[Ground-station] FCC Small-Satellite NPRM

Ron Economos w6rz at comcast.net
Fri Jun 15 19:36:15 EDT 2018


Just saw this on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1007753856497999872

Ron W6RZ

On 06/15/2018 04:23 PM, Zach Leffke via Ground-Station wrote:
> SPACEBEE-1
> 1 43142U 18004AH  18166.15327463  .00002710  00000-0  11662-3 0  9999
> 2 43142  97.5349 228.9583 0011111 108.5240 251.7204 15.23458854 23400
> SPACEBEE-2
> 1 43141U 18004AG  18165.89385312  .00002518  00000-0  10875-3 0  9996
> 2 43141  97.5348 228.6883 0011116 109.0700 251.1741 15.23396885 23371
> SPACEBEE-3
> 1 43140U 18004AF  18165.89660685  .00002409  00000-0  10436-3 0  9996
> 2 43140  97.5347 228.6832 0011129 108.9142 251.3301 15.23343657 23378
> SPACEBEE-4
> 1 43139U 18004AE  18166.16700625  .00001921  00000-0  84210-4 0  9994
> 2 43139  97.5347 228.9332 0011117 107.4719 252.7733 15.23190279 23403
>
> TLE source:  Celestrak.com, also on N2YO's webpage.
>
> Not trying to be argumentative here, truly am confused about whats 
> going on.....hoping someone in the know can school me.
>
> To me it appears they are reliably tracking all four individually.  
> Epochs updated yesterday/today (if I did the Julian conversion right), 
> and I've been loosely following this and have never seen 'stale' 
> updates.  These TLEs (NORAD IDs) were in the catalog very early in the 
> post launch deployment (within first two weeks for sure, I have a TLE 
> matching project based off Doppler curves, done for Fox-1D that was on 
> the same vehicle, and have the early TLEs saved off on github and the 
> individual spacebees are in there!).   This implies that they were 
> quickly resolved in the sea of 30+ satellites deployed in 300 seconds 
> (or there about).
>
> Not saying they should have been launched without their licensing in 
> place, but clearly (to me, could be wrong here) the original grounds 
> for the FCC denial was flat out wrong, like Howie said.
>
> So maybe their response would be "sure, we can track /four/....". OK, 
> well......what's your upper limit?  A denial of 'sorry we can only 
> routinely track 20, and there are currently 20 up there, so you have 
> to wait for the technology to improve or something to decay' would 
> really suck, but at least it would be clear.........
>
> My take on this issue is that if there is a minimum size requirement 
> (maybe orbital altitude is a factor as well here, so maybe 'desired 
> altitude + size requirement') from FCC/JSpOC/NASA/Whoever, that is not 
> clearly stated in any application requirements, so how were they (or 
> anyone else for that matter) to know that would be an issue in the 
> first place. We have an interest in the ThinSat design at VT.  We are 
> launching ThinSat derived designs on a suborbital sounding rocket very 
> soon (not an issue for orbit tracking, but that program is supposed to 
> be traceable to orbital spaceflight), I know that a High School in 
> Southwest VA is launching some very soon (they got approval), though 
> they will be VERY low altitude (one - two week lifetime) and we have 
> recently started a possible collaboration with VMI who is intending to 
> launch some in the next year or so (haven't begun filing 
> process).........so what is the requirement?
>
>
> So what is the technical challenge here?  I understand that higher 
> frequency radars (Ka band I think?) are needed to track these smaller 
> objects, and that there are fewer of those.  But the TLEs keep getting 
> updated......so is this a question of scheduling and because this is a 
> hot topic they have bumped them up in the priority queue?  Is some 
> piece of Iridium 33 / COSMOS 2251 not being tracked to make room for 
> these guys and they are worried about over burdening the radars?  
> Again, understandable.......but they are not being clear and 
> consistent in the requirement, which just causes more confusion......
>
>
> Again, not trying to defend the company who went against FCC 
> decisions, but the fundamental grounds for the denial is at best 
> incomplete, at worst, just straight up wrong......
>
>
> -Zach, KJ4QLP
>
>
> Research Associate
> Aerospace Systems Lab
> Ted & Karyn Hume Center for National Security & Technology
> Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
> Work Phone: 540-231-4174
> Cell Phone: 540-808-6305
> On 6/15/2018 6:21 PM, Bruce Perens via Ground-Station wrote:
>> I will note that, but I suspect their answer is going to be "sure, we 
>> can track /one"./
>> /
>> /
>> //Thanks
>>
>>     Bruce
>>
>> On Fri, Jun 15, 2018 at 12:53 PM, Howie DeFelice 
>> <howied231 at hotmail.com <mailto:howied231 at hotmail.com>> wrote:
>>
>>     The FCC statement about "Trackability" and that Jspoc cannot
>>     routinely track objects smaller than 10cm is just not true.
>>     $50sat (aka Eagle2) was launched in 2013 into a 700 km sun
>>     synchronous orbit. The dimensions of that satellite were 5cm x
>>     5cm x 7.5 cm and updates from Jspoc were routinely published
>>     until the satellite re-entered a few weeks ago. This is the
>>     satellite referred to in note 25 of the NPRM, comment by Alba
>>     Orbital.
>>
>>       * Howie AB2s
>>
>>     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>

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