Experimental Radio Applications at the FCC

This describes a selection of applications for the Experimental Radio Service received by the FCC during January 30 through February 7: surveillance radar, airborne telemetry, mobile services, satellite, and amateur radio.

  • Lockheed Martin filed an application (with supporting exhibit) for an experimental license to operate three models of ICx Radar System’s perimeter surveillance radar on 35.5 GHz for R&D and customer demonstrations. This will occur at various locations in the US, but primarily in Syracuse, New York.
  • Honeywell filed an application (with supporting exhibits) for special temporary authority to operate in the 1625-1725 MHz range while integrating a new AeroVironment radio with an unmanned aerial vehicle used by the military. A key feature of the radio is that both command and control, as well as video downlink, can be accomplished using the same unit. Operation will be in New Mexico . There is concern about protecting the 1660.5-1668.4 MHz radio astronomy band, and discussions are ongoing.

  • Raytheon Network Centric Systems applied for special temporary authority to test and demonstrate the Ground Soldier Ensemble radio system, designed to link a soldier to the battlefield network for real-time tactical situational awareness.  The test is to verify that awareness information is transferred over an Enhanced Position Location Reporting System network and to verify inter/intra team communication over a voice network. Operation will be on 30.025-74.600 MHz near McKinney Texas.
  • Brian Justin filed an application (with supporting exhibits) for special temporary authority to operate an amateur-radio propagation beacon on 70.005 MHz from Bedford, Virginia for domestic as well as trans-Atlantic reception. Justin states that with recent changes to EU radio allocations, more amateurs are actively utilizing the 70 MHz band; thus, the likelihood of detection of VHF E-skip propagated signals in the EU and North America on that band has increased. Justin says that, unlike other bands, there is a lack of beacons or high-powered sources of narrowband RF signals that can be detected via weak signal methods to indicate when E-skip conditions are favorable. (The transition to digital TV apparently has something to do with this recent dearth; in the past, AM video carriers were used as beacons.)
  • Northrop Grumman filed an application (with supporting exhibit) for special temporary authority to cover L- and S-band airborne mobile experimental testing and demonstration in the vicinity of Mojave, California. Operation will be on 1760 and 2305 MHz, and will use an Enerdyne Enerlinks II Datalink in a proprietary configuration. This is part of a project to develop systems for the US military and other government customers. (A similar application was recently filed by Northrop Grumman covering operation in Melbourne, Florida.)
  • France Telecom filed an application (with supporting exhibits) to experiment with GSM1800 and W-CDMA base stations over-the-air in the 2 GHz range at its R&D center in South San Francisco, California. The system will be used to “develop and test mobile services that require an access to the existing France Telecom infrastructure in Europe. These services will be developed and tested by either company employees, or by USA startup companies. These services will include mobile games, productivity applications, etc.”
  • The University of Southern California (USC) filed an application (with supporting exhibits) for special temporary authority to test a prototype nanosatellite payload while it is in low earth orbit. The payload is capable of advanced functions such as propulsion, attitude control, and power distribution. To test the payload, USC is designing a so-called Cubesat, measuring 10cm x 10cm x 30cm, that is capable of hosting the payload, operating its subsystems, and relaying test results to ground operators.

The special temporary authority is for the communications system used by the Cubesat, which will operate on 435-438 MHz. This project is part of  the USC Space Engineering Research Center’s CAERUS mission for a nanosatellite technology.