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Earth observation instrument frequencies: a valuable resource to protect

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1 Author(s)
Rommen, B. ; ESA-ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands

At the World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) several issues related to Earth observation will be on the agenda and decisions will be taken with respect to these so-called agenda items. In this paper the current status of some of the WRC-03 agenda items will be given where Earth observation is directly involved through its active instruments, the so-called Earth Exploration Satellite Service (active), or its passive instruments, the so-called Earth Exploration-Satellite Service (passive). The paper discusses and presents the status up-to-date for the following agenda items for WRC-03: (1) Agenda Item 1.5: introduction of Radio Local Area Networks (RLANs) in the bands 5150-5350 MHz and the band 5470-5725 MHz. The 5250-5350 MHz band is an extensively used band for remote sensing by SARs, scatterometers and altimeters. This agenda item also asks for an extension of the EESS (active) band from 5460-5570 MHz to facilitate wideband (up to 320 MHz) active sensors. (2) Agenda Item 1.38: the possible allocation of 6 MHz for EESS (active) in the frequency range 420-470 MHz (P-band). A new frequency allocation in P-band would enable a future satellite project to carry a P-band radar for e.g. penetrating forest canopies for biomass estimation and ice-sheet sounding on Antarctica for retrieval of the bedrock topography. (3) Agenda Item 1.8.2: the protection of EESS (passive) sensors from unwanted emissions in adjacent and nearby bands. The issue of unwanted emissions is difficult to tackle both from a technical and regulatory point of view especially when linked to the protection of exclusive passive band At the time of the IGARSS conference itself, the outcome of these WRC-03 agenda items including the upcoming agenda items for the next World Radiocommunication Conference (planned in 2007) will be known and will be presented. Consequentially, the Earth observation community will informed at a very early stage which issues are selected for the next World Radiocommunication Conference where EESS (both active and passive) is directly involved as well as the implications of the outcome of the issues leading to WRC-03.

Published in:

Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, 2003. IGARSS '03. Proceedings. 2003 IEEE International  (Volume:7 )

Date of Conference:

21-25 July 2003

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