[Ground-station] FCC Small-Satellite NPRM

Zach Leffke zleffke at vt.edu
Fri Jun 15 19:40:51 EDT 2018


So if MO-76 has decayed........we're up to at least 5 'small' things 
they can track.......

-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 7:36 PM, Ron Economos via Ground-Station wrote:
>
> 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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