The ECC met in Porto from 7th to 11th March 2011.
More progress to protect earth sensing satellites from interference. How much is there in the tank? Key personnel reappointed. Little Heroes of the Radio Spectrum
ECC takes further measures to help satellites look at the Earth’s environment
Following the adoption of two Decisions at its previous meeting in November linked to the fight against climate change and predicting natural disasters, the ECC took a further step in this direction this time with another Decision to improve the protection of Earth Exploration Satellite Services (EESS). This Decision applies to a different frequency band: 1400 to 1427 MHz, but the policy is the same: to send a clear and unambiguous message about the ECC’s resolve to achieve long-term protection of EESS. This is a ’passive’ (non-transmitting) service but is every bit as much a user of spectrum as the services which use transmitters.
The Decision is consistent with the EU Radio Spectrum Policy Group’s policy Opinion on a ’coordinated EU Spectrum approach for scientific use of radio spectrum’, and it complements this with a clear technical framework which can apply across the wider 48-country CEPT area.
Level Probing Radars: an important job done by efficient use of spectrum
Another ECC Decision agreed in Porto provides a clear technical basis for using ”Level Probing Radars” (LPR) in certain specific frequency ranges where they are most effective. LPRs are valuable tools in many industries to measure the amount of various substances (mostly liquids or granulates) stored in tanks. LPRs are used for a wide range of applications such as process control, government legal measurements, water and other liquid monitoring, spilling prevention and other industrial applications. LPRs can prevent accidents, often controlling hazards and environmental damage; and they can improve industrial efficiency.
The LPRs use frequencies used also by other radiocommunications services, so it is important to define technical conditions which protect them from interference from LPRs, while not being so restrictive to LPRs that it becomes unfeasible or uneconomic to use them.
This spectrum efficiency is achieved partly by the use of the relatively new Ultra Wideband technology (UWB). The other part of getting this result is that the ECC has applied pragmatism and assessment of risks rather using a theoretical worst-case scenario. This has recognised the real conditions under which LPRs are used - by professional users and in specific environments.
The frequency ranges in the LPR Decision are 6-8.5 GHz, 24-26.5 GHz, 57-64 GHz, and 75-84 GHz.
Key ECC people reappointed.
Having reelected the ECC Chairman Thomas Ewers at the last ECC meeting, the continuity of leadership was further maintained. This time the Vice-Chairman Geir Jan Sundal (Norway) and the Chairman of the Frequency Management Working Group Sergey Pastukh (the Russian Federation) were also re-elected for their second of two three-year terms.
Mr Sundal said “I would like to express my appreciation for the trust given to me by the ECC and I look forward to working in this cooperative environment in my second term as Vice Chairman”.
Mr Pastukh said: ”I would like to thank the ECC for entrusting me with the chairmanship of the Working Group. For me it will be a pleasure to continue work with all CEPT members and interested organisations to find balanced and effective solutions for spectrum utilisation across Europe in order to facilitate innovative services and applications.”.
Short range devices: the little heroes of the radio spectrum
The ECC approved its regular annual report to the European Commission on Short-Range Devices. These are the low powered transmitters (and receivers) which enable a huge range of social and economic benefit from using radio spectrum: from hearing aids and medical implants to the remote central locking on your car. The ECC Recommendation 70-03 is a well-known reference of spectrum allocations and technical conditions of use in Europe for these devices, and the ECC now complements this with a close working relationship with the European Commission which applies a regularly updated binding Decision across the EU, using the technical provisions set out in a regular CEPT Report created by the ECC.