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Scientific licence

A scientific licence lets you use radiocommunications equipment to research or test radio

What a scientific licence is for

A scientific licence lets you perform these activities for radiocommunications:

  • research
  • teach
  • demonstrate
  • trial, for example a new technology or product

Common users of this licence include:

  • teaching institutions
  • research bodies
  • radio manufacturers
  • people or businesses that design or repair radios
  • people or businesses that sell radios

You cannot get a scientific licence to use:

The Radiocommunications (Interpretation) Determination 2015 defines scientific licences.

Trial a new technology

We support trials of new technology, including for broadcasting.

If we give you a scientific assigned licence for a trial, you cannot:

  • use it for any other purpose or length of time other than the trial
  • expect the technology to be automatically introduced in Australia
  • assume the trial will continue in the future.

People who participate in the trial must know it's temporary. 

We may decide that it's in the public's best interest to know the results of your trial. Your licence will say if you need to show us your results.

Options for scientific licences

There are 2 options for scientific licences:

  • assigned licence
  • non-assigned licence

You should only apply for an assigned licence if you need an assigned frequency.

If you need to use Morse code, you may need to show us that you know how to send and receive Morse code signals.

Licence conditions

When you have a scientific licence, you must follow the conditions of your licence.

These include:

These conditions help you communicate safely and without interference.

We will include information you should be aware of under the heading 'advisory notes'.

There may be extra conditions on your licence if you plan to:

  • investigate radio frequencies
  • test a new technology

A scientific licence may cover communications between Australia and other countries. If you communicate with another country, you must also follow their rules for radiocommunication.

Call signs

Call signs are a unique series of letters and numbers. They make it easy to identify a station.

You may not need to use a call sign for a scientific licence if:

  • you do not communicate by voice
  • the way you transmit makes it technically unrealistic to use a call sign

It will say on your licence if you need to use a call sign.

If you do, you should use your call sign:

  • every time you start to transmit
  • before you transmit in a series
  • when you test

Call sign template for scientific licences


Scientific call sign template (example of a typical call sign: AX2VAB)


first 2 alpha characters of the allocated call sign series for scientific stations




first alpha character represents the State or Territory where the station operates, for example V is Victoria and S is South Australia. The second and third characters are any alpha


We charge fees for apparatus licences.

In some circumstances, you can apply for a licence fee exemption or concession.

Apply for a scientific licence

To apply for a scientific assigned licence, you should contact an accredited person.

They can:

  • assign you a frequency
  • give you a frequency assignment certificate
  • apply for your licence for you

To apply for a scientific non-assigned licence, you should:

Transfer a scientific licence

You can apply to:

Get technical details

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