WRC 2023 Agenda Item Details

Agenda Item: Agenda Item 1.6
Resolution(s): Resolution 772 (COM6/5) (WRC-19)
Description of work:

This agenda item is to consider regulatory provisions to facilitate radiocommunications for sub-orbital vehicles

The ITU-R is invited to study:

  1. the spectrum needs for communications between station on sub-orbital vehicles and terrestrial / space stations providing functions such as voice, data, TT&C etc.
  2. appropriate modifications, if any, to the RR, excluding any new allocations or changes to existing allocations, to accommodate sub-orbital vehicles including the status of these stations, technical and regulatory conditions for sub-orbital vehicles to operate under aeronautical regulations and to facilitate radiocommunications would enable sub-orbital vehicles to integrate into airspace and be interoperable with international civil aviation, to define relevant technical characteristics and protection criteria relevant for studies and to conduct sharing and compatibility studies with incumbent services that are allocated on a primary basis in the same or adjacent frequency bands
  3. identify as a result of studies if there is a need for access to additional spectrum that should be addressed after WRC-23
Comments: There has been significant interest in sub-orbital vehicles recently, with companies like Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin targeting the tourist market. But should these be classified as very high aircraft or low spacecraft or something completely new? And what would be the appropriate frequency bands to use? There are also questions for SG 3, given the heights are outside the range for aeronautical propagation models. The Resolution recognises that there is no internationally agreed legal demarcation between the Earth's atmosphere and the space domain. It also invites ICAO to participate in the studies and provide to the ITU the relevant technical characteristics required for the studies. WP 5B is invited to establish a new working group (WG) with responsibility for AIs 1.6, 1.7 and 1.8 chaired by a satellite expert.
Lead Working Party(s): WP 5B
Involved Working Parties: WP 3M, WP 4A, WP 4C, WP 7B
How Visualyse products can help: Visualyse Professional can model ground stations, Earth stations, aircraft, space stations and sub-orbital vehicles and any radio communications and potential interference between them. A range of propagation models are available and we track work within SG 3 closely and if further models are developed we would plan to include them in a future release. A range of modelling methodologies can be used including static and dynamic, and flight paths can be modelled by defining way-points of (lat, long, height) at specified times.
How Transfinite consultants can help: We can undertake studies including analysis of sharing between the station types (ground, Earth, air, space, sub-orbital) and services covered by this agenda item, and identify suitable system characteristics and sharing criteria, and provide contributions and representation at ITU-R Working Parties. Using our in house Visualyse Professional we can quickly model a very wide range of systems, services and scenarios.
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