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Seeking confirmation for the following assumption: Satellites used for non-communication applications (military surveillance, weather monitoring etc.) are launched without specific prior approval from any international regulators. Correct?


I am aware that ITU sets rules, standards, and allocates frequencies for communication satellites. At its ongoing conference in Egypt, it is discussing potential changes to "introduce new satellite deployment milestones for constellations" to prevent operators from hoarding RF spectrum (source and ITU Press Release).

I seek clarity on the following points:

  • In case of US based communication satellite operators, what are the respective competancies of FCC and ITU?
  • Does ITU have powers to reject an approval of the RF spectrum allocation if it doesnot interfere with existing usage? If yes, has there been a precedence of ITU rejecting such a request?
  • Other than first come first serve, are there any specific principles and standards ITU adheres to?
  • If plans for multiple satellite constellations in LEO and VLEO go ahead, are we likely to end up with the scenario where entire spectrum might be clogged (i.e. unavailable for use to the new actors)?
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  • $\begingroup$ IARU is involved for licensing in the amateur frequency range as well. This answer will probably discuss ranges - us spy says have a reserved range that they use. $\endgroup$
    – mothman
    Oct 29, 2019 at 21:55

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