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DIY Comms and Control for Amateur Space by Sandy Antunes

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Chapter 4. Licensing

Overview

Satellite communications technology is very straightforward. Hardware is cheap and ubiquitous, orbital mechanics leads to predictable satellite paths, and software exists for operating your satellite. The primary operational limit that defines this is your orbit, but the biggest hurdle is licensing. Any broadcaster has to have permission from their parent country to use long-distance radio, and the terms of use often restrict the power level, frequency of communication, and allowable uses of that radio.

To bracket the problem, let’s first look at the amount of time you have to communicate. If you go for an inexpensive low Earth orbit (LEO) launch, you’re orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes and only one-third to ...

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