The 54th meeting of the IARU Administrative Council (AC) was held in person at the Seehotel, Friedrichshafen, Germany, on Monday June, 20th, 2022 and Tuesday, June 21st, 2022
Much of the meeting was spent reviewing the work from the strategic planning working groups. After discussion it was agreed that in order to improve the efficiency and timeliness of IARU decisions and actions, the goal of the planning sessions is to structure IARU as one single, global organization. It was further agreed the working groups must complete their work in time for presentation of the design for change to 2023 IARU R1 Conference.
A draft letter to member-societies offering guidance on amateur satellites was approved. The AC added the importance of member societies contacting satellite builders as early as possible to ensure a smooth IARU frequency coordination. The importance of updated pre-launch data as well as public available operational information after launch was stressed. All contact with the IARU frequency coordination team should go to firstname.lastname@example.org );
A proposed letter requesting support from the European Space agency was approved. The IARU Satellite Coordinator, Hans Blondeel-Timmerman, PB2T, was thanked for leading this initiative.
The AC agreed on advice and guidance to member-societies on footnotes to the International Radio Regulations as covered by WRC-23 agenda item 8. There was emphasis not to seek changes to any footnotes relating to 50MHz since these are from the recent WRC-19.
The AC similarly agreed on supporting Conference Preparatory Meeting text for WRC-23 Agenda Item 9.1 (b). In consultation with the AI 9.1 (b) leads, a news release and preliminary presentation on this agenda item was approved and released.
A review of the preliminary agenda items for WRC-27 was started and will be followed up by the officers.
The status of the grant requests to ARDC was reviewed and approved.
After a presentation, the AC authorized support for UN Human Security for All project.
A study of the issues relating to the internation forwarding of QSL’s between bureaus is ongong.
Succession planning was discussed with reference that the consultation process for the next round of elections for IARU president and vice president should start in the fall of this year.
Members attending the meeting were IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA; Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR; Secretary Joel Harrison, W5ZN; Sylvain Azarian, F4GKR, President, and Mats Espling, SM6EAN, Secretary, IARU Region 1; Ramón Santoyo, XE1KK, President IARU Region 2,; and IARU Region 3 Chairman Ken Yamamoto, JA1CJP, and Director Yudi Hasbi, YD1PRY. Also participating was Assistant Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ
June 23, 2022 — After review and approval by the IARU Region 1 Executive Committee and the IARU Administrative Council this link is to a presentation on preliminary Amateur / RNSS Coexistence in the 23cm band
During the period 4–10 May 2022, the IARU continued to engage in the preparatory work for WRC-23 agenda item 9.1b in ITU‑R Working Party 4C (WP4C).
Work continued to develop the coexistence studies between the amateur services in the 23cm band and the radio-navigation satellite services (RNSS) operating across the band. New studies were submitted by France, China and the Russian Federation.
The scale of the problem for the amateur services is becoming clear. For example, the studies predict that even a 10W 23cm band station could cause interference to RNSS receivers at up to 30km on the antenna main beam heading. Although the level of amateur activity and the density of users is quite low (compared to other more popular bands) the issue remains that from a regulatory perspective the amateur services are required to not cause harmful interference to RNSS services.
The figure below is a sample of one result from one study submitted into ITU‑R and further illustrates the scale of the problem. In this example a station using an 18dBi gain antenna is used for both narrow band and wideband (ATV) transmissions and a range of power levels. The protection criteria for the RNSS receivers differs for narrowband and wideband interfering signals. The figure shows the distances out from the amateur station where the RNSS protection criteria could be exceeded along the antenna main beam heading.
These results have been developed based the ITU‑R defined receiver protection level for the GALILEO RNSS. For the narrow band modes this is ‑134.5dBW and for the wideband modes is ‑140dBW/MHz. In addition, measurement campaigns have shown that an improvement in the compatibility potential can be seen if the amateur signals avoid the centre portion of the GALILEO receiver passband.
Of course the studies cannot take into account every possibility that might mitigate the problem (e.g clutter, terrain blocking etc.) but it is clear that the potential for interference is considerable.
The IARU is working hard to ensure that the amateur service can continue to develop in this band and allow all the amateur applications in use today to continue. However, given the heavy spectrum occupancy of the band by the various RNSS systems it is evident that proposals will come calling to restrict our ability to operate in certain parts of the band and at the power levels possible today. IARU is totally engaged in the discussion of these considerations and these will continue within ITU‑R (and other regional bodies).
The IARU summary report on the WP4C meeting can be found here which in turn includes a link to the full draft stu
In response to recent world events, the International Amateur Radio Union has issued the following statement:
“IARU is an apolitical organization focused on promoting and defending amateur radio and the amateur radio services. The amateur radio service is about self-instruction in communications and friendship between people.”
As we head into 2022 the ITU‑R and CEPT work considering the 23cm band and coexistence with the RNSS systems (GALILEO, COMPASS, GLONASS, GPS…) will continue so where have we got to and where is it heading?
The IARU has provided extensive information regarding the amateur and amateur satellite service applications in the band 1240–1300MHz as well as operational characteristics and data indicating the density of active transmitting stations and the busiest periods when these are most likely to be operational. Using this data, one CEPT administration has provided an extensive set of propagation model predictions for a number of amateur operating scenario assumptions (including satellite working and EME operation) that predict an “interfered area” over which an amateur transmissions may be received by a RNSS receiver at levels exceeding a defined protection level. Another ITU‑R member administration contributed a smaller set of predictions using the same model. The received RNSS interference level that the RNSS can tolerate (receiver protection level) is based on ITU‑R recommended criteria and depends on whether narrowband or wideband interfering signals are being transmitted.
The propagation model predicts that an interfered area can extend out to several tens of km (depending on the scenario) but at the extremes of the area, the time probability of exceeding the protection level is very low (1%) and for only 50% of locations. The model can only assume a full power continuous transmission.
In addition much attention has been paid to documenting an interference case recorded in Italy between an Italian 23cm band repeater and GALILEO receivers at the nearby European Commission Joint Research Centre in Ispra where work is undertaken to develop and test GALILEO system applications. The impact of traffic through this very local repeater (12.5km distant) on three different GALILEO receivers has been documented. This work suggests that whilst RNSS receiver bandwidth can have a part to play in enabling coexistence, beyond that nothing has been reported that could help develop any coexistence criteria. Nothing is reported about the mode of failure in the receivers beyond degradation on C/N.
This one case is often cited as the “proof” that interference can occur.
At present the conclusions from this work are being developed (in ITU‑R and CEPT) and IARU work continues to ensure these results are put into a real world context to understand what they imply with respect to successful coexistence.
Amateur transmissions virtually anywhere in the band will be co-frequency with the RNSS receivers from one system or another. It is therefore obvious that any RNSS receiver will be open to any co-frequency amateur transmission and amateur operators have no way of knowing where or when a RNSS service user is active. Therefore IARU has expressed a view that for successful coexistence guidance to be developed, some compromises will need be necessary.
As we move through the work in 2022 we need these compromises will become apparent so that the amateur community can know how to respond appropriately in a way that can allow our diverse set of applications to continue to develop whilst minimising any potential disruption to RNSS services. It is anticipated that the international views on the ITU‑R studies will need to stabilise by the middle of this this year in order to meet the timetable for the WRC-23 preparatory work. These views will likely propose technical and operational measures to be applied to the amateur and amateur satellite services that could be formalised in the Radio Regulations.
As the study activities work towards conclusions it is vital that the national societies engage with their national amateur radio regulators to ensure they understand and hear about the importance of this band for the amateur radio community.