Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Radio Silence on the Far Side of the Moon

No, this isn't science fiction. It's about anticipated radio astronomy activities from the dark side of the Moon. The AMSAT News Service reports that the International Telecommunication Union has designated a "Shielded Zone of the Moon," and the related Space Frequency Coordination Group has proposed banning all radio transmissions in that region between 300 MHz and 2 GHz, in order to protect radio astronomy. 

This proposed ban would affect Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) as well as any amateur satellites in lunar orbit, such as China's Lunar-OSCAR-93 and -94. If approved, those satellites would not be able to operate on the 435 or 1260-MHz amateur bands. The proposed ban would also apply to satellites in Mars orbit, since Mars regularly passes through the shielded zone.