SPECTRUM MANAGEMENT FOR SCIENCE IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Committee on Scientific Use of the Radio Spectrum

Committee on Radio Frequencies

Board on Physics and Astronomy

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
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Spectrum management for Science in tHe 21st centurY Committee on Scientific Use of the Radio Spectrum Committee on Radio Frequencies Board on Physics and Astronomy Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0410006, by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Award No. NNH05CC15C, and by the Depart- ment of Commerce under Award No. DG133R04CQ0009, TO #26. Any opinions, findings, conclu- sions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-14686-9 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-14686-0 Copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area), Internet: http://www.nap.edu; and from the Board on Physics and Astronomy, National Research Council, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001, Internet: http://www. national-academies.org/bpa. Copyright 2010 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal govern - ment on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.or g

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COMMITTEE ON SCIENTIFIC USE OF THE RADIO SPECTRUM MARSHALL H. COHEN, California Institute of Technology, Co-Chair ALBIN J. GASIEWSKI, University of Colorado at Boulder, Co-Chair DONALD C. BACKER, University of California, Berkeley ROBERTA BALSTAD, Columbia University STEVEN W. ELLINGSON, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University DARREL EMERSON, National Radio Astronomy Observatory AARON S. EVANS, University of Virginia and National Radio Astronomy Observatory JOEL T. JOHNSON, Ohio State University PAUL KOLODZY, Kolodzy Consulting, LLC DAVID B. KUNKEE, The Aerospace Corporation MOLLY K. MACAULEY, Resources for the Future, Inc. JAMES M. MORAN, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics LEE G. MUNDY, University of Maryland at College Park TIMOTHY J. PEARSON, California Institute of Technology CHRISTOPHER S. RUF, University of Michigan FREDERICK S. SOLHEIM, Radiometrics Corporation DAVID H. STAELIN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology ALAN B. TANNER, Jet Propulsion Laboratory Staff DONALD C. SHAPERO, Director, Board on Physics and Astronomy BRIAN D. DEWHURST, Program Officer (through July 2009) DAVID LANG, Program Officer MERCEDES ILAGAN, Administrative Assistant (through February 2008) CARYN KNUTSEN, Program Associate (from March 2008) VAN AN, Financial Associate (through May 2008) BETH DOLAN, Financial Associate (from June 2008) 

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COMMITTEE ON RADIO FREQUENCIES PAUL A. VANDEN BOUT, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Chair JEFFREY PIEPMEIER, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Vice-Chair ANA P. BARROS, Duke University DOUGLAS C.-J. BOCK, University of California, Berkeley/Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy STEVEN W. ELLINGSON, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University DAVID G. LONG, Brigham Young University DARREN McKAGUE, University of Michigan JAMES M. MORAN, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics MELINDA PIKET-MAY, University of Colorado at Boulder STEVEN C. REISING, Colorado State University ALAN E.E. ROGERS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Haystack Observatory LUCY ZIURYS, University of Arizona Staff DONALD C. SHAPERO, Director, Board on Physics and Astronomy DAVID B. LANG, Program Officer CARYN J. KNUTSEN, Research Associate i

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BOARD ON PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY MARC A. KASTNER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chair ADAM S. BURROWS, Princeton University, Vice-Chair PHILIP H. BUCKSBAUM, Stanford University PATRICK L. COLESTOCK, Los Alamos National Laboratory JAMES DRAKE, University of Maryland JAMES EISENSTEIN, California Institute of Technology ANDREA M. GHEZ, University of California, Los Angeles PETER F. GREEN, University of Michigan LAURA H. GREENE, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign MARTHA P. HAYNES, Cornell University JOSEPH HEZIR, EOP Group, Inc. MARK B. KETCHEN, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center JOSEPH LYKKEN, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory PIERRE MEYSTRE, University of Arizona HOMER A. NEAL, University of Michigan MONICA OLVERA DE LA CRUZ, Northwestern University JOSE N. ONUCHIC, University of California, San Diego LISA J. RANDALL, Harvard University CHARLES V. SHANK, Janelia Farm, HHMI MICHAEL S. TURNER, University of Chicago MICHAEL C.F. WIESCHER, University of Notre Dame Staff DONALD C. SHAPERO, Director MICHAEL MOLONEY, Associate Director ROBERT L. RIEMER, Senior Program Officer JAMES LANCASTER, Program Officer DAVID B. LANG, Program Officer TERI THOROWGOOD, Administrative Coordinator CARYN J. KNUTSEN, Research Associate BETH DOLAN, Financial Associate ii

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Preface In the early years of the 21st century, policy officials recognized both the need for additional blocks of frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum for new tech- nologies and the desires of existing users to obtain additional bandwidth. A number of activities were thus begun, with the goals of identifying unused frequencies and suggesting methods by which the regulatory structure could encourage their more efficient use. In June 2002, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) formed the Spectrum Policy Task Force for the following purposes: 1. To provide specific recommendations to the FCC for ways in which to evolve the current “command-and-control” approach to spectrum policy into a more integrated, market-oriented approach that provides greater regulatory certainty while minimizing regulatory intervention; and 2. To assist the FCC in addressing ubiquitous spectrum issues, including interference protection, spectral efficiency, effective public-safety commu- nications, and implications of international spectrum policies. The Spectrum Policy Task Force concluded that “while the commission has recently made some major strides in how spectrum is allocated and assigned in some bands, principally through flexible rules and competitive bidding, spectrum policy is not keeping pace with the relentless spectrum demands of the market. The task force has begun the process of reexamining 90 years of spectrum policy to ix

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Preface x ensure that the commission’s policies evolve with the consumer-driven evolution of new wireless technologies, devices, and services.”1 Recognizing the growing importance of radio observations to their respective missions and the increasing potential for interference from new wireless technolo- gies, NASA, the Department of Commerce, and the National Science Foundation commissioned the National Research Council (NRC) to identify the spectrum needs of today’s scientific activities and to assist spectrum managers in balancing the requirements of scientific uses of the spectrum with those of other interests. This report is written in response to that request. The committee discussed its original charge at length and chose to consider only the passive (“receive-only”) scientific applications of the radio spectrum, and specifically how the requirements for spectrum could be expected to evolve over the next two decades.2 This deci- sion did not imply any prioritization of the active versus passive scientific uses of the spectrum, but instead stemmed from the committee’s recognition that passive scientific uses involve unique issues and that the committee had a limited amount of time in which to complete its task. To address its task, the NRC’s Committee on Scientific Use of the Radio Spectrum—comprising representatives of universities, private industry, and non- profit organizations3—employed four in-person meetings, four town hall meetings, and numerous teleconferences in the development of its report. The committee’s work was aided by presentations from a number of outside experts who provided detailed information at in-person meetings. The committee focused on three major topics: Earth remote sensing (see Chap- ter 2), radio astronomy (see Chapter 3), and interference mitigation (see Chapter 4). It conducted an in-depth study of each of the major topics, including the current and expected future status of Earth remote sensing and radio astronomy and applicable radio frequency interference mitigation technologies. The committee developed a series of findings on the basis of the material presented in these chapters, together with an associated series of recommendations, to help ensure the viability of these scientific endeavors. The findings and recommendations are detailed in Chapter 5. As dictated by the statement of task, the committee did not make recommendations on the allocation of specific frequencies, but it did comment on spectrum use by the relevant scientific communities and how it might be protected in the future. This report attempts to lay the foundation of an effort to identify the spectrum needs of radio astronomy and Earth remote sensing, identify the benefits of these two activities, and develop practical, forward-looking approaches to spectrum 1 Federal Communications Commission, Report of the Spectrum Policy Task Force, Washington, D.C., November 2002. 2 The committee’s statement of task appears in Appendix A. 3 Biosketches of the members of the committee are provided in Appendix B.

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Preface xi access that are needed to ensure the necessary conditions for their important observations. It is noted that a report on the uses of passive service4 bands for both Earth remote sensing and radio astronomy by a panel of the NRC’s Committee on Radio Frequencies (CORF) was published in 2007.5 The present report differs from the 2007 report in assessing both the current and future uses of the passive services. This report also includes a focus on technology for interference mitigation. 4 The passive services are those for which the signal is produced by nature and the applications are “receive-only.” 5 National Research Council, Handbook of Frequency Allocations and Spectrum Protection for Scientific Uses, Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2007.

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Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Paul Feldman, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC, Dale N. Hatfield, Independent Consultant, Longmont, Colorado Anthony Janetos, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Roger Lang, George Washington University, Michael Marcus, Marcus Spectrum Solutions, Thomas Meissner, Remote Sensing Systems, Inc., Steven Reising, Colorado State University, Chris Salter, National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, Cornell University, Paul Vanden Bout, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, William “Jack” Welch, University of California, Berkeley, and David Woody, California Institute of Technology, Owens Valley Radio Observatory. xiii

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acknowledgment reviewers xi of Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommenda- tions, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Martha Haynes, Cornell University. Appointed by the NRC, she was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Contents SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 6 1.1 The Passive Radio Spectrum, 8 1.2 Prospects for Future Scientific Use of the Radio Spectrum, 12 1.3 The Interference Problem, 13 1.4 Interference Mitigation, 15 1.5 Enabling Scientific Uses of the Radio Spectrum, 16 2 THE EARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE SERVICE 18 2.1 Specific Application Areas of Passive Microwave Remote Sensing, 23 Weather Forecasting and Monitoring, 24 Severe Weather and Disasters, 30 Climate and Global Change, 33 Resource Management, 41 Aviation, 43 Defense and Public Safety, 45 International Partnerships, 46 Education and Technology, 47 x

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contents xi 2.2 Brightness Temperatures, Geophysical Measurements, and Missions, 48 Fundamentals of Microwave Radiometry for EESS Applications, 48 Measurement of Specific Geophysical Parameters, 52 2.3 Current and Future Space Missions, Activities, and Spectrum Usage, 53 2.4 Current and Future Non-Space-Based Activities and Spectrum Usage, 59 2.5 The Impact of Radio Frequency Interference on Earth Exploration- Satellite Service Observations, 61 Introduction to the Problem of Radio Frequency Interference: Immediate Impacts on EESS, 61 Evidence of Impact of Radio Frequency Interference on EESS Observations, 63 Potential Future Radio Frequency Interference and Its Impact on EESS Observations, 80 2.6 Summary of the Importance of and Risks to Continued Contributions of the Earth Exploration-Satellite Service in the Future, 86 3 THE RADIO ASTRONOMY SERVICE 88 3.1 The Scientific Impact of Radio Astronomy, 90 Origin of Planets and the Solar System, 90 Origin and Evolution of the Universe, 92 Pulsars and General Relativity, 95 Galactic Nuclei and Black Holes, 96 Galaxies, 101 Solar Physics and Space Weather, 102 Serendipity and the Transient Universe, 104 Summary, 105 3.2 Radio Observatories and Radio Telescopes, 106 3.3 Spectrum Requirements and Use, 113 Continuum and Line Observations, 113 Atmospheric Windows and Absorption Features, 115 Current Radio Astronomy Service Allocations, 115 Spectrum Use, 115 3.4 Sensitivity Requirements, 120 Sensitivity Limits, 122

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contents xii 3.5 Interference and Its Mitigation, 123 Examples of Interference in a Protected Band, 125 Mitigation, 127 3.6 Importance of Radio Astronomy to the Nation, 130 Radio Interferometry, 130 Communications Disruptions, 131 Fundamental Physics, 132 Technology Development, 132 Precision Antennas, 132 Distributed Network Computing, 133 Education and Public Outreach, 133 4 TECHNOLOGY AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE MITIGATION OF RADIO FREQUENCY INTERFERENCE 135 4.1 Trends in Active Spectrum Usage, 136 Current Allocations, 136 Current Utilization Studies, 138 4.2 Major Drivers of Spectrum Use, 145 Assessment of Trends in Spectrum Use for 2008–2015, 145 Third-Generation and Fourth-Generation Systems, 148 Unlicensed Uses of the Radio Frequency Spectrum, 149 Regulatory Changes That Impact Use, 151 Technology Changes That Impact Use, 153 Summary, 155 4.3 Unilateral Mitigation Techniques, 156 Technologies for Unilateral Mitigation, 157 4.4 Mitigation Through Cooperative Spectrum Usage, 168 4.5 Mitigation Costs, Limitations, and Benefits, 172 Earth Exploration-Satellite Service (EESS), 173 Radio Astronomy Service (RAS), 173 Nature of the Costs of Radio Frequency Interference to the EESS and the RAS, 174 Summary, 176 5 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 177 5.1 Societal Value of the Passive Services, 178 5.2 Characteristics of the Passive Spectrum Services, 180 5.3 Threats to the EESS and the RAS from Unintentional Radio Frequency Interference, 182

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contents xiii 5.4 Technology for Mitigation of Radio Frequency Interference, 185 5.5 Protection of the EESS and the RAS, 187 5.6 The Path Forward, 191 5.7 Conclusion, 193 APPENDIXES A Statement of Task 197 B Biosketches of the Committee Members 199 C Density of Interferers Equation 208 D Analysis of Out-of-Band Emission Impacts to the EESS from §27.53 of the FCC Rules 210 E Descriptions of Earth Exploration-Satellite Service Parameters Related to Table 2.1 214 F Acronyms and Abbreviations 221 G Glossary 226