SpectrumX research partners publish paper on spectrum rights in outer space  

August 12, 2022

By Yvonne Chang

The recent research paper entitled “Spectrum Rights in Outer Space: Interference Management for Mega-constellations” was published on August 2, 2022. In this work, the authors examine the governance of non-Geostationary communication satellites (NGSOs) and propose alternative spectrum sharing approaches. 

Whitney Lohmeyer, Assistant Professor of Engineering at Olin College of Engineering and SpectrumX Use Cases and Coexistence Research Working Group Lead, is the corresponding author of the paper. She commented that, “this work serves as the first SpectrumX effort to investigate and contribute to the dynamic world of satellite regulations. The team consisted of SpectrumX partners from various backgrounds (economics, aerospace engineering, and electrical engineering) with differing levels of industry and academic experience. When we come together as a diverse group, and collaborate, we are able to offer alternative models and methods of approaching access rights.”

As the density of orbiting spacecraft increases, the coordination of radio frequency access across these competing systems presents many challenges. The FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking NPRM (FCC 21-123) to update its NGSO spectrum sharing rules in ten distinct bands between 10 and 51 GHz. This paper examines the rights regime proposed by the FCC and provides alternative models of access rights, which consider three implications for any coordination system: identification, localization and continuous monitoring of the spectrum usage environment. “Some of the concepts put forth in our work have limited precedent for satellite networks, but if applied intentionally could have potential,” noted Lohmeyer.

The published paper is authored by nine SpectrumX members of leadership and research partners, including: Randall Berry, Northwestern University; Pedro Bustamante, University of Pittsburgh; Donging Guo, Northwestern University; Thomas Hazlett, Clemson University; Michael Honig, Northwestern University; Whitney Lohmeyer, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering; Ilia Murtazashvili, University of Pittsburgh; Scott Palo, University of Colorado; and Martin B. H. Weiss, University of Pittsburgh.

SpectrumX is working to find innovative advancements in both policy and technology on the radio frequency spectrum. The published paper can be found at SSRN, here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4178793. It will also be presented at the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference in September 2022.

About SpectrumX

SpectrumX is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of its Spectrum Innovation Initiative, under grant number AST 21-32700. SpectrumX is the world’s largest academic hub where all radio spectrum stakeholders can innovate, collaborate, and contribute to maximizing social welfare of this precious resource.

To learn more about SpectrumX, please visit spectrumx.org.


Christina Clark, Research Communications Specialist

SpectrumX / Notre Dame Research / University of Notre Dame

cclark26@nd.edu / 574.631.2665