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IARU Raises Satellite Frequency-Coordination Concerns


[UPDATED 2015-08-09 1228 UTC] The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has expressed concern that satellites that are — or will be — operating in Amateur Radio bands may cause conflicts in some parts of the world. With the support of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), IARU volunteer satellite coordinators assign appropriate frequencies for satellites designed to operate on Amateur Radio frequencies. Speaking on behalf of the IARU, Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD, said these efforts have generally been successful, “allowing satellites to operate without undue interference to each other and to other services using the bands in question.” Stafford said, however, that IARU is aware of some satellites already operating on Amateur Radio frequencies that are causing difficulties in part of the world, because their frequencies do not appear to be in accordance with existing band plans.

“IARU has now become aware of plans to launch a series of satellites, where the frequencies proposed appear to conflict with existing IARU band plans in some parts of the world,” Stafford's August 7 statement continued. “IARU is investigating how this has arisen, and is discussing the issues with the parties involved.”

While he did not name any specific satellites that may be of concern, AMSAT-UK has reported that the IARU Satellite Coordinator has been asked to China’s XW-2 (CAS-3) satellite mission, which will see nine satellites launched early next month. According to AMSAT-UK, some of the frequencies proposed for the XW-2/CAS-3 mission do not respect the internationally agreed-upon Region 1 band plan for 2 meters. Stafford said the IARU would be expanding on its August 7 statement “as soon as possible.” — Thanks to IARU and AMSAT News Service, via AMSAT-UK



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