You are on page 1of 51

The broadcasting Green Paper for The Prime Ministers of Australia & NZ A new international broadcasting strategy is needed by both

Australia & NZ in Melanesia and Western Polynesia

Document Distribution

This document is intended for distribution to the following
• • • NZ: AU: AU:


This document has been submitted to • “Five-year Spectrum Outlook 2010–2014” ( • This document in future may be submitted to the NZ radio broadcasting regulatory authority. • As new information or technology becomes available this document may be updated.

The 2008-2009 Global Economic Recession is destabilizing Australasia
Australia, NZ & the Pacific Islands have had a drop in Inbound Tourism (and export commodities) from Europe, the Americas & NE Asia -- leading to a nominal drop in average incomes in Australasia.  The former “Colonial Powers” & the USA have so many economic corruption issues at home so as to make economic help to Australasia impossible.  This “recession / depression” is unlike the 1930s when that “Great Depression” helped prepare Pacific Islands nations for future independence.  The “Civil Society” in Australasia is on its own.

“Gunboat Diplomacy” is best if avoided
Sending in the Navy under “ANZUS Treaty” conditions only works about once every 20 or so years as with the Fiji 2000 Coup  The populous in the affected nation must not only approve of the military imposition – but must be outright demanding it as with Fiji  Due to US, UK and French “Colonization issues” in the region “Gunboat Diplomacy” should be avoided as much as possible  The US, UK and France don't have to live with the decisions of their “Gunboat Diplomacy” -- this is not true for Australia & NZ

Economic Diplomacy
Because of the region that Australia and NZ are located in “Economic Sanctions” aka “Trade Sanctions” have limited effect, mainly nearly no effect at all  The US, with its global currency and super power capabilities has nearly universally failed to achieve its diplomatic goals via economic sanctions  Other Commonwealth nations like Canada don't use economic sanctions to any great extent as this diplomatic measure has an extremely limited utility  Nations that “Say on thing and do another” essentially get no benefit from a policy of economic sanctions

Radio Diplomacy 101
When Military and Economic Diplomacy does not work there is always Radio Diplomacy  Radio Australia & Radio NZ International have been broadcasting to the Asia-Pacific region since the 1950s  Australian & NZ external broadcasting is deemed to be helpful and trustworthy in the region  “Radio Diplomacy” is cheap and reaches the entire population of a nation -- not just its elite  Satellite TV channels are more expensive to run during economic recessions and depressions  Radio diplomacy leaves no trace behind of its use, but its effects are clearly felt

Radio Diplomacy 101
In most Pacific Island nations there is a heavy dependency on MW and SW for domestic broadcasting. • MW is less dependable than SW in the tropics, when traditional lower power omnidirectional MW transmission systems are used. • FM relays of Radio Australia & RNZI are limited in the Pacific Islands to at best 10% population reach. • Australia has an ongoing 15 year SW broadcasting capacity shortfall of at least -150%, possibly -220%. • NZ cannot use any of Australia's spare SW capacity to engage in repairs and maintenance at Rangataki. • No US SW broadcasters are interested in helping either Australia or NZ to increase capacity.

Pragmatic Geopolitical Considerations
During geopolitical and economic crises, it is typical to increase external broadcasting out of the needs to survive intact as a nation state  Sometimes crises can go on for years or even decades, leading to oscillatory antagonism – something that International Broadcasting should try to prevent  International Broadcasting during the Cold War (1950-1989) should not be an example of what must be avoided in the Asia-Pacific region

Realistic Geopolitical Considerations
NZ managed with difficultly to approach its maximal state funded external Shortwave “broadcasting transmission output capacity” in the 1990s-2000s  Australia in this same time has failed to keep up with NZ in Asia-Pacific Shortwave transmission capacity, with statistical evidence suggesting a 220% transmission capacity shortfall  Never confuse programming hours vs transmitter hours, with “zero transmitters” all the programming produced will be of no use to anyone

Crisis Geopolitical Considerations
Australia has no guarantee that the VT Merlin Station in Singapore (or Thailand) will be available to Australia or NZ during a geopolitical crisis  US religious broadcasters in Guam and Hawaii did not help RNZI when its transmitter failed so don't expect them to help Radio Australia during a geopolitical crisis  The South Pacific region as a whole versus SE Asia and NE Asia has a substantial shortfall in International Broadcasting transmission capacity in MW and SW

Solution : Use Mediumwave band
Increasing shortwave (SW) coverage is expensive  a new 100 kw transmitter costs ~ 600,000 EUR  a new 300 kw unit costs ~ 1.22 m EUR  a new 500 kw unit costs ~ 1.55 m EUR  SW curtain arrays are universally not cheap, and Horizontal Log Periodic antennas are not adequate replacements. Mediumwave (MW) broadcasting must be considered at these high transmitter prices!  a 50 kw transmitter can cost under 100,000 AUD  a 100 kw unit could be found under 200,000 AUD  You don't have to buy a new transmitter, but it helps  MW can only be used at night, unlike SW.

MW propagation “in an nutshell” for busy cabinet ministers

MW Regulatory Issues
Australia & NZ will need to make 1620 kHz to 1710 kHz exclusive to outward International Broadcasting at high power (50 kw to 100 kw)  A joint AU-NZ “Extended MW International Broadcasting Bandplan” will be needed  NZ needs 2 frequencies; Cook Islands 1; etc...  Australia may need to redo a few already granted Extended MW Band permits  Some ITU legal mechanisms will be needed to keep the needed MW frequencies available in the target areas

MW Regulatory Issues, Continued
Australia & NZ will only need to engage in nominal MW band allocation negotiations with one colonial power in the region: France.  If Australia chooses to broadcast to Iran Jaya and East Timor via MW then Indonesia may need to be consulted over the change in MW allocation.  The broadcasting style of Radio Australia and Radio NZ International in no way collides with the existing diplomatic framework per domestic reception.  If reflectors are used on all proposed antenna systems than legal issues relating to domestic MW audience reception can be nullified.

MW Regulatory Issues, Reference
• • • • New Zealand's current use of the MW broadcasting band (1), Interactive (Spreadsheet output option) Australia's current use of the MW broadcasting band (2), Interactive Currently Maritime and Mobile telecom services use 1610 kHz to 1710 kHz in Australia and NZ. There will need to be an administrative reallocation that would remove 80% of the non-broadcast users from this allocation band (that covers ~1600 kHz to 1800 kHz). Existing regulatory databases indicate few entities hold broadcasting rights in these bands.

1: 2:

Suggested MW Band Coordination

Radio Diplomacy 201

Optimal Transmission Systems

Technical Innovation
To reach the nearby Pacific Island nations a highly directional MW antenna system is required  Traditional MW “Tethered Dipole Arrays” are useless here – their directivity is ~10 dbi less than what is needed  The USSR solved the MW directivity problem in the 1950s probably with Interlaced Rhombics  The Russian Ministry of Communication has not disclosed its MW broadcast engineering research  The relative lack of electromagnetic complexity makes Rhombics cheap vs Dipole Arrays

MW Propagation difficulties
Essentially about 70% of Melanesia is fully accessible by directional MW broadcasting from Australia and NZ, but the use of gyred dipoles is out of the question due to poor directivity.

Proposed MW Interlaced Rhombic

What could it look like at a distance? (ignore the central mast)

Let's see what can be done...

New Zealand

MW Propagation difficulties
Without going into all of the complexities involved – most of Polynesia cannot be reached by MW propagation at night from NZ save for • • • Tonga, Niue Samoa Kermadec

Reaching this region via Australia is even more difficult but technically not impossible

Find a viable MW circuit

NZ MW to Fiji & Tonga

Find another viable MW circuit

NZ MW to New Caledonia & Vanuatu

NZ RNZI MW Summary
The 2 MW relay sites should be separated by ~50 km to eliminate electrodynamic coupling effects.  Reflector curtains should be added so as to redirect or eliminate ~75% of the wasted energy from the Interlaced Rhombic sidelobes.  Reflectors could allow for the Solomon Islands to be fully reached by MW (Noumea beam). Tonga & Rotuma Island could be reached with reflectors (Fiji beam).  Note: 5 or 6 gyred mast reflectors would be needed for each site. Assume: Mast hight =~ Wavelength.  Considerable computational effort and intellectual experimentation will be needed to design properly working reflectors. This is not a simple SW Curtain Array!  At each MW site there should be a backup transmitter that operates at 60% of the power of the primary transmitter (if tube transmitters are used).

NZ RNZI MW Relay Impacts
RNZI will need more staff to cope with the specific needs of targeting Fiji / New Caledonia / Tonga / Vanuatu / Solomons during nighttime.  The new MW sites would most likely be maintained by the same subcontractor that handles routine maintenance of RNZI Rangataki.  Broadcasting to the “near abroad” via MW will be a 50 year commitment. Transmitter plant and equipment are expected to last for 50 years.  RNZI's yearly electrical consumption will nominally increase.  Each transmitter “day” is Sunset → 02h and from 05h → Sunrise. Not peak consumption hours.

Let's see what can be done...


MW Propagation difficulties
Without going into all of the complexities involved – most of Micronesia cannot be reached by MW propagation at night from Australia or NZ save for • • Kiribati (Kiribas) Truk, Yap

This region can only be reached via shortwave with power levels of 100 kw or more from Australia or NZ with HR type antennas

Find a viable MW circuit

Australia to New Caledonia, Vanuatu & Fiji

Find a viable MW circuit

Australia to Eastern PNG & Solomon Islands

Australia to Iran Jaya & East Timor

Radio Australia MW Relay Impacts
The routine maintenance of the new MW relay facilities is expected to be handled by a subcontractor with the net gain of 2.5 jobs.  RA will need to have nominal increased Pacific Islands languages services staffing to be able to optimally use the MW facility.  It is expected that 3 x 100 kw MW transmitters will be needed to fully meet RA's MW relay needs.  Broadcasting to the near abroad via MW will be a 50 year commitment as the plant and equipment are expected to last for 50 years.

Closing technical notes

Reference notes
The IONCAP propagation model used here is not a true MW propagation model.  When these initial parameters are used with a MW planning package & propagation model the results will probably differ by ±10%. This is already accounted for.  Each antenna design is verified, but not optimized.  Each antenna should have 27 kHz range for optimal performance. Future frequency changes could happen.  For analogue broadcasting 50 dbu fieldstrength and 23 db (signal / noise) are nominal in this frequency band.  The Interlaced Rhombic antennas used would need to be 15% to 25% longer to operate in the MW band to maintain equivalent performance.  Antenna overall performance should not degrade as IR antenna spec uses wavelengths not meters.

Propagation notes
Terrestrial MW & SW radio broadcasting requires the received signal to be ~20 times stronger than the interfering signal in the target area. This means a 20:1 (signal / noise) ratio. This ratio equals 26 dB in electrical field strength. However due to interference being low in the South Pacific region 23 dB is tolerable. Note that during dawn / dusk / hours of darkness MW reception will vary.  People will still listen to a signal with a signal to interference value down to 10 dB if the program is interesting enough.  The IONCAP charts used here use dBu not dB.  All map times are 10 UTC = 22 NZST or 21 AEST. This time was chosen as it is after sunset but not deep into the night. Similar twilight propagation conditions are expected..  It is assumed that the MW transmitters will not be run after 02 NZST, as most of the South Pacific is asleep at this time. During geopolitical crises this rule can be ignored.

Field strength over interfering station, if existent < ~ 27dB : Good reception of both speech and music 20-26 dB : Relatively good reception, interference may be noticeable 10-19 dB : Speech transmission may be acceptable < ~ 5 dB : Reception is possible but not acceptable to most listeners

Propagation notes, continued
The kind of antenna used in these models is a “dipole whip” not a traditional MW loop inside that is typical in MW receivers, so reported signal strengths should be 9 dBu higher than mapped  Choosing the right frequency and launch angle for each MW transmitter site will require some ionosounder research that the CSIRO / NZRO can do via IPS Space Services  Using DRM (a digital audio broadcasting system for LW / MW / SW) will technically give a 6 dBu increase signal / noise numbers – but very few people in Australasia have DRM receivers  A true MW propagation model may yield ± 3 dBu fieldstrenght differentials over the reception region

Interlaced Rhombic design notes
Interlaced Rhombics can be used with reflector curtains, opening up the possibility of 21.5 dbi gain.  This IR antenna is not designed for domestic broadcasting, but international broadcasting.  The USSR used reflector curtains with its MW Rhombic antenna systems to reach ~21 dbi gain.  For MW coupling reasons, a 90% efficient IR reflector curtain is best.  A IR reflector curtain can allow for lower overall transmitter power use.  An IR curtain should pay for itself in ~3 years.

EM Emissions regulation
Australia and NZ have adopted a reasonable set of guidelines for EM emission power levels on the MW band near the transmitting antenna • These EM regulations really only apply only to (gyred) dipoles and dipole arrays • Applying these same regulations for MW Rhombic antennas is not advised without EM research + ITU & IEEE consultation • A separate set of EM emission levels must be devised for Rhombic antennas • If the Rhombic antennas are aimed at the sea, have reflectors -- and are not near population centers new emission regulations can be phased in over a 3 year window

Antenna cost annex

• • • •

Key: D, R O: Directional, Rotatable, Omnidirectional; Key: H, V: Horizontal, Vertical; Key: S, M, L: Short, Medium, Long (2000 km+) Key: H, M, L: High (100 kw+), Medium, Low (<10 kw);

Radio Diplomacy 201 (Required Reading)

Reference Map

Site summary (draft)

Experimental technologies
If this proposed broadcasting model is to work some experimental technologies must be tried or more fully developed from it • • • Fractal terminating resistors have never been used in Rhombic antennas, more optimal performance may come from using them Reflector curtains for Rhombic antennas, if developed -- may greatly improve this antenna type's broadband performance Smaller scale HF HR type antennas using solid radiating elements designed with 2 “H Tree” iterations allowing better lower frequency support under (9 MHz and 50 kw)

Sustainability recommendation
It is recommended that all international broadcasting in Australia & NZ should be fully converted over to sustainable sources in the next 10 years. This conversion is of greater concern to Australia.

Research credits
All propagation and antenna design research in this document was done by Power Broadcasting (Adelaide) and Power Broadcasting (Wellington). Power Broadcasting's ABN is available on request. Geopolitical broadcasting research is available on request.