Answer: can we solve coordination between space systems (space-to-Earth) and airborne applications by specific agreements between radio astronomy stations and operators of these space/airborne systems?

In various discussions on space services (space-to-Earth) and airborne applications the opinion is expressed that, if such a system is intended to operate co-frequency within the visibility of a particular radio astronomy station, a specific agreement between the operator of that system and that radio astronomy station will be needed to ensure that the requirements for the protection of radio astronomy observations as given in ITU-R RA.769 and ITU-R RA.1513 will be met within the specific frequency band.

In some countries, specifically the USA, it is considered that such agreements between radio astronomy stations and operators of active systems are valuable elements in finding solutions for certain coordination issues, when no straightforward regulatory solution can be found.

In these countries, such agreements can be treated as a national matter, while in an area such as Europe various regional aspects of the matter add a significant complexity to solving coordination issues in this way and may even raise unsolvable problems.

The fact that such agreements are considered feasible within the USA is a consequence of the local US scenario, in which a single federally operating organization manages most of the US radio astronomy stations: the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, NRAO. Its funding agency, the US National Science Foundation is considered to represent all US radio astronomy in such discussions and/or negotiations.

The concerned Administrations must be involved in the completion of such agreements, seen their regulatory implications, specifically the related national licensing and enforcement policy. In Europe, also the CEPT obviously will have a role in this respect.


CRAF concludes that, taking into account the various considerations given above, in particular the regulatory and organizational fragmentation of Europe, CEPT should not support pan-European coordination agreements between radio astronomy stations and operators of applications in active services.In Europe, coordination agreements between radio astronomy stations and operators of aeronautical and space systems are not practicable because of the associated complex, and sometimes even unsolvable, problems. General procedures for the completion and enforcement of pan-European agreements cannot be developed of date, due to the different regulatory implications for the different kinds of applications that could be considered.

In Europe, coordination should be retained within the current national, European Administrative structure(s).

Committee on Radio Astronomy Frequencies