FCC Blasts Startup for Launching Rogue Miniature SpaceBEE Satellites without Approval

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by KA2CZU, Mar 14, 2018.

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  1. KA2CZU

    KA2CZU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    FCC Blasts Startup for Launching Rogue Miniature SpaceBEE Satellites without Approval
    By Phil Baker March 13, 2018
    chat 145 comments
    Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)'s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle blasts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh Friday, June 23, 2017. (AP Photo)
    A Silicon Valley startup is in big trouble with the FCC for launching four of its satellites without permission. Swarm Technology of Mountain View, Calif., has been developing its ultra-small satellites, called SpaceBEEs, designed to provide a network for the Internet of Things (IoT) devices in our homes and cars.

    The company was founded in 2016 by ex-Google engineer Sara Spangelo and another man who sold his company to Apple. The company and its activities have been in stealth mode until now, but in applications for grants, it claims that its worldwide network technologies offer a much lower cost solution with wide applications.
  2. K3RLD

    K3RLD Ham Member QRZ Page

    This story amuses me. For one, because somebody shafted a governmental organization so blatantly, and there is no real-world solution to the problem (whats the FCC going to do, force them to go up there and collect them?). And for two, how utterly impossible regulation of space and beyond is going to be....

    And by "amuse", I sort of mean like the threat of nuclear war..... so utterly terrifying that you have no choice but to enjoy the ride....
    N4AAB and W7UUU like this.
  3. KA2CZU

    KA2CZU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    link to full article: https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/fcc-s...niature-spacebee-satellites-without-approval/

    Every time I hear of more and more cubesats etc being launched or planned by what seems like an ever increasing number of universities and startups, I think of that movie "Gravity".

    Although it was a fairly bad movie, I wonder how close we are to the chain-reaction takeout of satellites from space debris or various uncontrolled orbiting space junk.
    I don't know all of the science behind this but sites like http://stuffin.space/ and others really make me wonder.
  4. N4AAB

    N4AAB Subscriber QRZ Page

    The orbital debris field is already a problem and could be a major problem before much longer. Space fairing nations have have to do polar launches to avoid all of it. As for outside the Earth's atmosphere, I remember there being a treaty that declares no nation can own any body like aplanrt or moon outside our atmosphere.

    So if someone could get to the Earth's moon, and survive, they could broadcast and no licensing group on the Earth could stop them. No jurisdiction.
  5. N8HM

    N8HM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    They aren't to scale. It's an over-blown problem. Earth orbit is huge.
  6. W5PFG

    W5PFG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Please don't give anyone the idea. Someone will surely try to spend taxpayer money doing it.

    Mankind has a way of making new rules for ourselves, breaking the rules, and re-writing them to fit a new control scheme. It's history.
    K4BAD likes this.
  7. KA2CZU

    KA2CZU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I understand the issue of scale when rendering "space junk".

    On the other hand, to say the problem is overblown seems to downplay the issue a bit in the other direction.

    There are more than 20,000 pieces of debris larger than a softball orbiting the Earth. They travel at speeds up to 17,500 mph, fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft. There are 500,000 pieces of debris the size of a marble or larger. There are many millions of pieces of debris that are so small they can’t be tracked.

    Even tiny paint flecks can damage a spacecraft when traveling at these velocities. In fact a number of space shuttle windows have been replaced because of damage caused by material that was analyzed and shown to be paint flecks.

    “The greatest risk to space missions comes from non-trackable debris,” said Nicholas Johnson, NASA chief scientist for orbital debris.

    With so much orbital debris, there have been surprisingly few disastrous collisions.

    In 1996, a French satellite was hit and damaged by debris from a French rocket that had exploded a decade earlier.

    On Feb. 10, 2009, a defunct Russian satellite collided with and destroyed a functioning U.S. Iridium commercial satellite. The collision added more than 2,000 pieces of trackable debris to the inventory of space junk.

    China's 2007 anti-satellite test, which used a missile to destroy an old weather satellite, added more than 3,000 pieces to the debris problem."

  8. W5PFG

    W5PFG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think the problem is not necessarily overblown, but the hype is far overblown. The graphics and computer-generated videos circulating on the Internet that show an impenetrable force-field of space debris amounts to junk size simply for the fact it is not to a correct scale. It is not helping to make a proper case for better debris mitigation.

    Can't argue with that quote. It's super important!!!
    WD9EWK and KA2CZU like this.
  9. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    The article isn't clear about what frequencies those satellites use and that's where the FCC would come in.

    Of course many cubesats are using ham frequencies and there's some danger of running out maybe...
  10. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Wouldn't the FAA be the agency more properly concerned with how many satellites get inserted into some orbit from an American launch site?
    KL7KN likes this.

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