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FCC Grants Special Temporary Authority for Amateur Spread Spectrum Experiments


Phil Williams, KA1GMN, has been granted a Special Temporary Authority (STA) by the Federal Communications Commission to conduct Spread Spectrum experiments within 2.5 kHz signal bandwidths on 160 through 2 meters at a maximum of 100 W effective radiated power.  The 6-month authorization takes effect February 1 and expires on July 31. The FCC has assigned Williams the call sign WF9XJD for use during his experimental transmissions.

“The overall objective is to evaluate the compatibility of operating spread spectrum on the HF and VHF,” Williams stated. “I think it is going to boil down to the established Amateur Radio best operating practices. Part of this experiment will be to determine the minimum ERP required to maintain reliable communications.  I think this is extremely important with the crowded bands we all have to operate in today.”

Spread-Spectrum technology has been available for decades and it is often used as a means to limit power flux density in the transmitted signal while providing substantial immunity at the receiving end to natural and man-made interference. Under normal operation (not an STA) amateurs in the United States are only permitted to use Spread Spectrum above 222 MHz. The STA granted to KA1GMN breaks new ground by allowing Spread Spectrum experimentation on the HF and lower VHF bands.

The full text of the STA is available here.



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