In 1960 ICSU set up an Inter-Union Commission (IUCAF) on the Allocation of Frequencies for Space Research and Radio Astronomy, to keep key parts of the radio spectrum clear for passive, scientific use. IUCAF represents URSI, IAU and COSPAR at World Radio Conferences (WRCs) convened by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in Geneva; the WRCs establish the international law which governs users of the radio spectrum. This review recounts many serious threats posed to passive scientific research by commercial and military operations, particularly those involving radio emissions from aircraft and spacecraft. The continual conflict between commercial greed and scientific curiosity has often put the future of radio astronomy, space research, and earth exploration in jeopardy. The conflict increases as we move into the Information Age.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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