97.207 Space station

(a) Any amateur station may be a space station. A holder of any class operator license may be the control operator of a space station, subject to the privileges of the class of operator license held by the control operator.

(b) A space station must be capable of effecting a cessation of transmissions by telecommand whenever such cessation is ordered by the FCC.

(c) The following frequency bands and segments are authorized to space stations:

(1) The 17 m, 15 m, 12 m, and 10 m bands, 6 mm, 4 mm, 2 mm and 1 mm bands; and

(2) The 7.0–7.1 MHz, 14.00–14.25 MHz, 144–146 MHz, 435–438 MHz, 1260–1270 MHz, and 2400–2450 MHz, 3.40–3.41 GHz, 5.83–5.85 GHz, 10.45–10.50 GHz, and 24.00– 24.05 GHz segments.

(d) A space station may automatically retransmit the radio signals of Earth stations and other space stations.

(e) A space station may transmit one-way communications.

(f) Space telemetry transmissions may consist of specially coded messages intended to facilitate communications or related to the function of the spacecraft.

(g) The license grantee of each space station must make the following written notifications to the International Bureau, FCC, Washington, DC 20554.

(1) A pre-space notification within 30 days after the date of launch vehicle determination, but no later than 90 days before integration of the space station into the launch vehicle. The notification must be in accordance with the provisions of Articles 9 and 11 of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radio Regulations and must specify the information required by Appendix 4 and Resolution No. 642 of the ITU Radio Regulations. The notification must also include a description of the design and operational strategies that the space station will use to mitigate orbital debris, including the following information:

(i) A statement that the space station licensee has assessed and limited the amount of debris released in a planned manner during normal operations, and has assessed and limited the probability of the space station becoming a source of debris by collisions with small debris or meteoroids that could cause loss of control and prevent post-mission disposal;

(ii) A statement that the space station licensee has assessed and limited the probability of accidental explosions during and after completion of mission operations. This statement must include a demonstration that debris generation will not result from the conversion of energy sources on board the spacecraft into energy that fragments the spacecraft. Energy sources include chemical, pressure, and kinetic energy. This demonstration should address whether stored energy will be removed at the spacecraft’s end of life, by depleting residual fuel and leaving all fuel line valves open, venting any pressurized system, leaving all batteries in a permanent discharge state, and removing any remaining source of stored energy, or through other equivalent procedures specifically disclosed in the application;

(iii) A statement that the space station licensee has assessed and limited the probability of the space station becoming a source of debris by collisions with large debris or other operational space stations. Where a space station will be launched into a low-Earth orbit that is identical, or very similar, to an orbit used by other space stations, the statement must include an analysis of the potential risk of collision and a description of what measures the space station operator plans to take to avoid in-orbit collisions. If the space station licensee is relying on coordination with another system, the statement must indicate what steps have been taken to contact, and ascertain the likelihood of successful coordination of physical operations with, the other system. The statement must disclose the accuracy— if any—with which orbital parameters of non-geostationary satellite orbit space stations will be maintained, including apogee, perigee, inclination, and the right ascension of the ascending node(s). In the event that a system is not able to maintain orbital tolerances, i.e., it lacks a propulsion system for orbital maintenance, that fact should be included in the debris mitigation disclosure. Such systems must also indicate the anticipated evolution over time of the orbit of the proposed satellite or satellites. Where a space station requests the assignment of a geostationary-Earth orbit location, it must assess whether there are any known satellites located at, or reasonably expected to be located at, the requested orbital location, or assigned in the vicinity of that location, such that the station keeping volumes of the respective satellites might overlap. If so, the statement must include a statement as to the identities of those parties and the measures that will be taken to prevent collisions;

(iv) A statement detailing the postmission disposal plans for the space station at end of life, including the quantity of fuel—if any—that will be reserved for post-mission disposal maneuvers. For geostationary-Earth orbit space stations, the statement must disclose the altitude selected for a postmission disposal orbit and the calculations that are used in deriving the disposal altitude. The statement must also include a casualty risk assessment if planned post-mission disposal involves atmospheric re-entry of the space station. In general, an assessment should include an estimate as to whether portions of the spacecraft will survive re-entry and reach the surface of the Earth, as well as an estimate of the resulting probability of human casualty.

(v) If any material item described in this notification changes before launch, a replacement pre-space notification shall be filed with the International Bureau no later than 90 days before integration of the space station into the launch vehicle.

(2) An in-space station notification is required no later than 7 days following initiation of space station transmissions. This notification must update the information contained in the pre-space notification.

(3) A post-space station notification is required no later than 3 months after termination of the space station transmissions. When termination of transmissions is ordered by the FCC, the notification is required no later than 24 hours after termination of transmissions.

[54 FR 25857, June 20, 1989, as amended at 54 FR 39535, Sept. 27, 1989; 56 FR 56171, Nov. 1, 1991; 57 FR 32736, July 23, 1992; 60 FR 50124, Sept. 28, 1995; 63 FR 68980, Dec. 14, 1998; 69 FR 54588, Sept. 9, 2004; 71 FR 66462, Nov. 15, 2006]