Committee on Radio Frequency Allocations

Terms of Reference


The AMS Committee on Radio Frequency Allocations organizes members to review and coordinate on all matters of radio frequency spectrum management pertinent to the weather, water, and climate enterprise and share relevant information with the broader AMS membership. The use of electromagnetic spectrum for collecting and delivering observational data has long been an important asset to the meteorological, earth sciences, and emergency response communities for advancing science and related services. The Committee provides input into government proceedings and policy proposals to repurpose and share spectrum that the weather, water, and climate enterprise already uses. Given the considerable interest from the legislative and executive branches of the United States federal government in making spectrum available to commercial wireless users, it is necessary that the AMS continue to address proposals of this nature given the probable impact on many unique activities within the enterprise and the overall importance of timely weather data to warnings for the public and weather-sensitive commerce.


The goals of the Committee are:

  • to increase membership awareness of spectrum management matters and their potential impacts on the weather, water, and climate enterprise,
  • develop coalitions with other entities to inform the public and policymakers on radio frequency interference and its consequences, and
  • provide subject-matter expertise on how changes in spectrum policy and allocations could affect the collection or delivery of meteorological, hydrological, and oceanographical data.


The Committee actively monitors proceedings of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), activities of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and relevant oversight from Congress. Based on this, the Committee coordinates with the AMS leadership and community partners in drafting and filing comments to FCC proceedings and conducting briefings with federal government officials. The Committee will also provide briefings and arrange panel discussions at AMS meetings when necessary to achieve the Committee goals of providing spectrum information to AMS members and partners.

The Committee ensures that the relevant AMS policy statement, “Radio Frequency Allocations for Meteorological Operations and Research”, remains current and germane to AMS community posture on the proximate issues.

Members and Structure

The Committee contains six to fifteen members, including academic, government, and private sector professionals with expertise in remote sensing, radar meteorology, satellite meteorology, systems engineering, telecommunications, and policy. Broad geographic representation is desirable, including knowledge and experience working with international partners. Members have experience advancing and communicating the mission of the AMS with a passion for cross-disciplinary teams and solutions. There are committee members that serve as a liaison to the relevant AMS committees, including the Committee on Radar Meteorology, the Committee on Satellite Meteorology, Oceanography, and Climatology, and the Committee on Emergency Management. The Committee reports to the CWWCE Board on Enterprise Economic Development (BEED).

There is a designated committee chair, and, if necessary, a vice chair, to prioritize committee activities. The BEED chair will recommend the committee chair(s) for appointment. Designation of the committee chair requires CWWCE commissioner approval of the recommendation. All members serve a three-year term consistent with AMS guidelines for committee service. Student members serve a two-year term. The committee chair nominates members with approval from the BEED chair and CWWCE commissioner. In some cases, an extension to member term limits is allowable to ensure that sufficient continuity of the Committee is maintained between successive years.

Last revised in August 2018; adopted in October 2018