European administrations meet with Iridium on RAS protection

On February 3rd and 4th 2016 representatives of the administrations of Germany, Netherlands, UK and US, and representatives of Iridium, CRAF and UK radio astronomy met at the Ofcom headquarters in London to discuss the protection of radio astronomy in the band 1610.6-1613.8 MHz from the new Iridium NEXT non-GSO satellite system. Iridium presented a new proposal to improve the compatibility of the NEXT satellites with radio astronomy. The proposed method is based on switching off individual satellite beams while passing over specific radio astronomy sites and redistributing the traffic load to nearby satellites in order to reduce the unwanted emissions from the satellites. Iridium expects that with this method the level of unwanted emissions in the radio astronomy band will be below those specified in ECC/DEC(09)02. However, no detailed information was provided during the meeting. Iridium agreed to provide more information to the administrations present at the meeting at a later time.