Author Topic: FCC NGSO Constellation filings (Nov 2016/Mar 2017)  (Read 7379 times)

Offline Sam Ho

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There was a wave of FCC filings November 15.

Audacy: 3 MEO relays to communicate with LEO spacecraft.
SATLOA2016111500117

Karousel: 12 IGSO satelllites for video
SATLOA2016111500113

Kepler MULTUS: 2-140 LEO nanosats for M2M communication
SATLOI2016111500114

LeoSat: 78 LEO satellites
SATLOI2016111500112

O3b: Amendment to add another 40 satellites
SATAMD2016111500116

SpaceX: has its own thread
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41634.0
SATLOA2016111500118

Space Norway: 2 satellites in high-inclination 16-hour orbit
SATLOI2016111500111

Telesat Canada: 117 in LEO
SATLOI2016111500108

Boeing: 60 IGSO (this is separate from the smallsat filing they also have)
SATLOA2016111500109

Theia: 112 for remote sensing
SATLOA2016111500121

Viasat: 24 in polar MEO
SATLOI2016111500120
« Last Edit: 03/03/2017 02:28 AM by gongora »

Offline gongora

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Re: November 2016 FCC NGSO filings
« Reply #1 on: 11/17/2016 10:57 PM »
Found the FCC deadline, it was in a filing about the OneWeb application:
Quote
Additional applications. We invite additional applications and petitions for declaratory ruling for
NGSO-like satellite operation in the 10.7-12.7 GHz, 14.0-14.5 GHz, 17.8-18.6 GHz, 18.8-19.3 GHz,
27.5-28.35 GHz, 28.35-29.1 GHz, and 29.5-30.0 GHz frequency bands. Applications and petitions filed
by November 15, 2016, will be considered together with the OneWeb Petition. Requests filed after this
date may not be entitled to shared use of this spectrum
with respect to any grant of applications or
petitions filed prior to the cut-off date. Applicants and petitioners that file by the cut-off date will be
afforded an opportunity to amend their requests, if necessary, to conform to any requirements or policies
that may be subsequently adopted concerning NGSO-like satellite operation in these bands.

The document is attached.
« Last Edit: 11/17/2016 11:00 PM by gongora »

Offline gongora

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Re: FCC NGSO Constellation filings (Nov 2016/Mar 2017)
« Reply #2 on: 03/03/2017 02:35 AM »
And now some more filings, this time in V-band instead of Ku/Ka.

Space News: FCC gets five new applications for non-geostationary satellite constellations
Quote
Boeing’s plan to deploy a constellation of V-band satellites in non-geostationary orbit has prompted at least five companies, including SpaceX and OneWeb, to file me-too proposals with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC had given companies until March 1 to disclose whether they also had plans to use the same V-band that Boeing had applied for in November of last year.

FCC Applications:
O3B Amendment
Theia Amendment
Boeing Amendment
SpaceX Application
Boeing Application
Telesat Canada Application
OneWeb Application

edit: If this ever actually happened it would increase the SpaceX constellations to 12,000 satellites.  Maybe Elon's plan to solve global warming involves blocking some sunlight from reaching the planet.
« Last Edit: 03/03/2017 02:41 AM by gongora »

Offline Danderman

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Re: FCC NGSO Constellation filings (Nov 2016/Mar 2017)
« Reply #3 on: 03/04/2017 03:23 AM »
Anyone interested in the last time this was happening can read this old site:

http://personal.ee.surrey.ac.uk/Personal/L.Wood/constellations/overview.html

Let us hope that we are not doomed to repeat history, again.

Offline jongoff

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Re: FCC NGSO Constellation filings (Nov 2016/Mar 2017)
« Reply #4 on: 03/04/2017 03:42 AM »
Anyone interested in the last time this was happening can read this old site:

http://personal.ee.surrey.ac.uk/Personal/L.Wood/constellations/overview.html

Let us hope that we are not doomed to repeat history, again.

I was thinking that things were starting to feel late 90s-ish too. There are some real differences--more traction and progress (and deeper backing) for SpaceX, Blue Origin, and more successful commercial satellite efforts. But also a lot more hype, and lots of money flowing around.

My curiosity question is when the bubble pops, what fraction of these companies will have a) already raised enough money to make it to market, and b) be able to make it to stable cashflow positive operations even during an economic downturn, and c) how many spacecraft will actually end up getting launched?

Here's to hoping that the number of surviving new constellations is greater than zero, and hopefully in the 2-3 range. Though I'll really be impressed if by 2025 we have more than 3000 spacecraft orbiting earth.

~Jon

Offline HMXHMX

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Re: FCC NGSO Constellation filings (Nov 2016/Mar 2017)
« Reply #5 on: 03/04/2017 03:55 AM »
Anyone interested in the last time this was happening can read this old site:

http://personal.ee.surrey.ac.uk/Personal/L.Wood/constellations/overview.html

Let us hope that we are not doomed to repeat history, again.

I was thinking that things were starting to feel late 90s-ish too. There are some real differences--more traction and progress (and deeper backing) for SpaceX, Blue Origin, and more successful commercial satellite efforts. But also a lot more hype, and lots of money flowing around.

My curiosity question is when the bubble pops, what fraction of these companies will have a) already raised enough money to make it to market, and b) be able to make it to stable cashflow positive operations even during an economic downturn, and c) how many spacecraft will actually end up getting launched?

Here's to hoping that the number of surviving new constellations is greater than zero, and hopefully in the 2-3 range. Though I'll really be impressed if by 2025 we have more than 3000 spacecraft orbiting earth.

~Jon

I could say "been there, done that, got the T-shirt" since I'm sitting here typing while wearing a Teledesic T-shirt!  ;)

Offline Danderman

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Re: FCC NGSO Constellation filings (Nov 2016/Mar 2017)
« Reply #6 on: 03/07/2017 12:04 AM »
"There was a revolution in spaceflight in the 1990s, and all I got was this crappy T-shirt".

Now for a story from the past: a space entrepreneur who shall remain un-named was really upset about ELV back in the day (this was the USAF program for Atlas V/Delta IV) since he claimed that ELV could orbit an entire constellation in one launch. I always wondered why that never happened, why some LEO satellite venture didn't put dozens and dozens of small satellites on one Atlas-V 551 (well, Globalstar kind of tried that with Zenit with 12 sats on one launch).

Anyway, the reason was and is that LEO comsats fly in Walker constellations in planes and you really can't launch to more than one plane at a time, so if your constellation has 12 planes, that is going to end up as 12 launches, all things considered, and besides, you need to be able launch ones and twos as replacements/upgrades. So, the small launchers planned for the 1990s would have been handy had all of those LEO constellations been funded.

Offline gongora

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Re: FCC NGSO Constellation filings (Nov 2016/Mar 2017)
« Reply #7 on: 03/17/2017 12:47 AM »
Space Intel Report - ITU, FCC: Satellite constellation surge requires new rules
Quote
Albuquerque said FCC approval of the OneWeb constellation “could be granted fairly soon,” but that OneWeb has no special advantage over the 11 other filings that came after it.

He said the FCC expected to send to the 11 more-recent filings under the OneWeb procedure a request for supplementary information on their proposals in a matter of days, just as it did with OneWeb.

“All the applications in the processing round — OneWeb plus the 11 others — have equal status,” Albuquerque said. “The fact that OneWeb was first doesn’t give it any priority. But most likely action on OneWeb will happen before the others.”

Offline gongora

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Re: FCC NGSO Constellation filings (Nov 2016/Mar 2017)
« Reply #8 on: 05/11/2017 04:56 PM »
Telesat and Leosat are a couple of the more-likely-to-be-built LEO constellations from among the many filings.

[Space Intel Report] Telesat: LEO gives more user bandwidth than GEO HTS
Still planning to launch prototypes this year.  Planning sats in both polar (99.5 degrees) and less inclined (37.4 degrees) inclinations.  Registered in Canada.

[Space Intel Report] Sky Perfect JSat invests in LeoSat B2B broadband constellation
Using an updated/bigger version of the bus that Iridium uses, with optical satellite interconnects.  Focusing on point-to-point business/government users.  Plans prototypes in 2019.

Offline gongora

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Re: FCC NGSO Constellation filings (Nov 2016/Mar 2017)
« Reply #9 on: 05/31/2017 03:47 PM »
Public Notice from the FCC on the Ku/Ka band processing round.  It lists all of the constellation filings accepted so far with their number of satellites, orbits, frequencies, and where they will be licensed.  A round of public comments and replies starts on June 26.

They also established a cutoff for additional Ku/Ka band NGSO applications to be filed by July 26.

The V-band filings are being handled separately from the Ku/Ka band filings, so there should be another of these documents eventually for the rest of the constellation filings.

Offline gongora

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Re: FCC NGSO Constellation filings (Nov 2016/Mar 2017)
« Reply #10 on: 09/08/2017 04:42 PM »
At the FCC's September Open Commission Meeting one of the items on the agenda is updated rules for the NGSO constellations.  Getting these rules updated would be a significant step towards dealing with the rest of the constellation filings.

Quote
FCC ANNOUNCES TENTATIVE AGENDA FOR THE SEPTEMBER OPEN COMMISSION MEETING
--
WASHINGTON, September 7, 2017 – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the following items are tentatively on the agenda for the September Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 26, 2017:
...
Updating Rules for Non-Geostationary Satellites in the Fixed-Satellite Service – The Commission will consider a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that recommends updating and streamlining the Commission’s rules to facilitate the licensing of the next generation of non-geostationary, fixed-satellite service systems. (IB Docket No. 16-408)

Attached is a pdf document about the updated rules for the NGSO constellations. 

For deployment milestones, the new rules require 50% deployment within 6 years and 100% deployment within 9 years, which is a  bit more than SpaceX wanted but better than the old rules requiring 100% deployment in 6 years.  Anyone not meeting those milestones would have their permissions reduced to the number of satellites they actually have on orbit.

They have not yet decided on whether to change the domestic coverage requirements.  That is the "Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" part of the document.  With the relaxed deployment milestones I'm not sure how much SpaceX really needs their requested waiver of coverage for Alaska in the initial deployment.

Article about the proposed changes:
   [Space Intel Report] U.S. regulators propose to relax satellite constellation in-service, coverage rules

Offline deruch

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Re: FCC NGSO Constellation filings (Nov 2016/Mar 2017)
« Reply #11 on: 09/25/2017 08:37 PM »
Paper from AIAA Space 2017

Large Satellite Constellation Orbital Debris Impacts: Case Studies of OneWeb and SpaceX Proposals
https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/pdfplus/10.2514/6.2017-5200

Quote from: Abstract
Recent proposals for large constellations of communications satellites have added to the debate surrounding the long-term impact of large satellite constellations on spectrum regulation and orbital debris propagation.  The many spectrum license applications currently before the Federal Communications Commission for large, non-geostationary satellite constellation systems provide the satellite risk community with a unique opportunity to weigh the promise of these missions against their long-term impact on the orbital debris environment prior to their launch.  The last decade has seen approximately a 60% increase in the total orbital debris object count, and the additional impact of these pending proposals could significantly alter the LEO environment.  Furthermore, regulators should examine these proposals  within the existing space policy framework to identify potential regulatory inefficiencies.  Much of the existing literature focuses on the risk that the orbital environment poses to satellite constellations and distributed spacecraft missions, but the pending constellation requests can serve as case studies for examining the risk that large satellite constellations pose to the orbital environment.  Better understanding the proposed systems will offer insight into the risks that mission managers and regulators may be accepting now on behalf the future space community.  By examining the licensed OneWeb broadband services satellite constellation and the proposed initial deployment of a similar SpaceX system using the NASA Johnson Space Center Orbital Debris Engineering Model software (Version 3) and a small Monte Carlo analysis, we are able to examine potential implications of the proposed missions, as well as the policy decision space that may emerge as these proposals are reviewed over the coming months and years.
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline gongora

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Re: FCC NGSO Constellation filings (Nov 2016/Mar 2017)
« Reply #12 on: 09/26/2017 08:26 PM »
The FCC adopted the new rules for NGSO constellations (go up two posts for details).

The comments from the commissioners mention that two more of the applications are nearing approval, they don't say which ones.

Quote
FCC MODERNIZES RULES TO FACILITATE DEPLOYMENT OF NEXT GENERATION SATELLITE SYSTEMS

WASHINGTON, September 26, 2017—The Federal Communications Commission today adopted an updated regulatory framework to facilitate the delivery of broadband services through satellite constellations. Today’s action paves the way for greater broadband offerings in the United States, particularly in remote and rural areas.

The Commission updated, clarified and streamlined the current rules governing non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) fixed-satellite service (FSS) systems to better reflect current technology and promote additional operational flexibility.

Specifically, the Report and Order:
 Amends the Table of Frequency Allocations to better accommodate NGSO and geostationary satellite operations in the Ka-band (20/30 GHz);
 Streamlines the NGSO milestone rules for deployment and eliminates the international geographic cover requirements to provide greater flexibility to NGSO FSS operators, and
 Adopts a new threshold to characterize circumstances where–absent a coordination agreement between operators—a default mechanism will govern spectrum sharing between operators.

A Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was also adopted that invites comment on whether to provide satellite operators additional flexibility by allowing innovative new system designs that target particular areas.

Action by the Commission September 26, 2017 by Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 17-122). Chairman Pai, Commissioners Clyburn, O’Rielly, Carr and Rosenworcel approving. Chairman Pai, Commissioners Clyburn, O’Rielly and Carr issuing separate statements.

IB Docket No. 16-408

Quote
STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN AJIT PAI

Re: Updates to Parts 2 and 25 Concerning Non-Geostationary, Fixed-Satellite Service Systems and Related Matters, IB Docket No. 16-408.

As we strive to close the digital divide, we must be open to any and every technology that could connect consumers across the country. That’s why we once again look to the skies for inspiration—and in particular, to new satellite constellations that offer potential for bridging this gap.

Today, the FCC updates the framework that will govern non-geostationary-satellite orbit (NGSO) satellite systems. And it’s high time: It’s been over a decade since we first adopted rules for these types of constellations. In the years since, innovation has brought exciting potential to connect consumers across the nation, especially in rural, remote, and tribal areas. The rules we adopt will promote the next generation of NGSO systems, which could expand broadband access where it’s needed most.

I’m also pleased to announce that I have circulated for my colleagues’ consideration orders that would grant U.S. market access to two more NGSO systems in the Ku- and Ka- spectrum bands. This is possible thanks to the International Bureau staff, which has steadily worked to process these and other market access applications for NGSO satellite systems. As I said in June with the FCC’s approval of OneWeb’s application, these satellites could be a gateway to more broadband competition, benefiting consumers.

Thank you to all the staff that worked on this item: Jose Albuquerque, Clay DeCell, Chip Fleming, Jennifer Gilsenan, Sankar Persaud, Tom Sullivan, and Troy Tanner from the International Bureau; Bahman Badipour, Michael Ha, Tom Mooring, and Nick Oros from the Office of Engineering and Technology; Stephen Buenzow, Peter Daronco, John Schauble, and Blaise Scinto from the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau; and Deborah Broderson and David Horowitz from the Office of General
Counsel.

Offline Mike Jones

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Re: FCC NGSO Constellation filings (Nov 2016/Mar 2017)
« Reply #13 on: 09/26/2017 09:22 PM »
I would bet on SpaceX StarLink and Telesat LEOVantage constellations as the 2 systems to be approved in the coming weeks by FCC.

Online AncientU

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Re: FCC NGSO Constellation filings (Nov 2016/Mar 2017)
« Reply #14 on: 09/26/2017 10:04 PM »
I would bet on SpaceX StarLink and Telesat LEOVantage constellations as the 2 systems to be approved in the coming weeks by FCC.

Are awards made in order submitted, by merit, what criteria is determining?
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Offline gongora

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Re: FCC NGSO Constellation filings (Nov 2016/Mar 2017)
« Reply #15 on: 09/26/2017 10:19 PM »
I would bet on SpaceX StarLink and Telesat LEOVantage constellations as the 2 systems to be approved in the coming weeks by FCC.

Are awards made in order submitted, by merit, what criteria is determining?

I think they're in order of who gets their forms completely filled out with correct information and no major outstanding issues.

Offline jongoff

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Re: FCC NGSO Constellation filings (Nov 2016/Mar 2017)
« Reply #16 on: 09/28/2017 08:50 PM »
Paper from AIAA Space 2017

Large Satellite Constellation Orbital Debris Impacts: Case Studies of OneWeb and SpaceX Proposals
https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/pdfplus/10.2514/6.2017-5200

Quote from: Abstract
Recent proposals for large constellations of communications satellites have added to the debate surrounding the long-term impact of large satellite constellations on spectrum regulation and orbital debris propagation.  The many spectrum license applications currently before the Federal Communications Commission for large, non-geostationary satellite constellation systems provide the satellite risk community with a unique opportunity to weigh the promise of these missions against their long-term impact on the orbital debris environment prior to their launch.  The last decade has seen approximately a 60% increase in the total orbital debris object count, and the additional impact of these pending proposals could significantly alter the LEO environment.  Furthermore, regulators should examine these proposals  within the existing space policy framework to identify potential regulatory inefficiencies.  Much of the existing literature focuses on the risk that the orbital environment poses to satellite constellations and distributed spacecraft missions, but the pending constellation requests can serve as case studies for examining the risk that large satellite constellations pose to the orbital environment.  Better understanding the proposed systems will offer insight into the risks that mission managers and regulators may be accepting now on behalf the future space community.  By examining the licensed OneWeb broadband services satellite constellation and the proposed initial deployment of a similar SpaceX system using the NASA Johnson Space Center Orbital Debris Engineering Model software (Version 3) and a small Monte Carlo analysis, we are able to examine potential implications of the proposed missions, as well as the policy decision space that may emerge as these proposals are reviewed over the coming months and years.

Interesting paper. So it's saying that for SpaceX's initial 1600ish satellite constellation, they're expecting ~10 potential collision events between SpaceX satellites and potentially fatal >1cm diameter debris objects per year. Assume that for the full ~4200-sat high constellation it's ~2.5x , or 25/yr. Even if you assume that live satellites can always successfully avoid collisions, that means that even a derelict satellite rate of 4% would result in the potential of one collision event per year on average... Oneweb's numbers are lower (~3 potential collision events per year for their constellation) due to the smaller constellation size, lower-debris-density operating altitude, and smaller spacecraft cross-section area, but Boeing's operating in an even lower altitude than SpaceX, has bigger satellites, and almost as many sats as SpaceX, so they probably are somewhere in the 20-30 potential collisions per year range as well.

Sobering numbers if I'm understanding this correctly--I think they're saying this is the number of collisions with >1cm diameter background debris that would happen if collision avoidance maneuvers aren't performed (as would be the case for a derelict spacecraft that is unable to maneuver). And each one of those would be likely collision-generating events.

Kind of puts some numbers behind how vigilant these guys will have to be both with Space Situational Awareness and Collision Avoidance Maneuvers, but also on making sure they don't pollute their orbits with failed spacecraft.

~Jon

Online AncientU

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Re: FCC NGSO Constellation filings (Nov 2016/Mar 2017)
« Reply #17 on: 09/28/2017 09:22 PM »
SpaceX is using an altitude for LEO constellation above most LEO debris(1110-1325km), and VLEO constellation below most debris (335-345km).  If you fly between these altitudes, the density of debris climbs rapidly.  (Boeing and OneWeb are also in the 1200km dip per reference below.)
http://spacenews.com/boeing-proposes-big-satellite-constellations-in-v-and-c-bands/
« Last Edit: 09/28/2017 09:28 PM by AncientU »
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Offline jongoff

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Re: FCC NGSO Constellation filings (Nov 2016/Mar 2017)
« Reply #18 on: 09/28/2017 10:27 PM »
SpaceX is using an altitude for LEO constellation above most LEO debris(1110-1325km), and VLEO constellation below most debris (335-345km).  If you fly between these altitudes, the density of debris climbs rapidly.  (Boeing and OneWeb are also in the 1200km dip per reference below.)
http://spacenews.com/boeing-proposes-big-satellite-constellations-in-v-and-c-bands/

Did you bother to read the paper? They based those collision numbers off of the planned initial SpaceX deployment altitude range of ~1150km (see Figure 5 for instance). Yes it's less busy debris flux-wise than down in the 600-900km altitude range, but it's still a lot of spacecraft, and a non-zero background debris flux.

~Jon

Offline gongora

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Re: FCC NGSO Constellation filings (Nov 2016/Mar 2017)
« Reply #19 on: 10/09/2017 06:27 PM »
Never noticed this page before: https://www.fcc.gov/items-on-circulation
Quote
09/26/2017   IB      In the Matter of Space Norway AS Petition for a Declaratory Ruling Granting Access to the U.S. Market for the Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission
09/26/2017   IB      In the Matter of Telesat Canada Petition for a Declaratory Ruling to Grant Access to the U.S. Market for Telesat Canada's NGSO FSS Constellation

Looks like the next two constellations being circulated for approval are Telesat and Space Norway.

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