“Deliberate interference has increased dramatically since 2011”

by Staff Reporter | November 11th, 2012

Mueid G. Al-Zahrani, VP & Chief Technical Officer-ARABSAT speaks to SatellitePro ME about the operator’s initiatives in the areas of RF interference and deliberate jamming as a preview to the company’s presentation at the annual conference of the Satellite Interference Reduction Group (IRG) to be held in Dubai from November 17-20 2012.

If you are interested in attending the conference, register at www.satirg.org.

Give us an overview of the ARABSAT initiatives to combat RF interference over the year.

ARABSAT has certified all its operations’ staff with GVF (510, 520 and 521) to provide adequate support to customers, in addition to ‘Extended Host’, which includes the typical ‘HOST’ programme and a classroom rehearsal of the on-line training course. ARABSAT has enrolled 39 of its customers on GVF to stop interference before it happens. We are working to establish a training centre to educate our customers and leverage installers’ skills.

How would you define the issue of deliberate jamming and how much of your interference issues at present can be attributed to deliberate jamming?

The issue of deliberate interference has indeed increased dramatically since 2011 . For example in 2012, the percentage of deliberate interference reached 26% out of the total interference on ARABSAT satellites.

What technology do you have in place to identify sources of deliberate jamming – and once the source is identified, what can you do to mitigate the interference – both technically and legislatively?

ARABSAT is using state-of-the-art Integral Geo-location Systems. Once the source is identified, Arabsat notifies the regulators in the country concerned, then approaches the ITU and, at times, the Arab League.

The satellite industry reportedly loses millions of dollars per year due to cases of interference and a great deal of manpower has to be given over to discovering its causes. Going forward what measures would you recommend in terms of collaboration between governments and operators towards better coordination?

The Satellite Interference Reduction Group (IRG) will be putting in some efforts similar to what has been made to stop non-intentional interferences through GVF Certification and Carrier ID. We believe there will be coordination between satellite operators through IRG as it is the common denominator.

If you are interested in attending the conference, fill out the registration form at www.satirg.org. For more information, please contact press@satirg.org


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