Every NASA missions requires use of the electromagnetic spectrum to communicate with our spacecraft and send vital data back to Earth. NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program provides spectrum management on behalf of NASA at both the national and international stages, enabling secure and efficient communication networks for NASA.
Overview of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The electromagnetic spectrum is comprised of all frequencies of electromagnetic radiation that propagate energy and travel through space in the form of waves. NASA utilizes a number of tools that allow us to communicate and create images utilizing almost every single component of the electromagnetic spectrum in one way or another.
NASA’s requirements for access to the radio frequency spectrum began with the formation of the agency in 1958 and have evolved and grown over the decades to include a wide array of programs and applications. Virtually every endeavor by the agency requires communications or data transfer via the radio spectrum.
United States radio spectrum frequency allocations chart.
A guide to NASA Spectrum policy.
It is NASA policy that any NASA satellite mission requiring the use of the electromagnetic spectrum for transmission, reception, or both, shall follow the United States spectrum regulatory rules and processes, as well as all applicable international spectrum regulations.