Vega Flight VV16

  • Hello Lucio and forum

    I agree with you, its a longtime headache generating story. In my sight there are 3 types of satellites:

    1) HAM-satellites built by AMSAT-Organisations:)

    2) "Experimental" satellites built by universities and institutes =O

    3) Commercially satellites X(

    And there are many satellites with missions between 2) and 3), experimental missions with participation of amateur radio operators, also like SatNOGS, which goes later commercial. It means, the results are evaluated commercially. Therefore should 2) use the "frequency ranges 150.05_174 MHz and 400.15_420 MHz". But nothing happened in this direction. AMSAT-Organisations and -groups should stronger participates with 2), then the frequency coordination would be easier.

    For 3) there is the IARU Monitoring System. I hope SatNOGS will report this commercial CubeSat.

  • What happened with ITU Resolution COM6/19 ? This problem was recognized in 2015 or earlier and should have been addressed at WRC 2019. :(

    Against the odds we were largely successful, due to a huge effort by many, in identifying spectrum for short duration missions. The result was:

    The frequency band 137.025–138 MHz may be used for short-duration missions, if they do not cause harmful interference and if they do not claim protection from other services. In this case, simplified filing procedures apply. For most countries, the coordination requirement Art. 9.21 was removed from the uplink band 148–149.9 MHz which enables it's use for these missions.

    It's not perfect but a good outcome given the circumstances.


  • It can not be in the interest of ITU member states in general, if a single member country violates the rules and allows commercial misuse of frequencies devoted to the non-commercial amateur satellite service, while other member country's companies have to pay licenses and have to go through all the processes to apply for commercial frequencies.

    With the first OSCAR satellite launched more than 50 years ago, Volunteers as from the OSCAR group, AMSAT organizations worldwide, LibreSpace and other open source amateur satellite organizations fight for open, democratic and not-for profit use of our assigned space spectrum with affordable launches, competed by commercial misuse of our amateur satellite service spectrum by others. Somehow the community could feel betrayed.. we paved the way.

    Peter Gülzow | DB2OS | AMSAT-DL member since 1983 | JO42VG

  • What I meant in the previous message is this:

    The radio spectrum, the distribution of frequencies is the exclusive responsibility of the individual states. We may like it or not and we Italians are not particularly happy with this but ...

    This is the official situation in Italy. It is written in Italian but it should be understood. Where there are only radio amateurs that portion of the spectrum is in exclusive use. Where there are other items in the single portion then we are in cohabitation with other services.

    It is not the IARU or the single IARU delegate that can change these facts, therefore their refusal, however granted to others, is (in my opinion) devoid of any value.

  • Hi Lucio,

    ION-SVC (ION mk01), built by D-Orbit, is an commercial satellite (platform) that carries 12 commercial CubeSat's from Planet to be deliver to orbit by them. They inappropriately use the the amateur satellite service spectrum as their only UHF T&TC on 437.515 MHz (Uplink and Downlink) in a completely for-profit mission.. I can't see how this even fits into your table above... Normally ITU has special international frequency spectrum assigned for such satellite services, outside of the amateur satellite service.. the ITU and CEPT rules are very clear on this...

    So sad that DK1YQ is no more among us, he was our expert on these ITU matters and I remember discussing a similar case with him.. that's how I came to the above conclusion...

    73s Peter

    Peter Gülzow | DB2OS | AMSAT-DL member since 1983 | JO42VG

  • Hi Peter, I had premised that when I talk about these things I get a headache. Certainly "D-Orbit, is an commercial satellite (platform) that carries 12 commercial CubeSat's from Planet to be deliver to orbit by them." But D-Orbit is not the only company that operates in this way and above all it is not the first. Even NASA and ESA have put satellites into orbit using amateur radio frequencies. The same universities that put microsatellites into orbit often buy them as kits from commercial companies. Universities often work closely with commercial companies. You will remember that even Pacsats were sold in some form of Kit. The boundary is blurred, sometimes it is difficult to separate the didactic purpose from the commercial activities. Then, what I am trying to say is none other than what IARU itself claims.

    I transcribe faithfully ... copy and paste.

    "Ultimately, the decision of whether the proposed operation is appropriate for the amateur-satellite service rests with your country's administration (your national telecommunication regulator). Therefore, before sending your frequency coordination request to IARU, we suggest that you consult with your administration to determine whether the amateur-satellite service or another radiocommunication service is appropriate for your operation. "

  • Sorry Dear Lucio, I don't want to cause more headache on you, keep calm.

    I want to emphasis that I would say exactly the same if it would have been a German company violating the rules, no doubt..

    Yes, you are right.. every national country have the power to grant a license, even if it's not according to CEPT or ITU rules. This does not make the world better though. We all know that there exists Banana Republics with basically no rules, just money or nuts. Several European companies, Universities, even from Germany have licensed satellites in those countries. However, it is our right to protect our amateur radio bands, complain and caught attention to ITU and our national regulator. We did that in Germany too! Yes, there is a "gray zone", but we already see improvements.. just being quite and accepting that can not be the answer...

    We might also get support from a completely different side. Other companies may now rub their eyes and feel economically disadvantaged because they have to pay for commercial frequencies and have other disadvantages.

    I can tell you that we have been approached by European startup companies asking if we could help them to license a satellite in Germany, which was already denied by their national administration after IARU denied the coordination due to incompatibility with the amateur satelliteservice. After consulting IARU and DARC we also could not support this proposal. Finally they found an amateur satellite group of another country which gave them an alibi...

    However, an Amateur Radio Satellite is not justified or qualified by being built by amateurs, universities or organizations like AMSAT. A satellite working in the Amateur Satellite Service is clearly defined by it's purpose and usage, not who build and payed for it!! Even a commercial company is allowed to build and operate amateur radio satellites, as long as they fulfill the definition given by ITU as partly described above.. Otherwise QO-100 would not exist!

    Universities often work closely with commercial companies. You will remember that even Pacsats were sold in some form of Kit.

    Very good example actually !!

    All those PACSAT's where completely transparent and open. All modulation formats and protocols were published in public. And in fact I can't think about any other company which did it better job than SSTL in UK to include and not exclude radio amateurs!! They even involved amateurs to participate, apart from downloading camera images, they gave us a wonderful Store&Forward packet radio communication tool for world wide communication and they provide the software for free! They actively involved radio amateurs in communication and education. I personally had a lot of fun with them, analyzing the telemetry, downloading camera images etc.. In addition, later UoSAT's, like KITSAT and POSAT were using amateur and commercial frequencies completely separated from each other to conform with the rules, because they were getting more and more into the commercial business. Nowadays they do not include amateur radio anymore because of commercial business on frequencies outside of the amateur bands..

    For sure, these satellites were "demonstrators" with full participation of radio amateurs to exploit the feasibility for later commercial missions (on commercial frequencies).. Nothing against that, it's actually the purpose of amateur radio.. education and development of new technologies, which does not exclude later industrialization.

    I can't see anything of that with ION-SVC (ION mk01), built by D-Orbit. Nothing is published, nothing to learn from it, the satellite even does not identify himself.. everything in the dark.. this has nothing to do with "educational" purposed and "studies", "experimental licenses" etc.. After all, we are now dealing with legal studies, so we are learning... Hey!! - so it's in fact an educational satellite ;-)

    But as I said.. I don't want to cause more headache and ill stop here..

    Enjoy amateur radio and the satellites, have a nice weekend..

    73s Peter

    Peter Gülzow | DB2OS | AMSAT-DL member since 1983 | JO42VG

  • Sorry Dear Lucio, I don't want to cause more headache on you, keep calm.


    I want to emphasis that I would say exactly the same if it would have been a German company violating the rules, no doubt..


    73s Peter

    Hi Peter, he never had the slightest doubt about this and your good faith. I cannot say the same for other subjects who raise the red-blue pencil only when it concerns the behavior of others.

    For the rest I endorse everything you said about it and thank you for doing it.

    Let me clarify that with D-Orbit I have nothing to do except the national flag which has certainly influenced my reaction.

    For the rest, this is their answer and some further information on this mission.