Bezos warns on frequency interference
October 12, 2020
Jeff Bezos is planning to launch an eventual 3236 low-Earth orbiting satellites into space in order to provide a broadband-by-satellite service to consumers. Project Kuiper will compete directly with the Starlink scheme from Elon Musk as well as a few other would-be satellite operators such as OneWeb, Telesat and others.
As yet there is no firm date as to when Kuiper’s initial 578 satellites might be launched, but Julie Zoller, Project Kuiper’s head of regulatory affairs, says the existing regulatory rules for satellite operators are considerably out of date as regards interference between orbital systems. In a presentation to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) on October 7th she also complained that some orbital systems do not exactly match their filings – and permissions – from the ITU.
Zoller also complained that the ITU’s core metrics for large, non-geostationary satellite systems are well out of date and need modification.
For example, she explained that power levels from constellation operators should be reduced when a Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellite is near the Equator – and thus at risk of creating interference with geostationary satellites which are positioned above the Equator.
She said that the rules were mostly created 20 and more years ago when the concept of a LEO constellation were not envisioned.