RF Shorts for June 20, 2014

Illegal Wireless Systems Interfere With Earth Observation Sats

Last week in RF Shorts I covered Peter B. de Selding's report on intentional interference to Eutelsat and Arabsat satellites. This week on SpaceNews.com, de Selding writes ESA Combats Ground Interference to Earth Observation Satellites.

In the article he reports that ESA and other space agencies have joined with telecom sat operators in fighting attempts by wireless broadband operators to gain use of spectrum reserved for satellites.

He reports that Volker Liebig, the ESA Earth Observation director, said many users of wireless communications are violating the regulatory terms of use for their devices; for example, operating them outside when only indoor use has been approved.

I found a List of all Satellite Frequencies being used to communicate with Earth observation satellites. There are a several satellites using the 5.8 GHz and 3.4 GHz bands, as well as a few in the U.S. 2 GHz BAS band.

Google Project Loon: One Year Later

 Steven Levy's Wired.com article Google’s Balloon Internet Experiment, One Year Later describes the progress Google has made with its Project Loon since launching it on June 15 last year. He outlines several advances, not only in the RF portion of the project, but also in the flight performance of the balloons, allowing them to remain aloft longer.

Google added LTE-spectrum capability, allowing people to connect directly to the Internet with their mobile phones instead of using the custom base station required for connections using Wi-Fi spectrum.

Levy writes that "Recent Loon payloads are providing as much as 22 Mbps to a ground antenna and 5 Mbps to a handset."

He closes with a quote from Astro Teller, leader of Google's high-risk research division X: "On Loon’s two-year birthday, I would hope, instead of running experiments, we’ll have a more or less permanent set of balloons. In one or several countries, you will turn on your phone and talk to the balloons. Yes, Loon will be offering service."

Project Loon's Where Loon is Going webpage has a link at the bottom where you can sign up to test Loon. Other links at the top of the page provide background information on Project Loon.

Comments and RF related news items are welcome. Email me at dlung@transmitter.com

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack. A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.