impact on spectrum availability for active services would be very low. The intelligence of modern devices makes this approach attractive, and there will likely be many instances where the costs of this mitigation technology would be readily accepted by users eager to gain access to large portions of the spectrum. Indeed, many devices will need to possess the necessary technologies and standards to negotiate spectrum use automatically among competing users, so the extension of these standards to accommodate science users could, in principle, be accomplished with very low costs and with a very low impact on functionality.
Cellular telephones provide a familiar example and some insight as to how this technology could work: cell phone networks automatically coordinate spectrum use among large quantities of transmitting devices. These systems provide a very dynamic command-and-control authority to assign frequency, or to interrupt or deny service, or to give priority (e.g., when a user dials 911) for each device within and among cellular regions. Conceivably, these systems already represent most—if not all—of the needed infrastructure for cooperative mitigation. The only missing elements are the agreed-on standards and the software that would allow these systems to momentarily relinquish assigned spectral bands in response to science requests. These could be communicated either directly from EESS satellites, for example, or from a networked database.
Consider the following scenario for cooperative mitigation. For this example, it is assumed that 30 spaceborne microwave radiometers are engaged in Earth observations for operational and research-oriented scientific purposes. This fleet of EESS satellites passes over a specific area several times per day but for only very brief intervals during each satellite’s pass. The typical spot size of an EESS observation on Earth is about 30 km in diameter. Fixed or mobile transmitters operating within or near a receiving band used by the EESS could operate nearly full time if the transmitters were responsive to a blanking request signal or other preprogrammed transmitter time-off period that is coordinated with the overpass of each EESS sensor. Due to the brief time of footprint passage, this strategy would permit EESS receivers to measure microwave brightness temperatures while negligibly impacting active service performance. This would be especially helpful to EESS observations in bands that are not allocated to the service.
To determine the impact on active services, consider the fractional coverage of the fleet of EESS satellites. A “keep-out zone” of 10 times the footprint size, or 300 km in diameter, would generally ensure that the interfering source is well outside the near-sidelobes of the satellite instrument where it is most susceptible to interference. The total keep-out area on Earth for all spaceborne radiometers would then be of order 20π(150)2 = 1.4 million km2, or an area of approximately 0.3 percent of Earth’s total surface. If a random distribution of satellite locations is assumed, this fractional aerial coverage can, to first order, be equated with the fractional probability of occurrence of a satellite observation being made at a