RADIO SPECTRUM MANAGEMENT ISSUES FOR RADIO ASTRONOMERS
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An IAU Symposium on
Preserving the Astronomical Sky
will be held in Vienna, Austria 12-16 July 1999.
There are many issues regarding spectrum management that are
a critical concern to radio astronomy and radio astronomers.
The FCC is the major
federal organization that regulates and mediates the licensing
of the spectrum for civilian use including protection
bands and areas in country for passive use such as radio astronomy
and earth observations. I am still trying to sort out the
relative roles of the FCC and the executive branch's
National Telecommunications and Information Administration,
or NTIA .
Every two years there is an international
gathering, the World Radiocommunication Conference or
WRC , to decide on global
allocation issues. The next WRC is in October 1997. The international
body in charge is the International Telecommunications Union, or
ITU , with its headquarters in
The US radio astronomy observatories commit significant resources to
local interference monitoring and reduction and to participation in
US and International spectrum management issues that are of vital concern
to the future of radio astronomy. At NRAO Green Bank there is a
National Radio Quiet Zone
NRQZ); they have recently established an
The NRAO Very Large Array,
a summary of interference in their observing bands, memoranda and
Bill Brundage's summary of World Radio Astronomy Frequency Allocations.
There is also a summary of RFI at the NRAO Very Long Baseline Array,
Willem Baan at The Netherlands Foundation for Radio Astronomy
maintains a web site to inform radio astronomers about activities
of the International Council of Scientific Unions,
activities in the area of spectrum management.
Tapasi Ghosh maintains Arecibo Observatory site information
about spectrum management issues and interference monitoring
activity at the
Tom Gergely is current head of the Electromagnetic Spectrum Management
section of the Division of Astronomical Sciences (AST) which is in the Mathematical
and Physical Sciences Directorate (MPS) of the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The Electromagnetic Spectrum Manager represents the interests of
the U.S. scientific community in the field of telecommunications management and regulation
at national, as well as international forums. For additional information
AAS Committee on Light Pollution,
Radio Interference and Space Debris.
The US National Research Council (NRC) which is part of the National Academy of
Sciences (NAS) has a number of Boards on Physics and Astronomy (BPA). One
of these is the Committee on Radio Frequencies,
CORF; here you will find a set of views, list of US radio observatories,
and links to IUCAF and ITU. There is a link there to the European equivalent
that I will repeat here: the Committee on Radio Astronomy Frequencies or
CRAF . They have issued a
handbook on radio astronomy with valuable summary of our service.
The US CORF also has a handbook, contact NAS.