In May 2019, the Commercial Smallsat Spectrum Management Association (CSSMA) hosted two groundbreaking events at the Hogan Lovells Washington DC office in connection with Satellite Week 2019. The first was a series of scheduled company-specific, pre-coordination meetings with federal agencies and operators designed to facilitate the shared use of spectrum. The second was a spectrum workshop with the Space Frequency Coordination Group (SFCG), an international organization comprised of space agencies and related national and international organizations. The events are part of CSSMA’s continuing efforts to facilitate discussion, growth, and education in the smallsat industry both in the United States and abroad.
On Monday, May 6th, CCSMA arranged a first-of-its-kind opportunity for a handful of smallsat-related companies, including smallsat operators, earth station operators, and launch deployment providers, to discuss pre-coordination matters with spectrum managers and officials from federal agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the U.S. Air Force. Commercial participants presented information regarding their systems during the private meetings, discussed spectrum sharing strategies, and received feedback on their proposals. Both the smallsat entities and federal attendees considered the event a success and encouraged CSSMA to organize similar future events, with even more time allotted for coordination discussions.
That Friday, May 10th, CSSMA brought members and representatives from the international satellite community together for a workshop about the SFCG. SFCG is an informal, technical working group comprised of all the main space agencies of the world, including the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA. Throughout the day, the participants discussed (i) how government users currently coordinate and share spectrum, (ii) how commercial users can engage in that process, and (iii) how smallsat entities can enhance their spectrum access through participation in International Telecommunication Union Working Party activities and national administration preparations for regional and World Radiocommunication Conference meetings. Speakers included Enrico Vassallo from ESA, John Zuzek from NASA, and Nelson Malaguti from the International Telecommunication Union. The event provided participants with helpful insights for spectrum coordination around the world.
Satellite Week Events
Participants in the pre-coordination meetings were also invited to join in a series of events hosted by Hogan Lovells to kick-off Satellite Week. The first event was the second annual Satellite Eve: Women in Space reception, featuring a keynote address by Suzi McBride, Chief Operating Officer of Iridium. Following the Women in Space reception, Hogan Lovells also held its popular Satellite Eve Scotch tasting reception, which was attended by more than 500 guests from the space community.
Finally, Hogan Lovells welcomes back George John to its Communications, Internet, and Media practice group. George was a former law clerk at the firm and has spent the last three years as an in-house satellite counsel for Spire Global, Inc., one of the pioneers in the smallsat industry. Prior to that, George interned at the International Bureau of the FCC and worked for another satellite company.
About CSSMA: CSSMA is a working group made up of smallsat companies and thought leaders in the industry. CSSMA seeks to facilitate a coordinated, transparent, and expedited spectrum coordination process among commercial smallsat spectrum users, government users, and other satellite and terrestrial users, and to advance the policy agenda of the smallsat industry.