satellite service. As such it is an important and widely used part of the amateur spectrum with a vast installed base of both terrestrial/maritime amateur users and systems and operational satellite stations including the International Space Station (ISS).

This heavily used band supports a large number of repeater stations, segments for weak-signal long distance terrestrial and EME (Earth-Moon-Earth) communications, satellite and ISS usage, data services, as well as conventional terrestrial and tropospheric communications. The Primary status of the band has also enabled a number of amateur aeronautical uses including on manned flights and high-altitude balloons. Supporting all of this is a wide variety of commercial and experimental equipment, ranging from ultra-low noise preamplifiers for sensitive receivers, software defined radios and transmitting systems that can deliver high EIRP levels when needed to overcome high loss propagation paths.

Given the propagation to/from an aircraft at altitude, it is entirely possible that harmful interference to sensitive amateur and amateur satellite receivers will be caused over a 1,000 km radius of a single aircraft.

IARU will shortly be providing a brief to Member Societies and other interested parties, asking them to discuss the French proposal with their administrations well in advance of the August CEPT-CPG meeting.

It is possible that France will seek to introduce into other Regional Telecommunications Organisations (RTO) the same proposal to study the 144-146 MHz band for aeronautical use. IARU will provide a brief shortly to enable representations to be made to administrations in countries under those RTOs for protection of this amateur spectrum allocation.

Source: IARU Region 1 http://iaru-r1.org/

The UK Microwave Group Tweeted:
“We hear only one admin (Germany) opposed the 144MHz proposal – no one else.”
https://twitter.com/UKGHZ/status/1142180732493803522

Download the documents from the CEPT CPG Project Team A meeting in Prague June 17-21 from
https://cept.org/ecc/groups/ecc/cpg/cpg-pt-a/client/meeting-documents/?flid=5624

Meeting Minutes https://cept.org/Documents/cpg-pt-a/52280/pta-19-105_minutes-pta-7

France proposes 144-146 MHz for Aeronautical Mobile Service
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2019/june/france-proposes-144-146-mhz-for-aeronautical-mobile-service.htm

1240-1300 MHz band discussed by CEPT WGFM and CPG/PTA
https://amsat-uk.org/2019/05/31/1240-1300-mhz-band-discussed-by-cept-wgfm-and-cpg-pta/

1240-1300 MHz IARU Region 1 paper PTA(19)069 – RNSS Proposal WRC-19 AI 10
http://rsgb.org/main/files/2019/06/PTA19069_IARU_AI-10_Amateur-GNSS_Final.pdf

Could a new licence class help counter threats at VHF and above?
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2019/june/could-a-new-licence-counter-threats-at-vhf-and-above.htm

Proposed 50-54 MHz Agenda Item for WRC-19

Logo WRC RA 2015Details have been released by Ofcom of the UK positions for WRC-15 which takes place in Geneva, November 2-27, 2015.

Ofcom’s statement references the document containing the European Common Proposals for agenda items for the next conference, WRC-19. One proposal is EUR-A25-2 – Primary allocation of the band 50-54 MHz to the Amateur Service in Region 1. The inclusion of this proposal is very welcome since it would facilitate further worldwide harmonization.

Although the proposal only references the Amateur Service such an allocation would be of great benefit to the Amateur Satellite Service.

A 50 MHz Amateur Satellite allocation would offer:
• low Doppler shift
• good link budget requirements
• relieve pressure on the only existing VHF amateur satellite allocation on 145 MHz.

Doppler
A 50 MHz signal from a satellite in an 800 km orbit would have a Doppler shift of +/-1.1 kHz during a 15 minute pass compared with +/-3.27 kHz at 145 MHz greatly easing tuning requirements.

Link Budget
The free space path loss at 50 MHz would be 9.2 dB lower than on 145 MHz. A low path loss is particularly important for small satellites with a limited power budget such as CubeSats or PocketQubes. These satellites may be just 10x10x10 cm or smaller and the limited surface area restricts the amount of solar power than can be generated. Typical transmitter output powers range between 100 mW and 400 mW. This power might be shared by a beacon and up to 5 SSB stations in the transponder passband, giving maybe 50 mw per station. Because of their size these satellites have to use simple omni-directional antennas such as a dipole or monopole

Satellite antennas for this band will need to be kept to a manageable size, this will help drive experimentation and innovation in antenna design for these frequencies. Where the band is used as a satellite uplink there is no need to utilize a full size antenna.

The low path loss of this band could facilitate the development of compact rapid deployment satellite ground stations utilizing omni-directional antennas for emergency communication scenarios.

Relieve Congestion
The existing satellite segment at 145.8-146.0 MHz is already congested with satellite downlinks. Most frequencies are already in use by four or more satellites. An additional VHF allocation would relieve the pressure.

ITU Footnote 5.282
This footnote currently covers the Amateur Satellite Service UHF and Microwave allocations between 435 MHz and 6 GHz.
It would be desirable if the footnote could be expanded to include operation in 50-51 MHz.
http://life.itu.int/radioclub/rr/arsfoot.htm

Read the European Common Position on Agenda Item 10

Ofcom statement http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/wrc15/statement/UK_Positions_for_WRC-15.pdf

Small satellites: Possible future WRC agenda item

Logo WRC RA 2015The CEPT CPG-PTA-8 meeting in Catania, Sicily, July 21-24, discussed a number of issues related to WRC-15 among them a paper submitted by The Netherlands – Small satellites: further aspects for the development of a future agenda item.

The paper’s summary says:

Following proposals from 12 CEPT members, WRC12 decided to place the subject of nanosatellites and picosatellites on the WRC19 agenda for adoption at WRC15.

Since then a growing number of small satellites, launched year on year has been recorded, and a growing number of diverse applications has been implemented ranging from technology demonstration and research to Earth observation. The applications of these small satellites vary widely, but all of these satellites have one common need which is Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TT&C). Providing for proper TT&C will allow positive satellite control at all times, and, when combined with ranging capability, may provide for orbit determination as well which in turn can aid in the tracking of space objects.

At this moment, the study work under the related agenda item 9, issue 9.1.8 which deals with regulatory aspects for nanosatellites and picosatellites is finished. The studies have indicated a number of difficulties in the application of the Radio Regulations. These difficulties, however, do not justify a change of Articles 9 and 11.

Considering that most bands currently used for satellite telemetry and command such as the 2200-2290MHz SRS/SOS/EESS allocation are heavily crowded, the growth in numbers of small satellites launched offers new challenges which were not faced before. Therefore, the proposal for AI 10 is to invite ITU-R in the forthcoming study period to identify additional allocations to the space operation service (SOS) within the 137MHz-960MHz range. This frequency range is particularly suitable for small satellites since it offers favourable propagation characteristics while allowing moderately complex antenna systems and antenna pointing requirements on board the satellite.

CPG-PTA-8 meeting in Catania, Sicily, July 21-24, 2015
http://www.cept.org/ecc/groups/ecc/cpg/cpg-pt-a/client/meeting-calendar/event-details?meetingid=1133

To download the meeting documents:
• Go to http://www.cept.org/ecc/groups/ecc/cpg/cpg-pt-a/client/meeting-documents
• Click on 2015
• Click on 8th CPG PTA Meeting – 21-24 July – Sicily
• Click Input Contributions and Goto table
• Tick documents
• Click on Minutes and Annexes and Goto table
• Tick documents
• Do same for Annex IV – Draft Briefs, Annex V – Draft ECPs, Annex VI – misc
• Click the Download selected button