ARRL General Bulletin ARLB062 (1997)

ARLB062 WRC-97 Opens October 27

ARRL Bulletin 62  ARLB062
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  October 17, 1997
To all radio amateurs

ARLB062 WRC-97 Opens October 27

Four items of prime interest to Amateur Radio will be on the agenda
when the World Radiocommunication Conference 97 (WRC-97) opens
October 27 in Geneva, Switzerland. ARRL Technical Relations Manager
Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, is a member of the US delegation to the
conference. Others attending include IARU representatives Larry
Price, W4RA, Wojciech Nietyksza, SP5FM, and Michael Owen, VK3KI.
Representing Canadian amateurs on his nation's delegation will be
Jim Dean, VE3IQ, of Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC).

WRC-97 delegates will discuss the so-called ''Little LEO'' issue
during the monthlong session. While the Little LEO industry's
preliminary proposals to share 2 meters, 1-1/4 meters and 70 cm
generated quite a stir in the amateur community last year, current
US proposals do not include any plans for sharing of amateur
frequencies. Also of interest to hams is the specter of increased
interference on some amateur UHF allocations from Earth Exploration
Satellites (EES), used for mapping by synthetic aperture radars
(SARs) that are expected to be mostly active in the Southern
hemisphere. Amateur radio delegates will make known the needs of our
service. WRC-97 will be asked to consider allocating the band
430-440 MHz to EES and upgrading the status of EES at 1240-1300 MHz.

Wind profiler radar systems operating near 50, 449 and 1000 MHz also
bear watching because of the potential for interference to Amateur
Radio. These systems are used by weather forecasters to look at wind
patterns in the higher atmosphere.

WRC-97 delegates also will set the agenda for WRC-99, where the
potential exists to establish a worldwide 40-meter allocation. The
current US concept calls for a ''harmonized'' band at 6900 to 7200 kHz
that would be available to hams around the globe. This would mean
hams would shift down by 100 kHz while broadcasters moved 100 kHz up
the band. Yet to be determined is how fixed services would be
handled in the realignment. The IARU is committed to the goal of a
300-kHz worldwide exclusive allocation for 40 meters. Right now,
only 7000 to 7100 kHz is available in Regions 1 and 3, where
broadcasters dominate the upper 200 kHz of the band.

WRC-97 is scheduled to conclude November 21.