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Posted in Policy & Regulation, Technology Tony LinGeorge John

World Satellite Week Brings Smallsats and CSSMA to Paris

The Commercial Smallsat Spectrum Management Association (CSSMA) held its second meeting of 2019 in Paris on September 10, during World Satellite Business Week. CSSMA members gathered at the office of the French Centre National D’Études Spatiales (CNES) for a half-day session featuring industry updates and presentations. Approximately thirty CSSMA members, along with CNES and U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) representatives, participated.

During the meeting, CSSMA announced its new officer board. Michael Miniero of Hawkeye 360 will serve as chairman, Nick Spina of Kepler Communications as president, Emilie Siemssen of GomSpace as secretary, Bruce Henoch of Hiber as treasurer, and Beau Backus of the NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service as government liaison. CSSMA also announced the addition of eight new members and a focus on identifying more members in the Asia Pacific region in 2020.

The day began with World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) 2019 updates from the CSSMA International Working Group.

  • Agenda Item 1.2: This item considers imposing earth station power limits in 399.9-400.05 MHz (399 MHz) and 401-403 MHz (400 MHz) and grandfathering systems for a limited period.
  • Agenda Item 1.3: There is almost unanimous support to include a primary allocation for the Earth Exploration-Satellite Service (EESS) and Meteorological Satellite Service (MetSat) in the 460-470 MHz band.
  • Agenda Item 1.7: This item proposes to add a Space Operations (Space Ops) allocation in the 137-138 MHz, 148-149.9 MHz, and/or 403-405 MHz bands for short-duration non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO)
  • Agenda Item 7 (Issue A): This item discusses how the ITU bring-into-use rules should apply to NGSO satellite kilo-constellations.
  • Agenda Item 10: This item invites future agenda item suggestions. There are proposals for (i) new inter-satellite service allocations in the Mobile-Satellite Service and Fixed-Satellite Service bands above L-band, and (ii) new L-band and S-band frequency allocations for NGSO MSS Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications. The proposed allocations can reduce spectrum congestion in the typically utilized EESS, MetSat, and SpaceOps frequency bands.

The meeting also included several presentations from members and industry stakeholders. The German Aerospace Center told members about its new project involving the nanosatellite mission, S-NET, which will demonstrate multipoint S-band inter-satellite link. Kineis described its plans for the Argos hosted payload system, including a constellation of smallsats to support IoT connectivity. Participants also heard from new CSSMA members Hiber and Axelspace. Hiber presented its systems which provide low cost, low power IoT connectivity. Axelspace presented its pioneering microsatellite technology, which the company uses to expand access to space imagery data.

Looking Forward

Following a successful meeting with the Space Frequency Coordination Group earlier this year, the Paris meeting highlights the continued international growth of CSSMA. The next meeting is expected to be held in in February 2020 after the SmallSat Symposium in Mountain View, California.