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FCC Grants More Experimental Licenses

The FCC released a list of experimental license grants from June 1, 2009 to July 1, 2009. Except for a grant allowing use of 2405-2480 MHz in Apex, N.C. for testing smart utility meter reading devices, I didn't see any grants that impact broadcasters. However, there were some interesting grants for experimental operation on other frequencies. One of these was to Boeing for a license to operate as WF2XAO in the in 824-849 MHz, 880-915 MHz, and 1850-1910 MHz bands for the testing of a ground cellular phone system on commercial airliners. The locations specified were Glasgow, Mont.; Klamath Falls, Ore.; and international airspace.

Although airlines have strict rules regarding the use of personal electronic devices (PEDs) on board their planes, the debate continues as to how much impact these devices have on aircraft communications and electronic systems. Boeing received an experimental license to operate in the 108–137 MHz, 329–335 MHz, 962–1215 MHz, 1530–1610 MHz, 4200–4400 MHz and 5030–5090 MHz bands for testing the radiated field effects of PEDs on aircraft electronic components and systems. The testing will be done in Marana, Ariz.

The University of Puerto Rico was granted licenses for experimental operation at multiple locations on 9410 MHz for testing a lower tropospheric weather radar system to study rainfall.

L-3 services and the Boeing Company received licenses for use of frequencies in the 900 MHz and 2400 MHz ranges for testing and demonstrating unmanned aerial vehicle systems.

See the list for additional information. Entering the call sign on the FCC Experimental Licensing System Call Sign Search web page will provide links to the application and attachments.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.