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Northumbria expertise informs UK space spectrum strategy

16th November 2022

Northumbria University expertise in space law is helping to shape the UK Government strategy for managing radio communications used by the space sector.  This strategy informs how satellites use the radio frequency spectrum and how Ofcom manage and regulate the spectrum for efficiency.

UK communications industry regulator Ofcom recently announced its Space Spectrum Strategy, aimed at ensuring technology for radio communication and satellite services from space remains robust, up-to-date and benefits society. An Ofcom consultation process sought advice from a range of experts, including space law researchers and academics from Northumbria Law School. As a result, a number of Northumbria’s policy recommendations have now been adopted within the strategy.

Satellite services can include navigation, broadband, emergency communications and weather tracking. They rely on radio to communicate and are an essential to maintaining society’s technologically-advanced living – from using mobile phones, to online banking, GPS signalling, supporting the emergency services or simply watching TV.

Lauren Napier, Lecturer in Space and Cyber Law at Northumbria, said: “An invitation to take part in Ofcom’s consultation process for the new Space Spectrum strategy reflects the recognition Northumbria has developed for research and teaching in space law. We were delighted to take part and gratified to have recommendations accepted toward the Space Spectrum Strategy as this strategy helps to ensure satellite operators use radio efficiently.

“At Northumbria we research and teach on space, cyber and telecommunications governance. We discuss the use of existing laws and policies and give recommendations for policy reform. The new Ofcom Space Spectrum Strategy is important because it creates UK strategy on space services use of radio communications to stay up to date with technology and the needs of society.” 

As well as space law, Northumbria also undertakes world-leading research in solar and space physics, with a focus on areas such as helping to protect satellite data form dangers such as space weather.

For more information on Northumbria Law School please visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/law

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