Broadcast 2607

The Space Foundation Conference

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Guests (Webinar): Victoria Samson, Beau Backus, David Hartshorn. Topics: Radio Frequency Interference (RFI), satellite operators, users, wireless, & much more. This program was recorded as a webinar which you can view at You can also listen to it as an audio only program as you would any archived Space Show program. Please note that there were some audio issues as all guests were using cell phones. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See For those listening to archives using and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience. We welcomed Victoria Samson, Beau Backus and David Hartshorn to this Secure World Foundation-Space Show webinar to address radio frequency interference issues facing the satellite user and operators, plus much more. In addition, both Beau and David have reference material relevant to our webinar and the issues we discussed uploaded on The Space Show blog for this program date. Make sure you see these uploads and make use of the information in the documents: ( In the first 60 minute segment, each of our guests provided us with a short introductory statement regarding radio frequency (RF) issues plus their background & experience in the RF industry and policy fields. This was followed by Ms. Samson offering us a comprehensive assessment of RFI issues as of the close of 2015 given the increasing democratization of access to space. Do not miss her analysis as to why the RF spectrum is a critical component of space activities. Our guests talked about the traditional players in this industry, then they explained how the "player" filed has been expanding as space access expands. We also talked about intentional and unintentional interference with our guests providing us with a good working definition for each interference category. Several examples of intentional and unintentional interference were given. One of the biggest intentional (jamming) interference events was rooted in the Arab Spring movement. This came up several times during our webinar. We also learned that the overwhelming percentage of interference events were unintentional by at least 90% of all interference events. We talked about what causes an unintentional event, the need for better equipment and training, plus both the U.S. and international regulatory environment for spectrum regulation, enforcement and consequence for violations. Examples were provided including the recent Bolivia World Cup television event. As for intentional interference, we talked about & defined jamming. We talked about possible solutions though nation's pursue their interests and as was evidenced in the Arab Spring movement, it was in the interest of some countries to jam radio signals from reaching desired groups of people and markets. Our guests talked about the difficulty in jamming enforcement given all nations do it through their military institutions and warfare when in their interest. Near the end of the first segment, our guests introduced us to the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC) which was recently held in Geneva (see and the issues brought about by the wireless industry accessing C-band frequencies from 3.4-4.2 GHz as there can be wireless interference with satellite communications. Our guests explained the wireless and satellite industry positions in this issue. For the balance of the first segment, our guests talked about wireless industry issues, the challenges brought about by these issues, plus frequency allocations as a way to possibly mitigate some of the challenges and to protect important satellite band communications from potential wireless interference. In the second segment, our guests explained more about C-band and why its in demand and its advantages. We talked about end user groups and their needs along with those of the satellite operators. The issues surrounding trade offs for different uses of spectrum were discussed in a way that clearly identified issues needing resolution. In this part of our webinar, we talked about how spectrum issues had changed and evolved over time, especially with the wireless industry's better use of C-band. Our guests were asked about the physical imitations of various parts of spectrum. In response to these questions, our guests talked about atmospheric issues, weather, and more, plus what part of spectrum was most impacted by a specific type of event or condition. Victoria brought up the issue of UAVs (drones) and our guests received a question about cubesat communications and FCC regulations. We also discussed high altitude communications platforms which contain several communication advantages such systems. . Don't miss the discussion on all of these issues. Our guests received a question about additional bands in the spectrum and in response, they told us how more and more of the higher bands were starting to be used by industry players. Toward the end of our program, we focused on solutions. Our three guests told us how the industry & the regulatory bodies were responding to the challenges, especially with a focus on better training given that operator errors have been proven to be a major source of unintentional interference. Focusing on better equipment was also mentioned, both on the transmission and receiving end as equipment problems cause another large part of the unintentional interference issues. They also discussed developments and changes in the wireless industry to resolve significant interference issues when wireless uses some of the same satellite bands or frequency bands very near the satellite bands. All three of our guests offered meaningful closing comments you will definitely want to hear. Please post all comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach any of our guests through their websites or through me.



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18 Dec 2015 Beau Backus, David Hartshorn, Victoria Samson
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  • The Space Foundation Conference

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  • The Space Foundation Conference