REGULATIONS FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE KAROO CENTRAL ASTRONOMY ADVANTAGE AREAS

on the protection of the Karoo Central Astronomy Advantage Areas (KCAAAs) were developed in terms of the Astronomy Geographic Advantage legislation (AGA Act of 2007). These regulations protect, preserve and properly maintain the KCAAAs in respect of radio frequency interference or interference in any other manner. The draft regulations were published on 23 November 2015 in the Government Gazette No. 39939.The public consultation was undertaken in the form of written submission and oral presentation. Professor JCW van Rooyen SC chaired the public consultation meetings in Pretoria and Carnarvon, respectively on 13 and 20 October 2016. submitted his report to the Minister on 24 January 2017 with the recommendation to finalise the regulations. The final regulations were gazetted on 15 December 2017 and became operational starting from 15 December 2018. The requirement to comply with the regulations was extended to 15 December 2020.

The regulations are limited to what is reasonably necessary to protect the scientific integrity of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) as a priority, while other fundamental rights are also protected in so far as it is reasonably possible. The financial cost which directly results from the need to protect the SKA is payed back by the Minister of Science and Technology. The regulations protect scientific activities from radio frequency interference (RFI) of intentional radio communication services such as cellular phones or WiFi over a longer distance, and electromagnetic interference (EMI) of electrical equipment emissions over a shorter distance.

Weak RFI signal pollute a smaller portion of the spectrum, which can be masked to continue with astronomy observation, while strong RFI signal cannot be masked because the entire spectrum is polluted, whereas even stronger RFI could damage the telescope receiver. Although EMI travels for a shorter distance, the signal cannot be masked because a large portion of the spectrum is polluted.

The first intention of the AGA Act and KCAAAs Regulations is to maximise the availability of a continuous clean spectrum in the frequency band from 100 MHz to 25 500 MHz. The second intention is to minimise the impact of radio communications and electrical activities that exceed the protection levels. The third intention is to avoid total disruption from interference that exceed the saturation threshold or damage to the astronomy reception equipment. The protection measures are not applied evenly over all declared astronomy advantage areas because level is applied at the SKA virtual centre and the level relaxes as one move away from the SKA virtual centre. The least protection level is to prevent the saturation radio frequency interference threshold of (minus) -100 dBm at each of the remote telescope station, which could damage the equipment or render the telescope receiver unusable. The regulations do not prevent local community members from accessing the radio frequency spectrum. The list of exempted spectrum which can be used within the declared KCAAAs, which includes the frequency used by cellular phones and WiFi was published.

issued a notice to all Radio Frequency Spectrum Licensees operating within the KCAAAs to apply for a permit with the Astronomy Management Authority to continue operating within the KCAAAs. Upon receipt of the permit, a Radio Frequency Spectrum Licensee must submit the permit together with the licence to ICASA for altering if required. Based on section 22(6) of the AGA Act, read with section 30(1) and section 31 of the Electronic Communications Act, ICASA has an obligation not to issue a Radio Frequency Spectrum Licence where the spectrum used could cause RFI in the KCAAAs.

from the SKA virtual centre are required to submit a permit application to continue using the radio frequency spectrum that is for equipment such as WiFi, DECT Cordless Phone, Public Mobile Radio, Low Power Video Surveillance, and Meter Reading. Farms within the 50 KM radius are near the SKA virtual centre that has stringent protection level, whereas farms outside the 50 KM radius have a more relaxed protection level.

Majority of Radio Frequency Spectrum Licensees operating within the KCAAAs are expected to submit Permit application with the applicant or the competent person conducting the required compliance assessment. Whereas, majority of Farm owners are expected to submit Permit application that requires the management authority to perform the compliance assessment. All permit applications are submitted online. The online permit applications automatically generate all necessary technical information when the farm owner select the equipment from a dropdown list. Additional support is provided to farm owners experiencing difficulty with the online permit application. The management authority appointed a local contractor to travel to each farm for a permit application. application for financial compensation and permit application in connection with electrical equipment are also submitted online. The Astronomy Management Astronomy provide remote support in relation to the Permit application and Financial compensation.

Workflow
Video
Application

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FORM 3

Mustang
a.c. or d.c. power port
arc welding equipment
Microwave oven
Battery Chargers
photovoltaic power generating system (Solar)
Wind power generating system (Wind turbines)
power conversion equipment
Uninterruptible power systems (UPS)
Electro-discharge machining (EDM) equipment
electromagnetic radiation
Agricultural machinery
Internal combustion engine devices: (electric generators, pumps, lawn mowers, garden tools, chain saws, etc.)
Road vehicles including passenger cars, trucks and busses powered by an internal combustion, an electric motor or hybrid technology
Battery powered floor finishing machines
Car radios
Forestry Equipment
Spark discharge
Battery Chargers
Induction cooking appliances
Kitchen machines
Refrigerators and freezers
Washing machines
Dish-washers
Tumble dryers
Electro-mechanical office machines
Lawn mowers
Air conditioning equipment
Cooking appliances
Microwave oven
Rectifier diode power supplies
Power tools (including battery powered)
Switch mode power supplies
Electric fence energiser
Electric tools
Motor-operated electro-medical apparatus
Electrical heating equipment
Electronic gas igniters
Cap lights for mines
LED luminaires
Audio Amplifiers
Car radios
CD / DVD Player
Copying Machine
Data Printer: Dot matrix, laser, LED
Data Display: CRT, plasma, LED, Liquid crystal
Data Input Device: Keyboard, mouse
Data Processor: Computer, calculator
Digital Still Camera
Digital Video Camera
FM sound receivers
Local Area Network devices
Modem (all types)
Telecommunication Terminal
Television receivers
Telephone
TV set-top boxes (analog or digital)
Cow