[amsat-bb] Selection of satellite (ham and non-ham) frequencies

Philip Jenkins n4hf.philip at gmail.com
Tue Mar 14 22:59:14 UTC 2017

I'm helping teach a Technician licensing class, and one of the students has
asked a question I can't answer :-) (And please correct any misinformation
in this email)

My understanding is that agencies/governments - by gentleman's agreement?
policy? - are supposed to request frequency coordination for satellites
with inputs/outputs in the amateur bands from IARU, whether the primary
payload is ham radio or not. I remember an entity a couple of years ago
which launched a satellite(s)  who did NOT go through IARU for satellite
downlink(s) on the ham bands, and there was some dust-up over this. (Again,
please help me understand this better if I'm mistaken.)

My student's question is this; who is responsible for frequency assignments
for non-ham satellites, specifically, missions like Cassini and
Voyager/Pioneer?  Is it ITU?

I'm sure the military - and government (and commercial interests)  - in
other countries have their own satellite frequencies, but for scientific
payloads, who is responsible for frequency allocation/coordination in near
Earth orbits and intra-galactic ones? Is is ITU?

(This started a whole new thought bubble in my head about what would be the
best/appropriate frequencies for missions like Cassini (antenna size and
Doppler considerations, but that is for a different email, as I want to
wrestle with those questions in my head first  :-)  )


Philip N4HF

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