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47 CFR FCC Part 80 Certification Testing of Stations in the Maritime Services

As a leader in RF regulatory compliance testing, Keystone Compliance recognizes the requirements needed for wireless radio manufacturers. Meeting the ETSI, FCC, and other wireless testing specifications can be challenging. Not only do we understand the challenges, but we help guide companies through the process.

Keystone is continually developing partnerships in GMA and RF exposure testing. These strategic partnerships allow us to meet customer needs beyond our scope of accreditation. Additionally, we are in constant communication throughout the entire test process. From concept through compliance, Keystone meets all of our customers’ needs under one roof.

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Summary of Wireless Radio Frequency Testing of Maritime Services

Part 80 of the FCC standard evaluates radio telecommunication equipment carriage and power source installations for certain ships. These regulations are also made known under the provisions of the Communications Act of 1934.

Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS): An International Maritime Organization (IMO) worldwide coordinated maritime distress system. This system provides the rapid transfer of messages from vessels in distress to units best suited for giving or coordinating assistance.

The system includes standardized equipment and operational procedures. The system also standardizes unique identifiers for each station. Lastly, the system integrates the use of frequency bands and radio systems.

Marine utility station: A station consisting of one or more handheld radiotelephone units licensed under a single authorization. Each unit is capable of operation while being hand-carried by an individual. The station operates under the rules applicable to ship stations when the unit is aboard a vessel. The station operates under the rules applicable to private coast stations when the unit is on land.

Ship or vessel: A ship or vessel includes every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance, except aircraft, capable of being used as a means of transportation on the water whether or not it is afloat.

Scope of Maritime Station Testing

Generally, stations in the maritime service must be licensed by the FCC either individually or as a fleet. One ship station license will be granted for the operation of all maritime services equipment onboard a vessel. On the other hand, radiotelegraph and narrow-band equipment will not be usually authorized.

If a ship station does not make international communications, the station does not need an individual license. This is only true if the ship station is not subjected to the radio equipment carriage requirements of any statute.

A station license cannot be granted to or held by a foreign government or its representative. 

Public coast stations and Alaska-public fixed stations are not granted to any foreign government. Additionally, they are not granted to corporations organized under the laws of a foreign government, alien, etc.

Private coast and maritime utility stations are granted to an engaged person. The station is also granted for the operation, docking, or other responsibility of commercial transport vessels. This also includes the United States, state, or local government vessels.

Applications other than ship stations must propose frequencies and ensure that the requested frequencies are consistent with the applicant’s eligibility. Applicants must ensure that the frequencies are consistent with the proposed class of station operation.

Operating Conditions and Procedures of Maritime System Wireless Testing

All stations and records must be made available for when the FCC has authorized an inspection.

Each radio transmitter power cannot exceed the power needed to carry on the service for which the station is licensed. Each radio transmitter with a carrier power of more than 100 watts must determine the transmitter power during operation.

The wireless intentional radiator test defines detailed information about the land, ship, public coast, and private coast. The FCC standard also defines other types of maritime ship stations. Part 80 describes information for each station such as the following:

  • General requirements
  • Operating procedures
  • Special procedures
  • Maintenance tests
  • Antenna requirements
  • Facility requirements
  • Operator requirements

Our experienced engineers have the knowledge necessary to perform any of the FCC standards mentioned above. Contact us with any questions you may have testing about your maritime system device.

Expert Intentional Radiator Laboratory Compliance Testing

Keystone Compliance can accommodate fixed, mobile and portable devices of all sizes. Keystone has a full lab of test equipment which permits us to provide short lead times on scheduling. Our team strives to give our customers more time and energy on product development instead of testing.

Request a quote to find out for yourself about the Keystone difference. Have a question about CFR and FCC wireless laboratory testing? Contact us or call (724) 657-9940 and we will determine the best course of action.