[Cerowrt-devel] spacebee

Christopher Robin pheoni at gmail.com
Tue Mar 13 13:47:55 EDT 2018

On Tue, Mar 13, 2018 at 1:03 PM Jim Gettys <jg at freedesktop.org> wrote:

> On Tue, Mar 13, 2018 at 12:52 PM, Dave Taht <dave.taht at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 2) Although the FCC denied the application based on having inadaquate
>> radar reflectivity, according to their standards, the article states:
>> "Websites dedicated to tracking operational satellites show the
>> SpaceBees in orbits virtually identical to those specified in Swarm’s
>> application." Ground stations can only get better.
Note that the objections are based on a non-operating SpaceBee. I’m not
seeing anything about one of the SpaceBees going dark for testing or not
responding due to malfunction. So the ground stations are prob getting both
GPS data from the sat and a fix on the radio signal to determine position.
If both of those methods of tracking disappear, there appears to be a
limited number of ground stations that could provide an accurate enough
location to allow for other orbitals to made an avoidance maneuver.

With all the noise around this launch, I haven’t been able to find info on
expected operational lifespan vs expected orbit decay. LEO’s can still last
for decades. The only thing I’m finding is an expected use for 6mo to 2yr,
but not sure how long after that the Spaceebee will stay in orbit and/or be
responsive with positional data.

While just 4 of these things in space isn’t a major concern, rogue
launching objects into space isn’t a scalable solution. This is especially
true as the cost of launching comes down into the “cheap” startup range.
These types of companies aren’t usually concerned 25yr impact plans, and
most wont last long enough to be around to assist if any problems occur
past that 2-3yr window.

We have rules for the road, the sea, and the sky. Space needs similar
protections. No, the FCC shouldn’t be that gatekeeper, but that’s where we
are at until an agency is stood up with authority to handle these kinds of
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