Statement of Task
The current system of allocating bands in the radio spectrum was developed more than 50 years ago, and a review of the needs of scientific users is in order. In recent years, the explosion of new wireless technologies has significantly increased the demand for access to the radio spectrum. The increased demand has led to discussions in both government and industry with respect to new ways of thinking about spectrum allocation and use. Scientific users of the radio spectrum (such as radio astronomers and earth scientists using remotely sensed data) have an important stake in the policies that will result from this activity. It is proposed that a survey of the scientific uses of the spectrum be conducted to identify the needs of today’s scientific activities and to assist spectrum managers in balancing the requirements of the scientific users of the spectrum with those of other interests. The survey will be carried out by a National Research Council (NRC) committee over a period of 18 months.
A balanced committee of 15 people will be formed to prepare an NRC report surveying scientific uses of the spectrum. Following is the committee’s statement of task:
The committee will prepare a report exploring the scientific uses of the radio spectrum which will:
Portray the science that is currently being conducted using the radio spectrum;
Identify the spectrum requirements necessary to conduct research;
Identify the anticipated future spectrum requirements for at least the next 10 years; and
Advise spectrum policy-makers on the value to the nation of accommodating scientific uses of the spectrum, recognizing the need to balance multiple communities.
The committee will comment on the spectrum use by the relevant scientific communities but will not make recommendations on the allocation of specific frequencies.