This event was recorded on March 27, 2015.
On Friday, March 27, 2015, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the Secure World Foundation (SWF) hosted a luncheon panel discussion from 12:00pm to 2:00pm EST on “Challenges In Sharing Weather Satellite Spectrum With Terrestrial Networks” in Washington, DC.
In order to meet the growing demand for wireless broadband connectivity, the U.S. government is developing strategies to share radio frequency spectrum between federal and commercial users. Spectrum historically reserved for broadcasting meteorological satellite data to users from the current generation of polar-orbiting satellites was recently auctioned nationwide by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for over $2.4 billion. Federal regulators are now studying additional bands that may be shared in a future spectrum auction, including those currently used to download weather data from NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) and for the future GOES-R series.
If GOES downlink spectrum is selected for sharing, there is a possibility of radio frequency interference between the new terrestrial commercial broadcasts and the existing satellite broadcasts that may render the satellite-received data unusable or degraded. Such interference could have significant impacts on the GOES-Variable (GVAR), GOES-R GOES Rebroadcast (GRB), the Emergency Managers Weather Information Network (EMWIN) - which is used to support first responders around the country, High-Rate or Low-Rate Information Transmission (HRIT or LRIT), as well as relay of hydrometeorological data from the GOES Data Collection System (DCS), used for monitoring and warning of floods.
A panel of experts discussed these issues, including the motivation for the sharing, potential impacts to end users of any interference, and options for mitigating potential interference.
Recorded March 23, 2015
Although some may consider the two to be at odds with each other, international law has a direct impact on military activities in both peacetime and during conflict. International law defines what constitutes an armed attack, the right to national self-defense, and the limits on use of force during an armed conflict consistent with the Geneva Conventions.
Over the last several decades, legal scholars and military practitioners have clarified the rules of international law applicable to military activities in several domains. This includes the Harvard Manual on International Law Applicable to Air and Missile Warfare, and most recently the Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare. However, to date there has not been any significant attempts to clarify how international law applies to military activities in space.
The panel discussion provided an overview of international law as it applies to military activities, and examples of how it has been clarified in certain domains, such as air and cyber, or for certain types of weapons, such as autonomous systems. It also examined the current status of international law as applied to military activities in the space domain, and potential benefits of further clarifying the existing norms and interpretations.
Wing Commander Duncan Blake, Royal Australian Air Force
Mr. Gary Brown, Head of Communications, Washington Delegation, International Committee of the Red Cross
Dr. Cassandra Steer, Executive Director, Centre of Research in Air and Space Law, McGill University
Dr. Peter Hays, Adjunct Professor, George Washington University
Moderator: Mr. Brian Weeden, Technical Advisor, Secure World Foundation