Suspected launch of a compact communications satellite that was not authorized by a former Google engineer

Satellite manufacturer'sSwarm TechnologiesFour satellites launched from India in January 2018Federal Communications CommissionThe FCC condemns Swarm Technologies as suspected of having been launched without approval despite being dismissed from the Federal Circuit (FCC).

FCC Accuses Stealthy Startup of Launching Rogue Satellites - IEEE Spectrum

On January 12, 2018, from the east coast of IndiaPolar orbital launch vehicle(PSLV) was launched. The main purpose of this PSLV was the launch of a large satellite in India, but there were also several other small satellites in other countries. Four of them "SpaceBEE" are seen as communication satellites of American satellite maker Swarm Technologies. Swarm Technologies is NASA'sJet Propulsion Laboratory·Google XMr. Sarah Spangelo of aerospace engineer who belonged to, etc, and development company of electric propulsion system of satelliteApollo FusionIt is the startup launched by Mr. Benjamin Longmayer who is also a founding member of the company.

"SpaceBEE" of Swarm Technologies is a WiFi ·LoRa·Bluetooth Low EnergyThe data accumulated byVHFIt is a satellite that can receive and transmit in, and it is said that there is an aim to make it possible to use IoT equipment even in an area where the Internet environment is not fully equipped. Swarm Technologies was appealing as "world's smallest two-way communication satellite" with the size of 10 cm × 10 cm × 2.8 cm, which is about the size of a palm.

Swarm Technologies submitted an application for launch of four SpaceBEEs to the FCC in April 2017. However, because the size of the satellite is too small, it was difficult to accurately track the position of the satellite, and there was a danger that it could collide with other satellites and not collaborate enough. Since the satellite is orbiting the earth at a tremendous speed, even if it is in the palm size it is expected that the energy in the event of a collision will be substantial. Swarm Technology thought that positioning the satellite by GPS device and radar reflector in SpaceBEE thought that because FCC rejected the application, Swarm Technologies can not launch SpaceBEE properly .

However, we launched PLSVIndian Space Research Organization(ISRO) has announcedreport, The name of SpaceBEE remains stated without being deleted. Also, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)In the satellite tracking site, four "SPACEBEE" are captured in orbitIt has been. Although I have not confirmed that "SpaceBEE launched by PLSV" is "SpaceBEE rejected application to FCC", it is clear that it is the same satellite as far as the situation evidence is concerned, and Swarm Technologies I have not commented on the matter yet. If it is fixed, SpaceBEE will be "the first commercial satellite that has been launched irregularly despite having no authorization".

In addition, Swarm Technologies applied for a plan to launch another satellite from New Zealand in April 2018. The satellite planned to be launched from New Zealand was designed to about four times the size of SpaceBEE in the same function to clear the indication "It's too small to trace accurately". However, FCC took heavy suspicion of PLSV 's unlicensed launch of SpaceBEE and also dismissed the application for launch in April.

Meanwhile, communication satellite manufacturerSpire GlobalJenny Barna, who is in charge of launch, said, "The procedure for applying for approval by the FCC is cumbersome and time consuming.There is also a problem that new companies can not easily launch satellites with this troublesome procedure. Even the satellite was loaded in the launch vehicle to be launched and approval came down just before the launch, "suggesting that the licensing application system also has problems.

in Hardware,   Science, Posted by log1i_yk