Companies that have demonstrated the technical viability of broadband satellite megaconstellations now face a bigger challenge: closing the business case.
A multibillion-dollar radio telescope is moving into its construction phase while still working to raise funding and deal with satellite megaconstellations whose interference “change the game” for their plans.
A proposed satellite constellation would be registered in Papua New Guinea, which has not stepped up to accept specific international responsibility or liability for the activities of commercial entities it has licensed.
The Chinese government has created a company dedicated to creating and operating a 13,000-satellite broadband constellation.
South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Systems is planning to build and deploy a constellation of 2,000 satellites in low Earth orbit by 2030 to provide connectivity to urban cargo-delivery drones and passenger airplanes.
Amazon has tested what it describes as a low-cost flat-panel antenna for use with its Project Kuiper constellation, an innovation that could be essential to the long-term success of satellite broadband.
SpaceX’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase 1 award is big, but the impact on its overall Starlink broadband business will be modest.
What a tragic irony if continued access to space is lost as a consequence of lower launch and spacecraft costs. The U.S. is the global space leader and has more to lose than any other nation from diminished access. That’s why the FCC on April 23 is about to adopt new space safety rules for non-geosynchronous orbit (NGSO) satellites that minimize that possibility. The Commission should be applauded for their thorough work and conclusions.
The prospect of thousands — potentially more than 10,000, depending on what systems actually get launched — of satellites in low Earth orbit raises concerns about collisions and the creation of orbital debris that could render such orbits all but useless for any satellite.
Telesat plans to use an 85 million Canadian dollar ($64.7 million) investment by the government of Canada on the first dozen satellites of its low Earth orbit broadband constellation.
The founder of broadband megaconstellation company OneWeb urged the smallsat industry to operate responsibly in orbit, warning that failed satellites and collisions could result in stifling government regulation.
While the concept of constellation is not new, the challenges connected to operating hundreds of spacecraft at the same time are yet to be fully understood.