FCC Rejects 2004 AMSAT Petition to Reconsider Applying Orbital Debris Rules to Ham Satellites

The FCC has rejected a Petition for Reconsideration that AMSAT filed 14 years ago, seeking to exempt Amateur Radio satellites from the FCC’s satellite orbital debris mitigation requirements. The Commission took the opportunity in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order on Reconsideration, released on November 19, that revisits its orbital debris rules for the first time since their adoption in 2004. Among other things, AMSAT had argued at the time of its Petition that applying the orbital debris requirements to Amateur Radio satellites would be cost prohibitive, and that the FCC had not indicated what constitutes an acceptable orbital debris mitigation plan.

Acknowledging that time has made some of AMSAT’s arguments moot, the FCC said the costs involved with modifications to comply with post-mission disposal requirements “are justified when balanced against the public interest in mitigating orbital debris.” The FCC said it determined that closer adherence to the disposal methods described in the rules was “warranted in order to limit the growth of orbital debris” in low-Earth orbit (LEO).

via American Radio Relay League | Ham Radio Association and Resources https://ift.tt/2zmX8pt

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