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Proceedings Paper

The new ground penetrating radar regulartory environment
Author(s): Gary R. Olhoeft
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Paper Abstract

By its very nature, ground penetrating radar (GPR) is an ultra-wideband device (UWB), requiring a large range in frequency to penetrate the ground and image with sufficient resolution to solve practical problems. The increasing scarcity of electromagnetic spectrum and the proposed use of other UWB devices in 1998 caused the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to initiate an inquiry (NOl ET Docket 98-1 53) to investigate permitting the operation of ultra-wideband devices (including ground penetrating radar) on an unlicensed basis under Part 1 5 of he FCC rules. Through 14 February 2002, the FCC had received over 9 1 0 comments in the inquiry (NOl 98-153) and on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM 00-163) issued in June, 2000. The First Report and Order (R&O 02-8) was issued on 14 February 2002. Before this, ground penetrating radar use was only officially permitted for those who had received waivers from the FCC or NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration), who jointly regulate radio spectrum use in the United States. Legal waivers to manufacture ground penetrating radar were issued to U.S. Radar Inc., Time Domain Inc. and Zircon Corp. in June, 1999, and expiring with the R&O. Waivers to build or use ground penetrating radar were issued to the U.S. Geological Survey, U. S. Army and U. S. DOE by NTIA (or predecessors) from about 1976. The R&O issued on 14 February 2002 ". . provides for the operation of GPRs and other imaging devices under Part 15 of the Commission's rules subject to certain frequency and power limitations. The operators of imaging devices must be eligible for licensing under Part 90 of our rules. . ." "At the request of NTIA, the FCC will notify or coordinate with NTIA prior to the operation of all imaging systems." "GPRs must be operated below 960 MHz or in the frequency band 3.1-10.6 GHz." The FCC ". . intends within the next six to twelve months to review the standards for UWB devices and issue a further notice of proposed rule making to explore more flexible standards and address the operation of additional types of UWB operations and technology." This FCC rule impacts ground penetrating radar manufacture, sale and use in the United States (and in other countries whose rules are linked to FCC regulations).

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 April 2002
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4758, Ninth International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar, (12 April 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.462238
Show Author Affiliations
Gary R. Olhoeft, Colorado School of Mines (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4758:
Ninth International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar
Steven Koppenjan; Hua Lee, Editor(s)

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