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1050Re: [Balloons-Rockets] Cell Phones On Balloons

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  • Mike Manes
    Dec 1, 2004
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      Thanks for that head's up, Tim! I has assumed that the prohibition
      on cell phones aboard commercial aircraft had to do with EMC issues
      with comm/nav systems. No idea that it extended to ALL airborne
      vehicles, private and unmanned included.

      I do rather doubt that it has to do with hitting multiple cell sites
      from high altitude, however. This is more than likely a billing
      issue for the user; e.g., the US Army High Altitude Research Lab on
      the 14,250 ft summit of Pike's Peak, overlooking the city of Colorado
      Springs, was having some budget problems due to excessive roving
      charges when cell sites in Denver, Pueblo and Park County pick up their
      calls. Once a cell site has acquired a cell phone call, all the others
      that hear it ignore it.

      The Feds have never been terribly forthcoming with rationale behind the
      published rulings. It takes a poring over of the Federal Register to
      glean any such info. But as stated, it appears that high-altitude cell
      phone payloads are a no-no.

      I've cc'ed some private pilots who have worked with EOSS to see if their
      take on this is so Draconian.

      73 de Mike W5VSI

      Timothy J Salo wrote:
      > > To: balloons-rockets@...
      > > Subject: Re: [Balloons-Rockets] Cell Phones On Balloons
      > >
      > > From: ChrisV01
      > > Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2004 22:56:31 EST
      > > Subject: [Balloons-Rockets] Cell Phones On Balloons
      > >
      > > Are there any rules and regulations with respect to using a cell phone to
      > > activate a system onboard a weather balloon.
      > > [...]
      > > Are such things legal from altitude?
      > The title of Section 22.925 of the FCC regulations is titled
      > "Prohibition on airborne operation of cellular telephones",
      > which is probably a good summary of its contents (reproduced
      > below). It even explicitly mentions balloons.
      > I understand that the motivation for this prohibition
      > is that the cell phone system assumes that a phone will be close
      > to only a few cellular base stations at any one time. This
      > assumption is violated when a cell phone is at altitude. I also
      > suspect that cellular base stations probably try to keep most of
      > their gain pretty horizontal. Of course, cell phones do, at least
      > generally, work while airborne.
      > Yet more trivia from,
      > -tjs
      > - - - - - - - - -
      > [Code of Federal Regulations]
      > [Title 47, Volume 2, Parts 20 to 39]
      > [Revised as of October 1, 1999]
      > >From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
      > [CITE: 47CFR22.925]
      > [Page 197]
      > PART 22--PUBLIC MOBILE SERVICES--Table of Contents
      > Subpart H--Cellular Radiotelephone Service
      > Sec. 22.925 Prohibition on airborne operation of cellular telephones.
      > Cellular telephones installed in or carried aboard airplanes,
      > balloons or any other type of aircraft must not be operated while such
      > aircraft are airborne (not touching the ground). When any aircraft
      > leaves the ground, all cellular telephones on board that aircraft must
      > be turned off. The following notice must be posted on or near each
      > cellular telephone installed in any aircraft:
      > ``The use of cellular telephones while this aircraft is airborne is
      > prohibited by FCC rules, and the violation of this rule could result in
      > suspension of service and/or a fine. The use of cellular telephones
      > while this aircraft is on the ground is subject to FAA regulations.''
      > http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_99/47cfr22_99.html
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      Mike Manes manes@... Tel: 303-979-4899
      "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not more so." A.