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Scope of Work

SPECTRUM NASA Spectrum Management is a Level 1 NASA function performed by NASA Glenn Research Center. The NASA Spectrum Management Office (SMO) develops policy and provides planning, coordination and representation to secure and protect necessary radio spectrum in support of NASA’s present and future programmatic goals supporting all NASA program areas. Spectrum Management carries out its responsibilities both within the United States (nationally) and internationally. Additionally, the SMO houses the NASA Spectrum Analysis Center (SAC). The analysts in the SAC provide spectrum analysis expertise and support across the entire agency.

National Spectrum Management


SMO is a participant in the Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee (IRAC) and provides the NASA representation to the IRAC and its subcommittees through the National Spectrum Program Manager and his designees:

  1. Frequency Assignment Subcommittee (assignment and coordination of radio frequencies at the National level),
  2. Spectrum Planning Subcommittee (obtaining certifications of spectrum support for the use of the electromagnetic spectrum in the National interest),
  3. Technical Subcommittee (determines technical aspects of the use of the electromagnetic spectrum, and such other matters as the IRAC may direct),
  4. Radio Conference Subcommittee (coordinates federal agencies’ preparations for radio conferences).
  5. Space Systems Subcommittee (coordinates the international registrations of federal satellite/space systems), and
  6. Emergency Planning Subcommittee (formulates, guides, and reviews National Security and Emergency Preparedness (NSEP) planning for spectrum-dependent systems.


The NASA Frequency Assignment Manager acts as the interface between the NASA center spectrum managers and the IRAC for the purpose of obtaining frequency authorizations for NASA operations and projects. In turn, the NASA center spectrum managers act as the interface between the NASA programs/projects resident at their respective centers and the National Spectrum Program Manager and the International Spectrum Program Manager.

In order to obtain the frequency authorizations, it may be necessary for SMO to provide analysis as further input to the IRAC supporting the desired Frequency Authorization.  This may be accomplished through the Spectrum Analysis Center.

International Spectrum Management


SMO participates in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) to:

  1. Ensure agency compliance with international rules and regulations pertaining to the use of radio spectrum.
  2. Ensure timely dissemination of technical and regulatory changes, which have a bearing across the agency for evaluation and implementation.
  3. Provide planning and implementation of actions (Spectrum Advocacy) required to obtain new allocations or enhanced radio regulations. Analysis functions necessary in this area to support these actions is performed by the Spectrum Analysis Center.
  4. Input documentation and analyses necessary to obtain international registration for NASA systems that operate in space.

In order to perform these functions within the ITU, it is necessary to negotiate/coordinate with countries other than the United States.

Spectrum Analysis Center


The NASA Spectrum Analysis Center resident at NASA Glenn Research Center is led by the Spectrum Analysis Center Manager.  The SAC has the following overall objectives:

  1. Provide a centralized review process for all NASA spectrum-related analyses and related outputs leaving the Agency;
  2. Perform selected spectrum analyses as directed by the NASA HQ Spectrum Office, the International/National Spectrum Managers, and the SAC Manager;
  3. Provide consistency in methodology and assumptions in spectrum analyses conducted across the Agency;
  4. Ensure spectrum analyses are consistent with NASA spectrum policies and guidelines; and
  5. Maintain a repository of code that has been reviewed by the SAC for the purpose of being used as a basis for analyses which will be shared amongst all Centers conducting NASA spectrum analyses.
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