Radio Spectrum Inventory: A 2010 Snapshot — Canada

Chapter 8–Space Science Services (EESS, SRS, MetSat, SOS, MetAids, RAS)

8.1 Background

8.1.1 Definition of space science services

  1. Earth exploration-satellite service (EESS) is defined in Article 5 of the ITU-R Radio Regulation as a radiocommunication service between earth stations and one or more space stations, which may include links between space stations, in which:
    • information relating to the characteristics of the Earth and its natural phenomena, including data relating to the state of the environment, is obtained from active sensors or passive sensors on Earth satellites;
    • similar information is collected from airborne or Earth-based platforms;
    • such information may be distributed to earth stations within the system concerned;
    • platform interrogation may be included.

    This service may also include feeder links necessary for its operation.

  2. Space research service(SRS) is defined as a radiocommunication service in which spacecraft or other objects in space are used for scientific or technological research purposes.
  3. Meteorological-satellite service (MetSat) is defined as an earth exploration-satellite service for meteorological purposes.
  4. Meteorological aids service(MetAids) is defined as a radiocommunication service used for meteorological, including hydrological, observations and exploration.
  5. Space operation service (SOS) is defined as a radiocommunication service concerned exclusively with the operation of spacecraft, in particular space tracking, space telemetry and space telecommand.
  6. Radio astronomy service (RAS) is defined as a service involving the use of radio astronomy based on the reception of radio waves of cosmic origin.

8.1.2 Broad description of type of service/applications

  • Earth exploration-satellite systems are used to gather data about the Earth and its natural phenomena. These satellites use active and/or passive sensors on board the spacecraft to obtain data on the Earth's land, sea and atmosphere in order to study and monitor the Earth's climate and environment, amongst many other related scientific applications. Active sensors are radar-like measuring instruments in the Earth exploration-satellite service which obtain information by transmitting radio waves and then receiving their reflected energy. Passive sensors are very sensitive receivers in the Earth exploration-satellite service, which measure the electromagnetic energy emitted, absorbed or scattered by the Earth's surface or atmosphere. The data from Earth exploration-satellites enable a diverse set of scientific applications which provide countless societal benefits to all humans. As a rule, the scientific data and the associated data products are shared with all nations regardless of which nation built, launched or operates the satellite.
  • Meteorological-satellites (MetSats) are Earth exploration-satellites used for weather-related purposes. MetSats can operate within the Earth exploration-satellite service or in their own more specialized service, known as the meteorological-satellite service.
  • In addition to the data collected by satellites, data may be collected from airborne or ground-based platforms to supplement and calibrate the satellite data. For example, MetAids service usually provides the link between an in situ sensing system for meteorological parameters and a remote base station. The in situ sensing system may be carried, for instance, by a weather balloon. Alternatively, it may be falling through the atmosphere on a parachute after deployment from an aircraft or meteorological rocket. The base station may be in a fixed location or mounted on a mobile platform as used in defence operations. Some base stations are carried on ships or research aircraft. All of this collected data must also be transmitted to other platforms or to Earth stations for additional processing and data distribution.
  • Space research service systems enable a diverse set of scientific disciplines and technology programs to benefit mankind. These scientific disciplines include: solar-terrestrial physics, space physics and planetary systems research.
    • Solar-terrestrial physics focus on studies of the Sun, solar activities and its influence on the Earth. Studies are carried out using a network of scientific spacecraft located in many regions of interplanetary space, usually between the Sun and the Earth, and equipped with an array of scientific instruments to sense and detect solar electromagnetic radiation and plasma particles and waves.
    • Space physics research is dedicated to the study of the fundamental laws of physics in our solar system. The information gathered is used to improve the design of a spacecraft, its instrumentation, and its navigational capabilities.
    • Planets, moons, asteroids and comets are studied to gain knowledge of the origin and evolution of our solar system. Spacecraft, probes and planetary landers provide us with extensive information on the planets and their moons in our solar system.
  • Space operation service deals exclusively with the operation ofspacecraft, in particular space tracking, space telemetry and space telecommand (referred to as TT and C, or TT&C). These operations functions are associated with the satellite bus. The satellite bus provides the necessary support functions for the operation of the instruments, such as power, attitude control (maintaining the desired orientation of the satellite, or satellite pointing), commanding and data handling, health-monitoring (both satellite and payload), station-keeping (i.e. maintaining the desired orbit and correcting for atmospheric drag, orbit precession, etc.), maintaining the correct thermal environment (e.g. turning on heaters if necessary), etc. Typically, the satellite bus links require relatively low bandwidths, as they support a data rate of approximately one megabit per second and often much less, whereas the science data (payload) data rates typically are in the order of a hundred megabits per second.
  • Radio astronomy service is defined in Article 1 of the Radio Regulations as being astronomy based upon the reception of cosmic radio waves. The aggregate of these cosmic emissions constitutes the cosmic background noise of communications. Being a passive service, radio astronomy does not involve the transmission of radio waves in its allocated bands, and therefore the use of these bands cannot cause interference to any other service. On the other hand, the cosmic signals received are extremely weak, and their reception is therefore very susceptible to interference by transmissions of other services. The best times for observation of radio sources are generally dictated by natural phenomena (the position of the source in the sky and the rotation of the Earth). Unlike the situation in active (transmitting) services, the radio astronomer cannot change the characteristics of the signal to be received; the emitted power cannot be increased, or the signal coded, in order to increase detectability. Much of the information obtained by radio astronomy is unique and cannot be obtained at other radio wavelengths. For example, atomic neutral hydrogen (HI), the primeval element of the universe, is detectable only through its radio line at 1420 MHz.

    In contributing to our knowledge of astronomy, the radio astronomy service has also contributed to other areas. It has provided information on the atmospheric absorption of radio waves, which is of interest to telecommunications. It has also contributed to communication technology. Its pioneering operations have led to continuing development of low-noise amplifier techniques, extending to progressively higher frequencies and wider bandwidths, and the production of receiver systems with ever increasing sensitivity. Significant contributions have been made to the design of feed systems and large steerable antennas. The technique of very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) is also important for geodetic measurements and for the accurate tracking of spacecraft. The sophisticated image processing techniques developed by radio astronomers have a direct application in areas such as medicine and mining.

    At present, radio astronomy utilizes the electromagnetic spectrum at frequencies from below 1 MHz to about 1000 GHz. The entire radio spectrum is of scientific interest to the radio astronomy service.

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8.2 Current Allocations and Utilization

8.2.1 List of Allocated Bands

Table 8.1
Frequency (MHz) Space Science Services
25.550-25.670 primary serviceRADIO ASTRONOMYend primary service
37.5-38.25 secondary serviceRadio Astronomyend secondary service
40.98-41.015 secondary serviceSpace Researchend secondary service
73-74.6 primary serviceRadio Astronomyend primary service
400.15-401 primary serviceMETEOROLOGICAL AIDS
METEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE (s-E)
MOBILE-SATELLITE (s-E) 5.208A 5.208B 5.209
SPACE RESEARCH (s-E) 5.263end primary service
secondary serviceSpace Operation (s-E)end secondary service
401-402 primary serviceEESS (E-s)
METEOROLOGICAL AIDS
METEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE (E-s)
SPACE OPERATION (s-E)end primary service
402-403 primary serviceEESS (E-s)
METEOROLOGICAL AIDS
METEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE (E-s)end primary service
403-406 primary serviceMETEOROLOGICAL AIDSend primary service
406.1-410 primary serviceMOBILEend primary service except aeronautical mobile
primary serviceRADIO ASTRONOMYend primary service
460-470 primary serviceMOBILE 5.286AA 5.287 C23
EESS end primary service
608-614 primary serviceRADIO ASTRONOMYend primary service
1215-1240 primary serviceEESS (active)
SPACE RESEARCH (active)end primary service
1240-1300 primary serviceEESS (active)
SPACE RESEARCH (active)end primary service
1300-1350 secondary serviceRadio Astronomy 5.149end secondary service
1350-1390 secondary serviceRadio Astronomy 5.149end secondary service
1390-1400 secondary serviceRadio Astronomy 5.149end secondary service
1400-1427 primary serviceEESS (passive)
RADIO ASTRONOMY
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)end primary service
1559-1610 secondary serviceSpace Research (passive) 5.341end secondary service
1610.6-1613.8 primary serviceRADIO ASTRONOMYend primary service
5.149 5.341 5.364 5.366 5.367 5.368 5.372 (RA)
1660-1660.5 primary serviceMOBILE-SATELLITE (E-s) 5.351A
RADIO ASTRONOMY end primary service
5.149 5.341 5.351 5.354 5.376A
1660.5-1668 primary serviceRADIO ASTRONOMY
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)end primary service
secondary serviceFixedend secondary service
5.149 5.341 5.379A
1668-1668.4 primary serviceRADIO ASTRONOMY
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)end primary service
1668.4-1670 primary serviceMETEOROLOGICAL AIDS
RADIO ASTRONOMYend primary service
1670-1675 primary serviceMETEOROLOGICAL AIDS
METEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE (s-E)end primary service
1675-1700 primary serviceMETEOROLOGICAL AIDS
METEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE (s-E)end primary service
1700-1710 primary serviceMETEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE (s-E)end primary service
2025-2110 primary serviceEESS (E-s) (s-s)
SPACE OPERATION (E-s) (s-s)
SPACE RESEARCH (E-s) (s-s)end primary service
2110-2120 primary serviceSPACE RESEARCH (deep space) (E-s)end primary service
2200-2290 primary serviceEESS (s-E) (s-s)
SPACE OPERATION (s-E) (s-s)
SPACE RESEARCH (s-E) (s-s)end primary service
2290-2300 secondary serviceSPACE RESEARCH (deep space) (s-E)end secondary service
2655-2686 secondary serviceEarth Exploration-Satellite (passive)
Radio Astronomy
Space Research (passive)end secondary service
2 686-2 690

secondary serviceEarth Exploration-Satellite (passive)
Radio Astronomy
Space Research (passive)end secondary service

2690-2700 primary serviceEESS (passive)
RADIO ASTRONOMY
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)end primary service
4200-4400 secondary service(Standard Frequency and Time Signal–Satellite) 5.440end secondary service
4800-4825 secondary serviceRadio Astronomyend secondary service
4825-4835 secondary serviceRadio Astronomyend secondary service
4835-4950 secondary serviceRadio Astronomyend secondary service
4950-4990 secondary serviceRadio Astronomyend secondary service
4990-5000 primary serviceRADIO ASTRONOMYend primary service
secondary serviceSpace Research (passive)end secondary service
5250-5255 primary serviceEESS (active)
SPACE RESEARCH 5.447Dend primary service
5255-5350 primary serviceEESS (active)
SPACE RESEARCH (active)end primary service
5350-5460 primary serviceEESS (active) 5.448B
SPACE RESEARCH (active) 5.448Cend primary service
5460-5470 primary serviceEESS (active)
SPACE RESEARCH (active)end primary service
5925-6700 secondary serviceRadio Astronomy 5.149end secondary service
primary serviceEESS 5.458end primary service
6700-7075 primary serviceEESS 5.458end primary service
7145- 235 primary serviceSPACE RESEARCH (E-s) 5.460
EESS 5.458end primary service
7750-7850 primary serviceMETEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE (s-E) 5.461Bend primary service
8025-8175 primary serviceEESS (s-E)end primary service
8175-8215 primary serviceEESS (s-E)
METEOROLOGICAL-SATELLITE (E-s)end primary service
9300-9500 primary serviceEESS (active)
SPACE RESEARCH (active)end primary service
9500-9800 primary serviceEESS (active)
SPACE RESEARCH (active)end primary service
10.6-10.68 primary serviceEESS (passive)
RADIO ASTRONOMY
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)end primary service
10.68-10.7 primary serviceEESS (passive)
RADIO ASTRONOMY
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)end primary service
13.25-13.4 primary serviceEESS (active)
SPACE RESEARCH (active)end primary service
13.4-13.75 primary serviceEESS (active)
SPACE RESEARCH (active) 5.501Aend primary service
secondary serviceStandard Frequency and Time Signal-Satellite (E-s)end secondary service
13.75-14 secondary serviceEarth Exploration-Satellite
Standard Frequency and Time Signal-Satellite (E-s)end secondary service
14.47-14.5 secondary serviceRadio Astronomyend secondary service
15.35-15.4 primary serviceEESS (passive)
RADIO ASTRONOMY
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)end primary service
17.2-17.3 primary serviceEESS (active)
SPACE RESEARCH (active)end primary service
18.6-18.8 primary serviceEESS (passive)
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)end primary service
21.2-21.4 primary serviceEESS (passive)
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)end primary service
22.21-22.5 primary serviceEESS (passive)
RADIO ASTRONOMY
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)end primary service
23.6-24 primary serviceEESS (passive)
RADIO ASTRONOMY
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)end primary service
25.5-27 primary serviceEESS (s-E)
SPACE RESEARCH (s-E)end primary service
secondary serviceStandard Frequency and Time Signal-Satellite (E-s)end secondary service
31.3-31.8 primary serviceEESS (passive)
RADIO ASTRONOMY
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)end primary service
34.7-35.2 secondary serviceSpace Researchend secondary service
35.5-36 primary serviceEESS (active)
METEOROLOGICAL AIDS
SPACE RESEARCH (active)end primary service
36-37 primary serviceEESS (passive)
SPACE RESEARCH (passive)end primary service
37-37.5 primary serviceSPACE RESEARCH (s-E)end primary service
Space Science use from 52  MHz to 38GHz (for additional information, refer to Annex 1):
Space Science use from 52 GHz (for additional information, refer to Annex 1): [Description of Figure]

The following is the percentage of spectrum taken by each space science service on a primary basis in the frequency range from 52 MHz to 38 GHz:

Table 8.2
Space Science Service Total Spectrum (MHz) Total Spectrum (%)
Radio Astronomy 1461.7 3.85
Meteorological Satellite 583.85 1.54
Meteorological Aids 837.45 2.21
Space Operation 281.4 0.74
Space Research 8787.25 23.16
Earth Exploration Satellite 6964 18.35

In general, frequency allocated to the radio astronomy service may be reused by other services except for the area where the radio astronomy station is located.

See Annex 5 "Current and Planned Use of Canadian Radio Spectrum in Space Science Services"Footnote 33 for details on the use of frequency bands.

8.2.2 Type of Licence

Earth and space stations in the space science services are issued radio licences by Industry Canada.

8.2.3 Comparison with the United States

The bands that are listed in this document are identical to the international Table of Frequency Allocations. Therefore, Canada and the United States (and the rest of the world) have identical frequency bands allocated to space science services.


Footnotes

  1. 33 back to footnote reference 33 The comments in the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations were entered by the users of radio spectrum. The current and planned use and additional comments have not been confirmed as of September 2010.
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