As discussed elsewhere in this report, the 1670-1675 MHz band will become available for mixed use in 1999 subject to the continued operation of meteorological satellite (METSAT) downlinks. NTIA has decided to permit immediate mixed use on a more restricted basis: all Government operations must be protected until the spectrum transfer in 1999. These operations include METSAT downlinks received at Wallops Island, Virginia and Fairbanks, Alaska, and radiosonde transmissions received at a large number of locations throughout the United States and its possessions (US&P). The National Weather Service (NWS) provided the following sharing criteria for compatibility with radiosondes and ground receivers in the 1670-1675 MHz band.


The largest user of radiosondes within the US&P is NWS, which considers the following sharing criteria adequate to protect its operations. The reader should be aware that radiosondes are also operated by a number of other Federal organizations, such as DOD, DOE, NASA, and NSF. These operations are at times and places unrelated to NWS, and their protection criteria may differ. Accordingly, it will be necessary for non-Federal users of the band also to coordinate with these agencies prior to licensing. In addition, radiosondes are operated by various non-Federal entities, such as universities and state and local governments.

For compatibility with NWS, the power density in the 1670-1675 MHz range from all sources and from all azimuths at each NWS ground-based receiver site must not exceed the following limits:

Power density in a 1.3 MHz bandwidth shall not exceed [-150 dBW/(meter)^2] more than 0.24% of the time, nor [-135 dBW/(meter)^2] more than 0.03% of the time. These power densities correspond to field strengths of 0.67 microvolts/meter and 3.5 microvolts/meter respectively. These levels are applicable during the hours of 2300-0200 Universal Time (UT) and 1100-1400 UT every day. During periods of abnormal weather and special research programs, protection must be provided at additional times. These special events can last 3 or more hours and may cover one or more launch sites. During current or anticipated regional level severe weather conditions when the accuracy of weather forecasts, warnings or alerts could affect safety-of-life and property for communities, means must be provided by the non-Federal user(s) to shut down their transmitters within 10 minutes of being notified and prior to radiosonde release. The non-Federal transmitters shall remain off until the end of the radiosonde flight(s). NOAA agencies such as the National Severe Storms Laboratory and the Hurricane Research Division require these specialized radiosonde flights for severe weather and hurricane forecasting.


Wallops Island, Virginia, is the location of the Command and Data Acquisition (CDA) station used to control NOAA's Geostationary (GOES) satellites. For GOES-7, the currently operational spacecraft, the receiver thermal noise level is -145 dBW into a 20 MHz bandwidth centered on 1681.6 MHz.

In the new generation of GOES satellites, called GOES I through M, the received signal will occupy the band centered on 1676 MHz with a 5.0 MHz bandwidth. The noise level is not currently known. The first of these satellites, the former GOES-I, now called GOES-8, is currently in its operational demonstration phase. Should tests be completed successfully, it will replace Meteosat-3 around February, 1995. GOES-7 will eventually be replaced by GOES-9 around early 1996. In an emergency (e.g., failure of an operational satellite), GOES-7 may be recalled to operational status at any time up to the end of its useful life, estimated to be about two years.

The criterion for adequate protection of the CDA stations at Wallops Island and Fairbanks is as follows:

For purposes of coordination, the receiver noise temperature in the band 1670-1675 MHz is assumed to be 50 Kelvins. Therefore the thermal noise power at the receiver input is -182 dBW in 1 kHz, and -212 dBW in 1 Hz. The receive antenna gain is assumed to be 49 dBi, and the antenna is pointed at the geosynchronous arc between 75 W and 135 W longitude.

Appendix 28 of the ITU Radio Regulations is customarily used to develop coordination contours for satellite stations. However, this Appendix contains no coordination criteria for METSAT ground stations -- they are currently under development -- and makes certain assumptions regarding the number and characteristics of the terrestrial stations with which the satellite ground stations must share the band. In the present case, there is no way to predict the use of the band by non-Federal users. It will therefore be necessary to coordinate all proposed ground systems, regardless of type or location. Moreover, the use of airborne or satellite transmitters in this band must be avoided.

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Proceed to Appendix D, Technical Issues Regarding the 1761 - 1842 MHz Band Segment.