Russia’s Sphere Satellite Constellation Moves Toward Implementation

Sphere constellation satellite orbits. (Credit: Roscosmos)
  • 264-satellite constellation will provide broadband and Earth observation capabilities
  • Russia’s first mega constellation would be deployed in medium orbit
  • Government plans to spend US $370 million through 2024

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — After several stages of discussions and approvals in the government, the Federal Sphere project received a development plan supported by funding. In the coming years, emphasis will be placed on developing technologies and creating the first samples of spacecraft. The final decision on the number and composition of satellite constellations will be made based on the results shown.

(more…)

Sateliot Obtains Authorization From Spanish Government to Initiate 5G-IoT Communications From Space

Credit: Sateliot

BARCELONA (Sateliot PR) — Sateliot – the satellite operator that will launch a constellation of nanosatellites to universalize the Internet of Things with 5G coverage – has obtained the provisional authorization from the Spanish Government, through the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation (Mineco), necessary to start its 5G-IoT services.

This authorization allows the different terrestrial terminals located in different points of the peninsular geography to connect to the signal offered by the satellite that Sateliot launched into space last March aboard the Soyuz rocket.

(more…)

NorthStar Earth & Space Secures Radio Frequency Spectrum License Approval for 52 Satellite Constellation

MONTREAL, August 24, 2021 (NorthStar Earth & Space PR) — NorthStar Earth & Space (NorthStar) has received approval in principle from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) authorizing NorthStar to use all of the company’s requested radio frequency spectrum allocation for its planned 52-satellite constellation that will deliver a suite of information services related to Earth and space sustainability.

Specifically, ISED has authorized use for all NorthStar requested Ka-band and X-band radio-frequency ranges, ensuring that NorthStar will have the bandwidth required to deliver millions of images per day of highly detailed, information-rich imagery from multiple sensor types. The ISED approval in principle confirms NorthStar’s Canadian spectrum application is in full compliance with the Radio Regulations of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), an agency of the United Nations.

(more…)

Fun with Figures: Move Over Starlink, Here Comes China’s Satellite Mega-Constellation

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The Chinese government recently formed a company to develop a satellite mega-constellation that would exceed SpaceX’s rival Starlink communications network in size, according to media reports.

The newly created China Satellite Network Group Co. will oversee the development of a communications satellite constellation that will include 12,992 satellites. China has filed for spectrum allocation for the constellation with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The Chinese constellation would be the largest in the world with 1,049 more satellites than the 11,943 Starlink satellites approved by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Together, the Chinese and Starlink satellites would place 24,935 satellites into Earth orbit.

(more…)

Constellationizing Space: Chinese Company Seeks Approval to Launch Nearly 13,000 Satellites

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Larry Press reports a Chinese company named GW has filed for spectrum allocation from the International Telecommunication Union for two broadband constellations called GW-A59 and GW-2 that would include 12,992 satellites.

The size of GW’s request indicates to Press that the company would compete globally with broadband constellations being built by SpaceX, OneWeb and Amazon. He wrote:

(more…)

Swarm Obtains Commercial Operating License

Swarm satellite (Credit: Swarm Technologies)

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (Swarm Technologies PR) — We are thrilled to announce that Swarm is now fully licensed to launch our commercial offering. Having received all regulatory approvals to operate commercially in the US, in several other countries, and over international waters, we are one step closer to providing affordable satellite connectivity to the world.

(more…)

ITU World Radiocommunication Conference Adopts New Regulatory Procedures for Non-geostationary Satellites

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt (ITU PR) — The 38th ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) has adopted a new innovative milestone-based regulatory approach for the deployment of non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) satellites in specific bands and services.

The agreement reached at WRC-19 establishes regulatory procedures for the deployment of non-geostationary satellites, including mega-constellations in low-Earth orbit (LEO). The milestone-based approach will provide a regulatory mechanism to help ensure that ITU’s Master International Frequency Register reasonably reflects the actual deployment of such NGSO satellite systems in certain frequency bands and services.

(more…)

SpaceX Files Applications for 30,000 More Starlink Satellites

60 Starlink satellites inside the Falcon 9 payload fairing. (Credit: Elon Musk)

SpaceNews reports that SpaceX has filed spectrum allocation paperwork with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for up to 30,000 additional Starlink broadband satellites.

The FCC, on SpaceX’s behalf, submitted 20 filings to the ITU for 1,500 satellites apiece in various low Earth orbits, an ITU official confirmed Oct. 15 to SpaceNews. 

SpaceX deployed its first 60 Starlink satellites in May and plans to launch hundreds — potentially over a thousand — more in the year ahead. 

The ITU, a United Nations entity, coordinates spectrum at the international level for satellite operators to prevent signal interference and spectrum hogging. National regulators submit filing on behalf of their country’s satellite operators.

The 30,000 satellites are in addition to 12,000 medium-orbit Starlink satellites already approved by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Elon Musk’s company is planning up to four additional Falcon 9 launches of Starlink satellites by the end of the year. Dates for those flights have not been publicly announced. Additional launches would follow in 2020.