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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB006 (2015)

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ARLB006 FCC Seeks Comment on Radar Sharing Schemes that Could
Displace Amateur Radio at 76-81 GHz

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ARRL Bulletin 6  ARLB006
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  February 10, 2015
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB006
ARLB006 FCC Seeks Comment on Radar Sharing Schemes that Could
Displace Amateur Radio at 76-81 GHz
 
The FCC is seeking comment on issues involving expanded use of
various radar applications in the 76-81 GHz band, which Amateur
Radio shares with other services. The band 77.5-78 GHz is allocated
to the Amateur and Amateur Satellite services on a primary basis,
and to the Radio Astronomy and Space Research services on a
secondary basis.

"We undertake this proceeding to expand the available spectrum for
radar operations in the 76-81 GHz band," the FCC said in a detailed
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Reconsideration Order (NPRM&RO),
released February 5 in ET Docket 15-26. The Commission said the
proposals include allocation changes as well as provisions "to
ensure that new and incumbent operations can share the available
frequencies in the band."  The NPRM&RO can be found in PDF format on
the web at,
http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2015/db0205/FCC-15-16A1.pdf
.

The FCC NPRM&RO is in response to a Petition for Rulemaking
(RM-11666) filed in 2012 by Robert Bosch LLC and to two petitions
for reconsideration of the Commission's 2012 Report and Order (R&O)
addressing vehicular radar systems in the 76-77 GHz band. ET 15-26
incorporates earlier proceedings.

Among many issues, the FCC seeks comment on the possibility of
reallocating the Amateur Radio and Amateur Satellite services from
76-81 GHz, and it asks for suggestions on "alternative spectrum that
we might make available in this general region."

Bosch's 2012 Petition sought to modify the FCC's Part 15 rules to
expand the operation of unlicensed vehicular radar systems from
76-77 GHz to the 76-81 GHz band to develop short-range radar (SRR)
applications. The Bosch petition received "general support from the
automotive industry," the Commission said.

In its petition, Bosch said that it anticipated no interference
issues between Amateur Radio operations and vehicular radar
operations at 77-81 GHz. "It notes that it is unconvinced after
several meetings with the technical staff of ARRL that there is any
'significant incompatibility,'" the FCC NPRM&RO recounted, "and
describes how amateur operations in the band 'tend to be largely
experimental, occurring in geographic areas such as mountaintops and
other rural areas where motor vehicle operation is not typical.'"

The FCC noted, however, that it "has previously recognized evidence
of potential interference conflicts" between Amateur Radio and
vehicular radar systems in the 76-77 GHz band, and believes the
potential for "similar compatibility issues" could exist above 77
GHz. More than 10 years ago the FCC suspended Amateur Radio and
Amateur Satellite operation in the 76-77 GHz segment and recently
extended the suspension.

"Our goal is to adopt rules that address amateur use, including
Amateur Satellite use, within the 76-81 GHz band in a comprehensive
and consistent manner," the FCC asserted.

The FCC said that to the extent commenters believe Amateur Radio can
continue to use the 4 millimeter band, it seeks comments on "what
additional rule modifications we would have to adopt to realize
successful shared use of the entire band." One possibility the FCC
raised was altering current amateur power limits in that portion of
the spectrum. The Commission said it also wants to "develop a record
on the types of amateur use, and the extent of such use, that is
currently undertaken" at 4 millimeters.

The ARRL plans to comment in the FCC proceeding.
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