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ITU SpaceExplorer: Satellite frequency data at your fingertips

Last year, 1,936 objects were launched into space, up 50 per cent from 2020, according to the latest annual report of the United Nations Organization for Outer Space Activities (UNOOSA).

The uptick was preceded by filings and subsequent registrations of large constellations of satellites – each of which contains a multitude of radio-frequency data for these systems that must be coordinated separately through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

“Filings for satellite systems, including for large constellations, with ITU is necessary to protect the frequencies they will be using.  This initial step must be anticipated long before you start bringing satellites into service,” says Véronique Glaude, Senior Radiocommunication Engineer at the organization.

ITU SpaceExplorer allows you to quickly see the data in these filings, along with any changes over time resulting from the ITU regulatory coordination and registration processes.”

ITU – the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – is responsible for maintaining and periodically updating the Radio Regulations, the international treaty regulating radiocommunication services and the utilization of radio frequencies worldwide.

Data dashboards

ITU SpaceExplorer, a new platform launched by ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau, aims to provide user-friendly, detailed insights into the radio frequency data of these increasingly numerous satellites.

The web-based application enables users to delve into radio-related data through intuitive, highly visual dashboards.

The platform aims to improve the accessibility and transparency of the information held in the Master International Frequency Register (MIFR) and other space-related databases managed by ITU.

The web application offers a simpler way to explore orbital and radio-related data related to satellite systems and space services.

Using the Networks Explorer feature, users can follow the status of a country’s satellite networks or analyse spectrum occupancy for a given orbit.

SpaceExplorer Networks Explorer landing page. Image credit: ITU

The resulting dashboard displays each satellite network’s identity, history, regulatory status, operational status, as well as technical data including the number of uplinks and downlinks, network structures, review results and coordination requirements.

The dashboard of geostationary satellite network (INMARSAT-7-77W) administered by Switzerland. Image credit: ITU

The current pilot version of ITU SpaceExplorer contains dashboards with data from geostationary satellite networks in the non-planned frequency bands.

Users can also navigate ITU space services publications more easily.

Forthcoming features

The team responsible for designing ITU SpaceExplorer is currently developing a new set of functions to make browsing space-related data even easier.

The Special Explorer feature help users target more refined aspects of the data, such as where to find satellites in the MIFR.

A feature called Temporary Explorer will enable data analyses linked to a specific, time-limited ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) work item or event.

My Space Explorer allows users to save, organise and share their favourite searches. This feature is currently available for ITU members with a TIES account. The Telecommunication Information Exchange Service (TIES) is a set of online resources and services offered free of charge to ITU members to support their participation in ITU activities.

Finally, the forthcoming Query Builder function will guide users in creating a completely customised search of space network system data.

Share your feedback

Interested in testing ITU SpaceExplorer?

See the platform webpage: www.itu.int/en/ITU-R/space/ITUSpaceExplorer/Pages/default.aspx

Already tried and tested ITU SpaceExplorer?

Please share your impressions with the design team or request an introductory briefing by e-mailing: ITUSpaceExplorer@itu.int

Your feedback will help to make further improvements to this new and evolving tool.

Learn more about Space Services at ITU

Background information:

Related ITU-R Study Group:

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