Subject: NASA Electromagnetic (EM) Spectrum Management
This NPD sets forth the authorities, NASA policies, and responsibilities
for obtaining EM spectrum support for all NASA activities requiring the
use of EM radiating or receiving devices.
a. It is NASA policy, in accordance with national policy (Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-11), that cost estimates for
the development or procurement of major communications-electronics
systems (including systems which may have a major impact on existing
or future use of the portion of the radio frequency spectrum and radio-
based communications systems, active or passive remote-sensing
systems, all systems employing satellite (space) techniques, and any
associated Earth-station sites and facilities) will be submitted to
OMB after certification by the National Telecommunications and
Information Administration (NTIA) that the space in the EM spectrum
required for each system is available. Consequently, it is Agency
policy not to obligate funds for formal engineering (as determined by
the Center Director), development and testing, or procurement of
operational EM radiating or receiving devices until the available
spectrum support is certified by the Office of Space Operations (OSO)
to the appropriate program office and Center Spectrum Manager.
Exceptions to this policy are conceptual studies, laboratory research
activities, and components within existing spectrum allocations.
b. Provisions of appropriate national and international authorities
(see section 3) will be used as the basis for implementation of
technical and administrative management details associated with the
NASA Spectrum Management Program.
c. Conservation of the EM spectrum will be practiced to the maximum
extent possible, consistent with competent design practices.
d. NASA programs shall, as a first resort, use frequency bands that
are currently allocated for the intended use. Where existing
allocations are inadequate to achieve program objectives, OSO will
initiate action to seek adequate additional allocations.
e. Where appropriate, it is NASA policy to advocate change to the
existing frequency allocations to enable new science and applications
activities, including cases in which commercial users will own and
operate the system(s).
f. All orbiting spacecraft will be equipped to ensure the ability to
control EM emissions on and off by remote command unless there is a
human presence with the direct capability to control those emissions
on or off. If the system has the automatic capability to control
transmissions, the requirement may receive a waiver if requested and
g. Frequency assignments for NASA space missions will not be made for
devices which would transmit in exclusive passive radio frequency
bands allocated, either nationally or internationally, to the radio
astronomy service, the Earth exploration-satellite service (passive),
or the space research service (passive).
This Directive applies to NASA Headquarters and NASA Centers, including
Component Facilities, and to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and other
contractors to the extent specified in their contracts.
a. 47 U.S.C. ¦ 901, Chapter 8, Telecommunications Act of 1996: "Spectrum
b. 47 U.S.C. 701 of the Communications Satellite Act of 1962, as amended.
c. 47 U.S.C. 151 of the Federal Communications Act of 1934, as amended.
d. 47 U.S.C. 305, note Executive Order 12046, Transfer of
Telecommunications Functions, March 27, 1978.
e. 47 CFR Part 25-148, Regulations of the Federal Communications
Commission, Direct Broadcast Satellite Service.
f. 47 CFR Part 300, Manual of Regulations and Procedures for Federal
Radio Frequency Management.
g. OMB Circular No. A-11, Sections 33.4 and 33.5.
h. NASA FAR Supplement, 48 CFR Subpart 1823.71 and Clause 1852.223-71,
4. APPLICABLE DOCUMENTS
a. NPD 1000.3, The NASA Organization.
b. NPD 1050.1, Authority to Enter into Space Act Agreements.
c. NPR 1600.1, NASA Security Program Procedural Requirements.
d. NPR 2570.1, NASA Radio Frequency (RF) Spectrum Management Manual.
e. NASA/ESA Frequency Coordination Manual, March 13, 2003.
f. NASA/NASDA Frequency Coordination Manual, January 10, 1983.
g. International Radio Regulations, International Telecommunication Union
(ITU), published in Geneva, Switzerland (2003 World Radiocommunication
a. The Associate Administrator for Space Operations is designated the
NASA Spectrum Manager and is responsible for the following:
1. Publishing the NASA Procedural Requirements (NPR) 2570.1, NASA RF
Spectrum Management Manual.
2. Ensuring that all NASA activities comply with national and
international rules and regulations applicable to the use of the EM
spectrum as stated in the NTIA Manual of Regulations and Procedures
for Federal Radio Frequency Management and the ITU Radio
3. Ensuring adequate NASA representation in international and national
organizations and forums concerned with EM spectrum regulation and
4. Obtaining and allotting adequate EM spectrum to support all Agency
programs, including NASA-sponsored commercial space programs in
accordance with NPD 1050.1.
5. Creating and maintaining the Headquarters Spectrum Management
Forum (HSMF) for the consideration of spectrum requirements from
other program offices. The HSMF should meet periodically to
consider the requirements at intervals of not more than ninety (90)
6. Appointing a Space Operations Spectrum Liaison who will coordinate
the Space Operations programs for the International Space Station
and Space Shuttle as well as for future operational human space
flight missions. In addition, the liaison will coordinate the
communications requirements of the Ground and Space Networks, for
all missions, and present them to the HSMF as the Space Operations
program interface to that forum.
b. The Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems shall appoint
an Exploration Spectrum Liaison who will coordinate the Exploration
program's communications requirements, for both robotic and human
space flight missions, and present them to the HSMF as the Exploration
program interface to that forum.
c. The Associate Administrator for Science shall appoint a Science
Spectrum Liaison who will coordinate the Science program's remote-
sensing (both active and passive) requirements and communications
requirements and present them to the HSMF as the Science program
interface to that forum.
d. The Associate Administrator for Aeronautics Research shall appoint
an Aeronautics Spectrum Liaison who will coordinate the Aeronautics
program's radio navigation, remote control, telemetry, and
communications requirements and present them to the HSMF as the
Aeronautics program interface to that forum.
e. The Assistant Administrator for External Relations shall appoint
an External Relations Spectrum Liaison who will initiate formal
bilateral agreements governing the use of EM spectrum resources with
entities outside the United States (U.S.) and its possessions in
accordance with NPD 1050.1 and other U.S. laws and regulations as
applicable, and consulting with the U.S. Department of State as
appropriate. The External Relations Spectrum Liaison shall be an
ex officio member of the HSMF.
f. The Assistant Administrator for Legislative Affairs shall appoint
a Legislative Affairs Spectrum Liaison who will initiate any contacts
concerning the use of EM spectrum resources with entities of the U.S.
Congress, its committees, subgroups, or staff. The Legislative Affairs
Spectrum Liaison shall be an ex officio member of the HSMF.
g. The Office of the General Counsel shall appoint a General Counsel
Spectrum Liaison who will be responsible for advising the Associate
Administrator for Space Operations concerning the legal aspects of
EM spectrum regulation. The General Counsel Spectrum Liaison shall be
an ex officio member of the HSMF.
h. Officials-in-Charge of relevant Headquarters Offices are responsible
for ensuring that long-range Agency communications and remote-sensing
spectrum requirements are coordinated with the Associate Administrator
for Space Operations as early as possible in the program planning phase
to permit identification of appropriate EM spectrum allocations in
support of program needs. In the absence of adequate allocations, the
HSMF will determine appropriate actions to be taken to secure new or
i. Each Center Director and the JPL Director is responsible for the
1. Assuring the EM integrity of the property on which the Center and
its Component Facilities are located including protecting the
property from EM interference.
2. Implementing the policies, applicable procedures, and spectrum
management functions at the Center and Component Facilities in
accordance with this NPD.
j. The Assistant Associate Administrator for Space Communications is
responsible for the overall planning, policy, and administration of the
NASA Spectrum Management Program.
a. The Assistant Associate Administrator for Space Communications shall
appoint an Agency Spectrum Policy and Planning Director who will
serve as the NASA representative to the Interdepartment Radio
Advisory Committee (IRAC) and will be responsible for the Agency's
programmatic implementation of policies and applicable procedures
authorized by this NPD and the overall efficacy of the program. The
Spectrum Policy and Planning Director shall designate an Assistant
Director to act in his absence and assist him in his normal duties
as required and, also, an International Program Executive and a
National Program Executive to fulfill the Agency's spectrum
management responsibilities in accordance with this NPD.
1. The International Program Executive shall carry out the
international responsibilities assigned to the Associate
Administrator for Space Operations, which are the EM spectrum
activities involving entities external to the U.S., including
the ITU, other non-NASA civilian space agencies (e.g., ESA, JAXA
et al), the Space Frequency Coordination Group, and other
external entities involved in the management of the EM spectrum.
2. The National Program Executive shall carry out the domestic
responsibilities assigned to the Associate Administrator for
Space Operations, which are the EM spectrum activities involving
entities internal to the U.S., including the NTIA, the FCC, and
other internal entities involved in the management of the
EM spectrum, and ensure that all frequency assignments are
carefully reviewed to determine if they should fall under the
Administratively Controlled Information Category in accordance
with NPR 1600.1 and the desires of the responsible program
offices. The National Program Executive shall also ensure that
the Spectrum Operational Plan, 5-year Plan, and Long-Range Plan
are reviewed and updated annually if necessary and cooperate in
assisting the NTIA in their Federal Spectrum Strategic Plan
effort. He or she shall also identify any programs at risk due
to possible lack of spectrum allocation or nonsustainability
because of commercial encroachment due to possible
electromagnetic interference (EMI) conflicts.
l. Each Center Director and the JPL Director shall:
1. Designate a qualified Center Spectrum Manager to perform the
spectrum management function.
2. Designate a qualified alternate Center Spectrum Manager to assist
and provide backup to the primary Center Spectrum Manager.
3. Provide the funding required to fulfill the Center's spectrum
management responsibilities in accordance with this policy.
6. DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY
Compliance with the policies set forth in this instruction shall be
measured through the following:
a. Assurance of zero procurement without appropriate authorization.
(Assurance that Agency personnel do not engage in any unauthorized
b. Assurance of zero NASA-caused EM interference at NASA Centers and JPL,
or in the environment surrounding NASA Centers and JPL.
c. Assurance of timely and accurate processing of NASA frequency
d. Annual review of Government frequency assignment actions for their
impact on NASA's ability to carry out its missions.
e. Assurance of timely and accurate processing of NASA systems reviews
through the IRAC Spectrum Planning Subcommittee.
f. Review of non-NASA Government systems reviews by the IRAC Spectrum
Planning Subcommittee for their impact on NASA's ability to carry out
g. Assurance of timely and accurate processing of international
registration for NASA systems through the IRAC Space Systems
h. Review of non-NASA international systems by the IRAC Space Systems
Subcommittee for their impact on NASA's ability to carry out its
i. Ensure that all radio frequency assignments are reviewed to determine
if they should be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act due to
their sensitivity and so marked if necessary.