ITU-R Study Group 7 Science Services

ITU-R Study Group 7 (Science Services)

Mr. Mohamed Abdel-Hassib

The Radiocommunication Study Group 7 (ITU-R SG7) for the Science Services was created through a structural reorganization in 1990 at the Düsseldorf CCIR Plenary Assembly.

ITU-R SG7 addresses technical issues related to specific disciplines under the umbrella of science services. “Science services” refer to the standard frequency and time signal, space research (SRS), space operation, Earth exploration-satellite (EESS), meteorological-satellite (MetSat), meteorological aids (MetAids) and radio astronomy (RAS) services. ITU-R SG7 has four working parties that are specialized in four working areas. 

The first working party of ITU-R SG7 is WP7A which covers standard frequency and time signal services, both terrestrial and satellite. Its scope includes the dissemination, reception and exchange of standard frequency and time signals and coordination of these services, including the application of satellite techniques on a worldwide basis.

The goals of WP 7A activities are to develop and maintain ITU-R Recommendations and Reports in the TF Series and Handbooks relevant to standard frequency and time signal (SFTS) activities, covering the fundamentals of the SFTS generation, measurements and data processing. These ITU-R Recommendations are of paramount importance to telecommunication administrations and industry, to which they are first directed. They also have important consequences for other fields, such as radionavigation, electric power generation, space technology, scientific and meteorological.

The second working party of ITU-R SG7 is WP7B which is responsible for the transmission and reception of telecommand, tracking and telemetry data for space operation, space research, Earth exploration-satellite, and meteorological satellite services. It studies communication systems for use with manned and unmanned spacecraft, communication links between planetary bodies and the use of data relay satellites. WP 7B enables both scientific studies and technology programmes by intelligent use of the radio-frequency spectrum. 

WP 7B develops and maintains the Recommendations to enable sharing of the limited orbital and spectrum resources. The technical and operational characteristics of spacecraft are also studied, defining the preferred frequency bands, bandwidths required, protection and sharing criteria for spacecraft, and orbital locations for data relay satellites. The resulting SA Series ITU-R Recommendations and Reports assist administrations, national space agencies and industry in the planning of systems that share frequency allocations used by space radio systems. Space research, by the very nature of its remote operations, is critically dependent on the radio spectrum for the conduct of its activities.

In WRC-19, WP7B has succeeded in the assigned agenda items, to establish in-band power limits for earth stations operating in the mobile-satellite service, meteorological-satellite service and Earth exploration-satellite service in the frequency bands 401-403 MHz and 399.9-400.05 MHz; and to facilitate use of the bands 137-138 MHz (space to Earth) and 148–149.9 MHz (Earth to space) by the space operation service associated with short-duration mission satellite systems. WP 7B is responsible in preparation for WRC‑23 on topic related to upgrade space research service in the frequency band 14.8-15.35 GHz. 

The third working party of ITU-R SG7 is WP 7C which covers remote sensing applications in the Earth exploration-satellite service (EESS), both active and passive, systems of the MetAids service, as well as ground based passive sensors, space weather sensors and space research sensors, including planetary sensors. 

The objectives of WP 7C activities are to develop and maintain ITU-R Recommendations, Reports and handbooks relevant to remote sensing in Earth-exploration and meteorological activities. This includes the assessment of spectrum requirements and protection criteria for the above services and the establishment of sharing criteria with other services. The resulting RS Series ITU-R Recommendations are of paramount importance to administrations, international and national space agencies, as well as industry. 

WP 7C is responsible in preparation for WRC‑23 on topics related to new secondary allocation of EESS (active) around 45 MHz, new primary frequency allocations to EESS (passive) in the frequency range 231.5-252 GHz, spectrum requirements for space weather sensors and Protection of EESS (passive) in the frequency band 36-37 GHz from non-GSO FSS space stations.

The Fourth working party of ITU-R SG7 is WP 7D which covers the radio astronomy service. Its scope includes radio astronomy and radar astronomy sensors, both Earth-based and space-based, including space very long baseline interferometry (VLBI). Radio Astronomy observations involve the detection of extremely faint radio signals from the cosmos over the whole radio spectrum, and therefore require the most sensitive radio telescope systems. Such systems are very susceptible to radio frequency interference from other radio services and hence careful management of the radio spectrum is of extreme importance to radio astronomy. 

Study Group 7 and its working parties develop ITU-R Recommendations (, Reports (  and handbooks (  that are used for development and ensuring non-interference operation of space operation, space research, Earth-exploration and meteorological systems (including the related use of links in the inter-satellite service), radio astronomy and radar astronomy, dissemination, reception and coordination of standard-frequency and time-signal services (including the application of satellite techniques) on a worldwide basis.

Muhammed Abdelhaseeb is the Vice-Chairman of Study Group 7 of Radiocommunication Sector in International Telecommunication Union (ITU-R). He serves as Director for Radio Spectrum Assignments in the Egyptian National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA). He joined NTRA since 2005 as junior spectrum management engineer. He started participation in the activities of ITU-R since 2007 as a member of the Egyptian delegation to the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07).

His active participations in ITU-R activities since 2007 was the driver to be nominated as Vice-Chairman for ITU-R SG7 by the Egyptian Administration and the Arab spectrum management group (ASMG). At WRC-19, he was selected to be Vice-President for Committee-3.

Muhammed earned a bachelor degree in telecommunications and electronics engineering form Ain Shams University in 2005. In addition to that, he had a master of Telecommunications (MSC) form Cairo University in 2018. 

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