Satellite operators criticize “extreme” megaconstellation filings

PARIS — Established satellite tv for pc operators expressed their frustration on the wave of filings for huge satellite tv for pc constellations, arguing nations have to step ahead and set up guidelines to curtail such methods.

One of the best identified of such filings is one by the federal government of Rwanda with the Worldwide Telecommunication Union (ITU) in September, which proposed two constellations with a mixed 327,230 satellites. Rwanda has launched thus far a single satellite tv for pc, a three-unit cubesat referred to as RwaSat-1 in 2019.

Corporations have additionally made filings for giant constellations. Kepler, the Canadian firm growing a comparatively modest satellite tv for pc constellation, filed by means of the German authorities a proposed system referred to as Aether with practically 115,000 satellites. The corporate stated Nov. 18 that the determine contains all satellites with an Aether terminal put in, not simply the corporate’s personal satellites, however the complete is way bigger than all operational satellites in orbit at this time.

“My view is, that is what occurs when there are not any penalties for dangerous conduct, or conduct not solely per the best way the business has behaved as much as a sure time limit,” stated Steve Collar, chief govt of SES, throughout a Dec. 13 panel dialogue at Euroconsult’s World Satellite tv for pc Enterprise Week. “In consequence, we’ve acquired a complete bunch of exuberant filings, most of which received’t occur.”

“From an financial standpoint, an overcapacity standpoint, these excessive filings don’t make any sense,” stated Michel Azibert, deputy chief govt of Eutelsat. Methods already in energetic improvement by firms like Amazon, OneWeb, SpaceX and Telesat, together with high-throughput satellites in geostationary orbit, already present way more capability than projected demand, he argued. “For those who begin doubling or tripling the capability, it doesn’t make any sense.”

The priority each raised is that a few of these proposed constellations do try and at the very least begin deployment. “We’re operating the chance of getting a completely congested house,” Azibert stated. “The dangers of collision are exponential.”

He was essential of each the ITU and the U.S. Federal Communications Fee, which just lately accepted purposes for a sequence of V-band constellations that included a proposal by Astra House for a 13,600-satellite system. “I don’t see the ITU being extraordinarily proactive on that. I see the FCC beginning one thing like they’re the world’s regulator on licensing spectrum in LEO and NGSO basically.”

“We shouldn’t be captured by the hype and say the extra constellations the higher for mankind, as a result of it’s not true. It’s the opposite, in my view,” Azibert stated.

Mark Dankberg, chairman of Viasat, stated the problem must be taken up on the nationwide degree as proposed methods search touchdown rights from nationwide regulators. “Filings have gotten nearly irrelevant. Even getting a submitting by means of the ITU doesn’t actually imply something. What’s going to develop into the large difficulty is getting touchdown rights,” he stated. “That’s the realm that we’ll begin to see reactions the place international locations notice that granting touchdown rights to methods which might be disproportionately occupying house is simply not good for them.”

Dan Goldberg, president and chief govt of Telesat, stated he shared these issues at the same time as Telesat develops its Lightspeed constellation. “The issue with our business,” he stated, “is that the ITU doesn’t have enforcement powers.”

He referred to as for “key international locations” in Europe, Asia and the Americas to work collectively on this difficulty. “The international locations which might be finally launching these appears to be a logical place for them to return collectively and introduce some guidelines that be certain that the dangers that we’ve been speaking about at this time are addressed and managed,” he stated. “It received’t be straightforward however it’s acquired to be achieved.”

“The one greatest downside isn’t that the ITU doesn’t have enforcement powers. It’s that the ITU has zero rules round orbital congestion,” Dankberg stated. “All they’re coping with is spectrum. No one anticipated an setting the place there can be so many satellites that the bodily congestion of orbits can be a dominant difficulty.”

“What occurs if all of those constellations attempt to construct? I feel we’ll have an unsustainable scenario very, in a short time,” Collar warned. “We most likely received’t notice it till it’s too late. Now could be the time for the business to start out getting a bit extra accountable.”

Recommended For You

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.