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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB013 (2015)

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ARLB013 Comments Due by April 6 on 76-81 GHz Radar Sharing Proposals

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ARRL Bulletin 13  ARLB013
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  March 9, 2015
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB013
ARLB013 Comments Due by April 6 on 76-81 GHz Radar Sharing Proposals

Comments are due by April 6 on an FCC proceeding that could lead to
expanded spectrum for 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. The FCC released a detailed
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Reconsideration Order (NPRM&RO) in
ET Docket 15-26 on February 5. 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 ARRL will file comments in the FCC proceeding. Reply comments
(ie, comments on comments filed by the April 5 deadline) are due by
April 20.

The FCC NPRM&RO was in response to a 2012 Petition for Rulemaking
(RM-11666) from 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. Noting that it "has previously recognized evidence of
potential interference conflicts" between Amateur Radio and
vehicular radar systems in the 76-77 GHz band, the FCC said it
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 has 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.

Interested parties may file comments in ET Docket 15-26 via the
Federal eRulemaking Portal at, http://www.regulations.gov, or the
FCC Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) at
http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/, following the instructions for submitting
comments.

Individuals with disabilities should contact the FCC to request
reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign
language interpreters, CART, etc) via e-mail at, FCC504@fcc.gov, or
by calling 202-418-0530 or TTY 202-418-0432.
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