Radio astronomy relies on the detection of very faint signals from the universe. Many radio telescopes are now detrimentally affected by radio frequency interference (RFI), which results from a wide range of active spectrum users such as communications, aviation and satellites. This is why many new radio observatories are being sited at increasingly remote locations.
The site for the Square Kilometre Array and its pathfinders in Australia is the Murchison Radio-Astronomy Observatory (MRO). The MRO is located more than 350km from the nearest population centre and has a large radio-quiet zone that is managed under a range of legislative agreements.
In this talk I will describe the radio quiet zone, what protection it gives, how it works and how astronomers interact with the spectrum management authorities.
AUTHORS/INSTITUTIONS: L. Harvey-Smith, CSIRO, Epping, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA