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Author Topic: Amateur service vs amateur satellite service?  (Read 272 times)
KG4OLW
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« on: September 21, 2007, 06:48:30 PM »

I was reading up on satellite operations when I hit this confusing paragraph.

"Potential users should realize that when they are uplinking to a satellite, they are no longer operating in the Amateur Service but instead operating in the Amateur Satellite Service. Thus they are subject to Amateur Satellite Service rules. Therefore uplinking to AO-7 is possibly illegal since the Amateur Satellite Service is not permitted at 432.1 MHz Also, since the IARU band plan has the 432.1 MHz range earmarked as "weak signal" in all three Regions, it would appear that all users trying to access the uplink are also outside the Amateur Satellite Service rules and regulations."

I had no idea there was a amateur satellite service. I was under the impression that satellites were giant repeaters in space, for hams, and as long as you were a licensed ham and you transmitted in within your privileges for your country you were ok. But this article talks about an amateur satellite service, like it has different frequencies and different rules. I am a little confused, aren’t band plans gentleman’s agreements which are not binding like the part 97 rules are?


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W3JJH
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2007, 07:25:41 PM »

Yes, there special rules for the Amateur Satellite Service, and only limited amateur frequencies are available.  According to 97.207 of the FCC's Rules:
"(c) The following frequency bands and segments are authorized to space stations:
    (1) The 17 m, 15 m, 12 m, and 10 m bands, 6 mm, 4 mm, 2 mm and 1 mm bands; and
    (2) The 7.0-7.1 MHz, 14.00-14.25 MHz, 144-146 MHz, 435-438 MHz,
1260-1270 MHz, and 2400-2450 MHz, 3.40-3.41 GHz, 5.83-5.85 GHz, 10.45-10.50 GHz, and 24.00-24.05 GHz segments."
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KB1LKR
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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2007, 08:25:15 PM »

But as long as you're on, or within 50km of the earth's surface while you're operating at 432.1 MHz (or whatever freq) *you're* not operating in satellite service (running a space station), though you may be transmitting to a machine that is a space station, right?

Only the satellite's trustee, when his/her satellite receives and *retransmits* your signal is operating in the satellite service, therefore he/she is limited to frequencies allowed for use by space stations, no?  
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N3OX
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2007, 10:21:56 PM »

"Only the satellite's trustee, when his/her satellite receives and *retransmits* your signal is operating in the satellite service, therefore he/she is limited to frequencies allowed for use by space stations, no?"

No, I don't think so.  If you're operating your transmitter on frequencies used by a satellite with intent to make contacts through that satellite, you're operating in the Amateur Satellite Service and have to abide by its rules.  So, "transmitting within your privileges" essentially requires you to abide by Amateur Satellite Service band plans (which we're automatically licensed for by getting ham tickets in the first place)

For what it's worth, though, someone over in the Satellites forum said that there was a ruling that it's OK to work AO-7... a ruling by who?  Dunno... but you might want to dig a little deeper, because I think there's an exception that's been made for this odd situation of a satellite coming back from the dead and causing confusion of the rules.

Dan
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
AA4PB
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2007, 08:56:35 AM »

When you are working a satellite you are operating an "Earth Station" as opposed to a "Space Station". I don't think Part 97 describes an "Amateur Satellite Service".

97.209 Earth station.
(a) Any amateur station may be an Earth station. A holder of any class operator license may be the control operator of an Earth station, subject to the privileges of the class of operator license held by the control operator.

(b) The following frequency bands and segments are authorized to Earth stations:

(1) The 17 m, 15 m, 12 m and 10 m bands, 6 mm, 4 mm, 2 mm and 1 mm bands; and
(2) The 7.0-7.1 MHz, 14.00-14.25 MHz, 144-146 MHz, 435-438 MHz, 1260-1270 MHz and 2400-2450 MHz, 3.40-3.41 GHz, 5.65-5.67 GHz, 10.45-10.50 GHz and 24.00-24.05 GHz segments.
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W3JJH
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« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2007, 02:42:56 PM »

The ITU Regulations refer to operation of communications satellites by amateur radio operators as the "Amateur Satellite Service."
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WA9SVD
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« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2007, 11:13:26 PM »

The "Amateur Satellite Service" does indeed have specific frequency allocations on various bands, and that applies to both Space (satellite) stations and Earth (land) stations.  For 70 cm, the current frequency allocation is 435-438 MHz.

    AO-7 was/is a special case, and was originally launched and put into service BEFORE the Satellite sub-bands were established, and thus its 70 cm uplink frequency range of 432.1250-432.1750 MHz is not inside the current Satellite Service allocation.
    When AO-7 became semi-operational a few years ago after a long silence, the FCC granted an exemption to allow Amateurs to use the satellite if it was operating in mode U/V.  (70 cm up, 2 Meters down.)

    It's not a significant consideration for most Amateurs now, since any current or future Amateur Radio satellite will operate within the allocations of the Amateur Satellite Service.
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WA9SVD
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« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2007, 11:28:42 PM »

The point is that the ITU refers to Amateur satellite operations as an "Amateur Satellite Service," and has approved certain frequency subbands for Satellite operations.  The FCC collectively considers stations operating as a "Space Station OR Earth Station (or Space Tellecommand Station) as operating in the Amateur Sateiilte Service.  Thus, both the satellite and any land based station contacting a satellite are restricted to the assigned Satellite allocations.  As such, the applicable rules are in §Parts 97.207,  97.209, and 97.211.  (§Part 97.211 governs Space Station telecommand stations, which may also operate only in certain frequency allocations.)
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