US space radio spectrum report released


By Jonathan Nally
Wednesday, 10 April, 2019


US space radio spectrum report released

Last year, US President Donald Trump issued a policy directive that required the Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to provide a report “on improving the global competitiveness of the United States space sector through radio frequency spectrum policies, regulation, and United States activities at the International Telecommunication Union and other multilateral forums”.

The report, now released (PDF), includes a set of recommendations to support the radio frequency needs of the United States space sector.

The report considers the need to protect national security assets and balance other economic interests, consistent with the Administration’s “holistic approach to spectrum management and policy” reflected in the recently issued Presidential Memorandum on Developing a Sustainable Spectrum Strategy for America’s Future.

The report makes 13 recommendations: eight relating to spectrum and communications policies; two on streamlining the radio frequency licensing process; one for improving the US position in international forums; and two procedural recommendations involve strengthening stakeholder input mechanisms and regularly assessing spectrum needs for space operations.

The recommendations are:

  1. Allocate and assign radio frequencies domestically in a manner that recognises satellite operations are essential for space commerce innovation, competitiveness, and economic growth.
  2. Spectrum policy must balance in future allocations the rising demand for service with the availability of new technologies that significantly enhance spectral efficiency.
  3. Support global harmonisation of the radio frequency spectrum for space activities.
  4. Improve radio frequency access for commercial space launches in the United States.
  5. Protect space operations from harmful radio frequency interference.
  6. Examine the impact of quantum satellite communication technologies on the US radio frequency ecosystem.
  7. Develop short-term and long-term spectrum policies that ensure deep space communications and navigation capabilities can meet exponentially increasing demand.
  8. Support appropriate policies that can help speed the delivery of satellite broadband solutions to global markets in both served and underserved areas.
  9. Advance a streamlined US radio frequency licensing process for all satellites.
  10. Streamline the US process for authorising domestic reception of foreign Global Navigation Satellite System signals when found to be in the national interest.
  11. Work with like-minded countries to improve the space-related activities and processes of the International Telecommunication Union and other multilateral organisations.
  12. Develop a robust process for periodic stakeholder input.
  13. Assess spectrum demand for space operation and report on efforts to meet it.

You can read the full report here (PDF).

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