ITU grants Rivada Space extra time
June 30, 2023
By Chris Forrester
The ITU’s Radio Regulations Board (RRB) has approved a ‘milestone waiver’ for Rivada Space and its first batch of 300 satellites.
This decision removes a major worry for Rivada which – had the waiver not been granted – would have near-scuppered the Ka-band project.
The overall system calls for two batches each of 300 satellites. Achieving this first waiver still means that Rivada must launch all 600 satellites by no later than mid-2028. The first 300 must be in orbit by mid-2026.
One key target market for Rivada is in-flight connectivity and access to its planned fleet of laser-linked satellites.
Frequencies being used by Rivada come under Liechtenstein’s Office for Communications control, and it is Liechtenstein which made the request to the RRB. However, France and Germany supported Rivada’s request.
The decision is also likely to helpfully influence Rivada’s negotiations with the US Ex-Im Bank and its potential help with funding of the project.
The initial 300 satellites are being manufactured by Terran Orbital of California. SpaceX has been contracted to launch the fleet.