Spectrum Rights in Outer Space: Interference Management for Mega-constellations

Published at SSRN, August 2, 2022
Authored by: Randall Berry (Northwestern University), Pedro Bustamante (University of Pittsburgh – School of Information Sciences, Students; Carnegie Mellon University), Dongning Guo (Northwestern University), Thomas W. Hazlett (Clemson University), Michael Honig (Northwestern University), Whitney Lohmeyer (Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering), Ilia Murtazashvili (University of Pittsburgh – Graduate School of Public and International Affairs), Scott Palo (University of Colorado), Martin B. H. Weiss (University of Pittsburgh – School of Computing and Information)

Abstract (brief): The rapid increase in low earth orbiting, non-Geostationary (NGSO) communication satellites raises concerns related to the coordination of radio frequency access across competing NGSO systems. Responding to an April 2020 petition by SpaceX, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking NPRM (FCC 21-123) aimed at updating its NGSO spectrum sharing rules in the relevant frequencies (which involve ten distinct bands between 10 and 51 GHz).2 In this paper, we examine the rights regime proposed by the FCC and, guided by empirical evidence, propose alternatives that may better resolve the challenges confronted. Spectrum policy for satellite systems has been a topic for regulators for several decades, and the new satellite system, radio technologies, and spectrum sharing approaches make the topic ripe for reconsideration. (Cont’d on publication.)

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4178793