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.
The 60th CRAF meeting was held May 3rd – 5th, 2017 at the Max Planck Institute for Radio astronomy (MPIfR) in Bonn. More than 20 CRAF members as well as experts from the German Federal Network Agency, the ESA and the DLR attended the meeting and discussed recent developments in spectrum management and interference issues, such as compatibility between passive services and IMT 5G, interference from the Iridium satellite system and other NGSO satellite proposals. The second day of the meeting was held at the Effelsberg radio observatory and included a tour of the observatory and facilities. Reports of interference from other observatories were also presented.
At this meeting eight directors of the CRAF Member Institutions as well as the CRAF liaison at the European Science Foundation, Jean-Claude Worms, were present.
The 59th meeting of CRAF was held May 31st to June 1st 2016 in Helsinki, Finland, hosted by the Aalto University and organised by Juha Kallunki. The first day of the meeting was held at the Metsähovi radio observatory and included a tour of the observatory and facilities. At this meeting the agenda items of the WRC-19 relevant to radio astronomy were introduced and an update on the progress with non-WRC issues was presented. The meeting concluded with the reports of interference from other observatories.