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2021 News Releases




WIA Board adopts a policy on support for Amateur Satellite Applications

Date : 11 / 05 / 2021
Author : Peter Clee - VK8ZZ

The purpose of this policy document is to provide some guidance to the WIA Executive on making decisions when approached by organisations seeking WIA support or endorsement for their satellite mission and agreement for the use of amateur service frequency allocations for operation of satellites and associated ground control stations.

It was agreed that when considering an application for am Amateur Satellite the following points should be considered before giving WIA endorsement or support:

1. The satellite mission MUST offer:

a. a clearly defined amateur component e.g. a transponder, APRS system etc. ideally the amateur component would be available on a global basis for 100% of the time, though geographically and time-restricted applications may be considered if sufficient reasons are provided. OR

b. some part of the mission must be relevant to possible future amateur satellite missions e.g. technology or system such as attitude control systems, power systems, communications systems etc. AND the results the study will be made available to the amateur community through open access publications or seminars etc. OR

c. some clearly defined STEM activity that clearly involves the amateur service AND with the potential to increase the number of licenced amateur operators e.g. satellite training courses that are operated by educational institutions, amateur radio clubs and societies, or by qualified amateur operators with a view to increasing knowledge of and interest in the amateur service, OR

d. some combination of the above components.

2. The satellite ground station must be operated by a licenced amateur operator with the appropriate class of licence.

3. The satellite mission and the licensee must have no pecuniary (meaning related to money or financial matters) interest. However, in the case of amateur-educational missions where teachers are involved and they are employed by the institution proposing the satellite, the fact that they are earning a salary as a teacher is not considered to be a pecuniary interest. Commercial missions using amateur frequency allocations must be opposed.

4. Except for telecommand signals from Earth to the spacecraft, no transmissions in amateur spectrum shall be encrypted or have its meaning obscured.

5. All information necessary to decode telemetry or other transmissions from the satellite to Earth must be publicly available and in a format that allows interested amateurs to receive and understand the transmissions.

6. There must be no inter-service communications e.g. amateur traffic being relayed on space operation service, fixed or mobile service frequencies and vice-versa. If proposed, this idea should not be supported.

7. The satellite must not already be launched, i.e. endorsement of a satellite which is requested post-launch must be declined.

If the mission is seen to meet the above requirement, and is in the general interests of the amateur service and the WIA, support and endorsement of the proposed mission may be given, otherwise it should be withheld.

The Board of the WIA wish thank contributors in drafting this policy document especially the contributions of Dale VK1DSH.

Read the full policy document at this Link

Page Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 May 2021 at 22:26 hours by Peter Clee


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