WRC-15 approves resolution: Space planes intended to perform suborbital flights

As a result of increasing activities and projects under development using satellite launch and suborbital flight vehicles not intended to remain in outer space for a long period it was suggested to the WRC-15 to consider the relevance of existing definitions, service allocations and procedures to be applied and information to be provided for such stations or vehicles and review them accordingly. Additionally administrations have also been encouraged to record the frequency assignments used by such stations.

In light of this and the developments in this regard surrounding the space tourism projects in Curaçao, the Netherlands together with Switzerland proposed a course of action to this matter as raised in a previous report from WRC12 by the Director of the Radiocommunication Bureau, under the heading “Launch vehicles and suborbital flights”.

The recent Radiocommunication Assembly RA-15 following up on this introduced a new Question ITU-R 259/5, Operational and radio regulatory aspects for planes operating in the upper level of the atmosphere, which resolves to invite ITU-R:

  • to conduct studies to identify any required technical, operational and regulatory provisions, including frequency sharing between different radiocommunication services, in relation to space planes intended to perform suborbital flights that could assist to avoid harmful interference between radiocommunication services and in proper utilization of orbit/spectrum resources
  • to conduct studies to identify any additional spectrum requirements applicable to
    space planes intended to perform suborbital flight taking into account the aforementioned considerations
  • to complete the studies as a matter of urgency, with a view to developing one or more ITU-R Recommendations, within the next ITU-R study cycle

This contribution essentially proposes the adoption of a WRC-15 Resolution that would invite the ITU-R to conduct studies towards the adoption of this new ITU-R Recommendation, or Report to guide administrations which are planning to execute suborbital flight activities.

The adoption of this resolution is actuated by the necessity to develop the technical and frequency sharing methods and appropriate regulatory provisions, including the evaluation of spectrum requirements, that could assist in proper operation and utilization of orbit/spectrum resources.

Contact Info

Beatrixlaan 9, Curaçao
P.O. Box 2047
Phone: (5999) 463-1700
Fax: (5999) 736-5265