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IARU Administrative Council Considers New Radio Spectrum Pollution Threat


The Administrative Council (AC) of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) believes high-power wireless power transfer (WPT) for electric vehicles has significant potential for interference with radio communication. That assessment came as the AC met on September 15 and 16 in Landshut, Germany, immediately prior to the IARU Region 1 Conference, to review its priorities and positions with regard to the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19). Conference Agenda Item 9.1.6 would call for studies in advance of WRC-23 to assess the impact of WPT for electric vehicles on radiocommunication services and to study suitable harmonized frequency ranges to minimize its impact. The AC determined that addressing the threat requires an increased commitment of resources by potentially affected radiocommunication services, including Amateur Radio.

The WPT issue came up earlier this month at the meeting of CEPT WRC Project Team D, held in Vilnius, Lithuania, the week of September 11. At that gathering, IARU addressed the impact of spurious emissions from proposed high-power WPT systems for electric vehicles. IARU has expressed concern that current spurious emissions limits are not fit for this purpose in residential environments, and the potential impact on both Amateur Radio and broadcast reception is severe.

As the ITU explained in its August 2016 report, “Applications of wireless power transmission via radio frequency beam,” WPT technology is considered a game-changer. “We will be able to become free from lacking electric power when electric power will be supplied wirelessly,” the report said. WPT vehicle applications typically use frequencies in the LF and MF range.

In other matters, the AC reviewed the results of its first year following a “matrix approach” to WRC preparation. The matrix approach is designed to ensure effective coordination among the IARU volunteers who are participating in and monitoring the preparatory meetings of the ITU and regional telecommunications organizations. In addition to WPT, the WRC-19 agenda includes several other items of potential concern to radio amateurs and a possible allocation in Region 1 of 50–54 MHz to the Amateur Service to harmonize with the allocations in the other two International Telecommunication Union (ITU) regions.

Delegates reviewed and updated the strategic plan to develop support for amateur spectrum allocations in 2016–2020, and they approved action plan for the remainder of 2017 and 2018. They also reviewed and adopted the IARU 2018–2020 budget, based upon anticipated financial contributions from the IARU International Secretariat and the three regional organizations. The budget adopted reflects ongoing efforts to minimize expenses.

Regional representatives on the AC reported progress in their areas, including the successful Amateur Radio Administration Course, a course attended by administrators from several Latin American countries that was offered earlier this year in Mexico City.

Delegates initiated the consultative process between the International Secretariat and the AC, leading to the nomination of the candidates for IARU President and Vice President for the 5-year term beginning in 2019. Member societies will have the opportunity to put forth candidates in early 2018. They also noted progress toward improving the consistency of IARU “branding” and approved a plan for achieving consistent design across the global and regional IARU websites.

Other Business

  • Tore Worren, LA9QL, was appointed as EMC Coordinator, replacing Thilo Kootz, DL9KCE, who has had to step down because of a change in employment.
  • The AC received an interim report from the Working Group on Propagation. The group is studying developments in technology related to radio propagation observations.
  • An extensive review of AC resolutions and policies was conducted, leading to the suppression of obsolete resolutions and the updating of other resolutions and policies.
  • Progress toward the registration of the IARU as a corporate entity was reviewed, and further steps were authorized.
  • The theme for the next World Amateur Radio Day, April 18, 2018, was confirmed as “Celebrating Amateur Radio’s Contribution to Society.” An effort will be made to share material among member societies to assist them in observing the day.
  • The AC also approved a transition from paper to electronic certificates for participants in the IARU HF Championship.

The AC is responsible for the policy and management of the IARU. It consists of the three IARU international officers and two representatives from each of the three IARU regional organizations.

Attending the meeting were IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA; Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR; Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ; regional representatives Don Beattie, G3BJ; Faisal Al-Ajmi, 9K2RR; Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AM; Ramón Santoyo, XE1KK; Gopal Madhavan, VU2GMN, and Peter Young, VK3MV. Dave Court, EI3IO, from Region 1 was present as an observer on the second day of the meeting.

The AC won’t meet again in person until next September, but virtual meetings will be conducted by teleconference as needed in the interim.





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